A national network of direct-care RNs — powered by National Nurses United — that coordinates sending volunteer RNs to disaster stricken areas where and when they are needed most.
RNRN was organized in 2005 when Katrina and Rita — two of the most destructive hurricanes in history — dramatically exposed America’s flawed disaster relief system. RNRN volunteers went to the devastated Gulf Coast to help provide care for the hundreds of thousands of people abandoned and without food, water, shelter, medical aid, nursing care, or even a basic evacuation plan.
RNRN received an overwhelming response to the call for help after a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January, 2010. RNRN answered the call and deployed RNs aboard the USNS Comfort, and to a hospital in northern Haiti where volunteers worked side by side with local RNs.
RNRN also participated in Continuing Promise 2010 with the United States Navy, treating thousands of patients in eight different countries, including Haiti. RNRN supported the relief efforts in Japan after the March 11, 2011 devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.
In 2012 and 2013, RNRN responded to Hurricane Sandy in the US, and sent several teams to provide assistance in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines. In 2015, RNRN returned to our partnership with the US Navy to participate with the Continuing Promise mission, working both on the USNS Comfort as well as in rural clinics, providing medical care to thousands in 11 different countries over the six month mission.
RNRN sprang to immediate action in the wake of the devastating hurricane season of 2017, providing teams of relief RNs to Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. In 2018, we assisted in the wake of Hurricane Michael in Florida, with teams on the ground within 24 hours of the storm making landfall. Across the nation in California, a team of RNRN volunteers also provided aid to victims of the Camp Fire, which completely decimated the mountain community of Paradise, CA.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and its near complete destruction of several islands in the Bahamas in 2019, our volunteers assisted at local clinics and communities and heard heartbreaking stories of victims literally swept out to sea by the storm surge as it crossed the island nation. As hurricanes and fires continue to increase in their scope and intensity due to the climate crisis, we expect an ever increasing need for RNs to help.
In addition to our work to provide immediate aid and relief to victims of disasters, and to help those in need, RNRN provided first aid and health basic health services to the Navajo Nation Fair and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in 2016, as well as ongoing first aid and health screenings at event across the country. During the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, RNRN volunteers provided much needed vaccine support to underserved communities in South Los Angeles, helping to distribute over 100,000 vaccines alongside other community volunteers and clinic staff.
RNRN deploys and provides support for volunteer nurses when disaster strikes. With RNRN, nurses can focus on providing patient care. RNRN takes care of everything else – including raising funds to cover airfare and lodging, and facilitating out of state licensure when required.
RNRN also conducts educational courses examining the RN’s unique ability to be the driving force in pressing for universal healthcare and disaster preparedness/response standards. We are proud to be the power of nurses helping nurses to respond when disaster strikes.To join our network of volunteers, visit our sign up form here.
National Nurse Magazine covers RNRN responses to Hurricane Harvey and Standing Rock #NoDAPL