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Disciplines: Nursing
Hours: 5 Contact Hours
Author(s): Erik J. Usher, RN, BS, CEN, CPEN, EMT-P, CFRN
Peer Reviewer(s): Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC
Item#: N1709
Contents: 1 Course Book (108 pages)
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Bioterrorism & the Nurse's Response to Weapons of Mass Destruction, 2nd Edition

Price $27.95
Item # N1709
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: June 30, 2016

Expiration Date: June 30, 2019


Terrorism has defined itself in today’s culture as not just an emerging trend splintered from isolated distant countries, but as an ever-present domestic possibility. The proliferation of terrorism on U.S. soil has placed nurses of all disciplines, from the emergency department and public health to intensive care units, on the front lines of detection and treatment. The rate at which terrorist organizations create, augment, and adapt current weaponry (biological, chemical, nuclear, radiological and improvised ballistic munitions) quickly creates in clinicians a knowledge void on what to look for to detect, contain, and treat victims of terrorist acts. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), registered nurses (RNs), and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) can benefit from knowing how to identify current tactics, as well as how to respond to incidents related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and terrorism. Nurses who are aware of public health preparedness guidelines can be instrumental in decreasing the casualties resulting from a WMD event.

Chemical, biological, radiological,and nuclear WMDs are a constant threat to our country. Currently, most nurses are unprepared to recognize and care for victims of terrorism because of a lack knowledge and experience in this area. The purpose of this course is to help nurses develop the knowledge and skills needed to respond in the event of a terrorist attack. After this course, the nurse will understand the significance of an established command structure, the importance of detection, surveillance and identification of a threat, the triage process, the need for personal protection and containment, and the importance of crowd control. These are necessary components of an effective operational response to events both natural and as a result of terrorist actions. An overview of the federal disaster assistance available and access to the information provided by the Health Alert Network will arm the nurse with important information and resources to help during an initial response phase to a terrorist event, as well as in providing aftercare.


Nevada NursesThis course fulfills your one-time Bioterrorism requirement.



Course Objectives

  • Discuss acts of terrorism and the mechanism of triage.
  • Identify personal protective equipment (PPE) required for specific terrorist attacks.
  • Indicate the mechanisms necessary for detection of bioterrorism events, and command and control during terrorist attacks.
  • Identify potential bioterrorism agents and their treatment options.
  • Identify potential chemical terrorism agents and their treatment options.
  • Identify the proper response to and treatment for nuclear and radiological weapon attacks.
  • Discuss activation of federal disaster assistance and the Health Alert Network.


Erik J. Usher, RN, BS, CEN, CPEN, EMT-P, CFRN, has over 27 years of prehospital and hospital-based emergency medicine experience, most recently as a Rotor-Wing Flight Nurse/Paramedic for Bayflite Aeromedical Program based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Mr. Usher worked collaboratively with the city of Las Vegas; Clark County, Nevada; and the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada post-9/11 as the chief flight nurse of Mercy Air Base 7 to help redefine the community’s public health responses in acts of terror. Mr. Usher was intimately involved in the four 2004 hurricanes that struck Florida as a first responder to aid in the evacuation of patients from both DMAT stations and crippled hospitals. Mr. Usher started his career in 1988 in Bristol, Connecticut, and has worked in several Level I trauma centers throughout the country. He is an active national speaker, as well as a lead instructor for advanced procedural cadaver labs throughout the country. Mr. Usher maintains board certifications as a Certified Emergency Nurse, Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse, and Certified Flight Registered Nurse and holds a bachelor’s degree in health administration.


Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, is a professor and the director of the Institute for Biosecurity in the Saint Louis University College for Public Health & Social Justice. She is a PhD nurse researcher with an emphasis in infectious disease emergency preparedness. In addition, she is board-certified in infection prevention and epidemiology. In her current position as director of the Institute for Biosecurity, she is responsible for managing all aspects of the institute’s MS, MPH, and PhD academic programs, as well as teaching classes in the programs and conducting research. Her research areas of focus include health care and public health professional disaster preparedness, long-term use of respiratory protection, and work on addressing barriers to vaccine uptake. She publishes
and lectures nationally on bioterrorism, pandemic planning, emerging infectious diseases, and infection prevention practices. Dr. Rebmann has served on several national and international task forces and committees aimed at minimizing morbidity and mortality related to emerging infectious diseases and bioterrorism threats, including membership on the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Ebola Task Force and serving as past chair of the APIC Emergency Preparedness Committee.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.