Press Release

RN Relief Program Deploying Big Team to Puerto Rico

Up to 50 RNRN/NNU RNs to Join AFL-CIO Led Relief Mission

A large delegation of up to 50 volunteer registered nurses from across the U.S. will join a unique, multi-union, two-week disaster relief effort heading to Puerto Rico Wednesday morning to provide medical aid in the wake of the ongoing humanitarian crisis following Hurricane Maria.

National Nurses United’s Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN), a national network of volunteer nurses, has recruited the RN team, a number of whom will be departing Tuesday to meet up with other union members with specialty skills who will be part of the delegation organized by the AFL-CIO.

Note to media: To connect with RNs who are participating in the deployment, call 510-433-2759 or 510-273-2246

The AFL-CIO is working directly with the Puerto Rican Federation of Labor as well as the San Juan mayor’s office.

In Puerto Rico, the RNs will focus on immediate medical needs in local hospitals, nursing homes, and other sites based on immediate need for island residents who have endured unprecedented devastation as a result of the super storm.  They will be filling needs identified by the San Juan mayor’s office as well as other local officials.

Press reports have indicated that in addition to the general poor conditions, hospitals have been overwhelmed struggling to meet medical needs, clinics and doctor’s offices have failed to re-open, patients with chronic illnesses have not had access to needed medications, and concerns are emerging about the potential of cholera and other epidemics.

RNRN has more than 12 years of experience in providing disaster medical aid following global emergencies dating back to Hurricane Katrina and the deadly South Asia tsunami. Most recently, RNRN volunteers worked in a convention center in Houston and other locales in South Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

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RNRN volunteer nurses have cared for thousands of patients during disaster relief and humanitarian assistance deployments that include the South Asian tsunami (2004); Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005); the Haiti earthquake (2010); Hurricane Sandy (2012); Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda (2013), the Continuing Promise 2010 and 2015 humanitarian missions with the Department of Defense, and Hurricane Harvey (2017). RNRN volunteers have also provided first aid and basic response services to hundreds of community events across the country, as well as rotating teams who assisted the water protectors in Standing Rock in 2016. RNRN is powered by NNU, the largest organization of registered nurses in the U.S.