The Role of a Registered Nurse in an MCI (Mass Casualty Incident)

Submitter Information

Author: Maritess Bernardo, MSN-Ed, BSN-RN, PCCN
Title: Instructor
Institution: Rasmussen College

Competency Category(s)
Evidence-Based Practice, Quality Improvement, Safety, Teamwork and Collaboration

Learner Level(s)
New Graduates/Transition to Practice, Pre-Licensure ADN/Diploma, Pre-Licensure BSN, RN to BSN

Learner Setting(s)
Classroom, Clinical Setting, Skills or Simulation Laboratories

Strategy Type
Case Studies

Learning Objectives

1. Apply the principles of triage in a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) in prioritizing patient care. (Knowledge, Skills).
2. Identify the roles of the nurse as part of an interdisciplinary team in an MCI. (Knowledge)
3. Describe the role of the nurse in supporting healthcare team, patients, and family in a MCI event. (Attitudes)

Strategy Overview

For this activity, students will learn about the Principles of Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Advance readings of the chapter from a reference was assigned to students with emphasis on the SLOs or Student Learning Outcomes. The activity will commence with an introductory video from You Tube about a hospital scenario in an MCI (Mass Casualty Incident) event. Students are divided into 5 groups with 4-5 members, depending on total number in class. The class is presented with a case study where students from each group are asked to classify victims according to a triage algorithm. The final activity is for given guide questions for discussion on how to effectively handle emergency nursing taking into consideration their strengths and weaknesses and possible ethical dilemma they may anticipate. After about 15-20 minutes of group discussion, each group will share their ideas with open feedback from other groups, facilitated by the Instructor. After class discussion, the Instructor will provide a conclusion with debriefing and address any other questions from students.

Submitted Materials


Additional Materials

1) Advance Reading: Chapter 10 – Principles of Emergency and Disaster Preparedness
Ignatavicius, D.D., Workman, M.L., & Rebar, C.R. (2018). Medical-surgical nursing: Concepts for interprofessional collaborative care (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
2) YouTube video as introductory topic – October 3, 2017 Las Vegas shooting incident
3) Utilize Triage algorithm
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2017). START adult triage. Retrieved from

Evaluation Description

The levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy that are met in this activity are:
1. Students will able to categorize MCI victims and therefore prioritize their care. The use of case study and group discussion is an effective method for students to evaluate and apply what they learned from their readings.
2. The use of the algorithm is also an effective method in giving the students a simplified guideline in their process of prioritization.

1. Students will brainstorm in their assigned group and share their thoughts in class.
2. Reflection on individual strengths and weaknesses – evaluate individual characteristics (ability to work in clinical settings that will require fast-paced decision-making, multitasking, and ability to coordinate and effectively work with other staff).
3. Students will reflect on leadership skills to provide an opportunity of improvement as students identify their strengths and weaknesses.