• emergency preparedness;
  • inactive nurses;
  • volunteer

Abstract Objectives: Inactive nurses' interest in volunteering for emergency preparedness was examined. Methods: A mail survey was sent to the entire Vermont Board of Nursing list of in-state inactive and lapsed registered nurses (n = 3,682). A high rate of undeliverable surveys (60%) was found and 611 surveys were returned for a 20% response rate. Results: Twenty-seven percent of the respondents were interested in volunteering. Those interested in participating in volunteer work as part of a national homeland security effort were significantly more likely to (a) be younger in age (p < 0.0001); (b) identify themselves as “being a nurse” (p = 0.001); (c) be employed versus retired (p = 0.002); and (d) be currently volunteers (p = 0.001). Conclusions: Because 33% of the nation's nurses are over age 50, inactive nurses offer a potentially large pool of volunteers for emergency preparedness training and response in the years to come.