ANA - Healthy Nurses, Healthy Nation

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    Healthy Nurses, Healthy Nation is an initiative sponsored by the American Nurses Association to improve the health of nurses and our nation.

    ANA - Healthy Nurses, Healthy Nation

    The American Nurses Association (ANA) is sponsoring the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge for nurses. As nurses, we are role models and influencers in many different areas. Our well-being is fundamental to our health, our organizations and in turn, our nation.

    What is a Grand Challenge?

    According to ANA’s website, grand challenges are based on Dr. Christina D. Economos’ research studying movements calling for social change including public health awareness campaigns promoting recycling, breastfeeding, and seat belts usage. Grand challenges are based on the Collective Impact model which brings together different individuals and groups to address and solve problems through collaboration and a systems approach to achieve a shared goal.

    The goal of the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge is to: transform the health of the nation by improving the health of the nation's now 3.86 million registered nurses. So, with this in mind, how will we accomplish this? First by setting some endpoints.

    Research from ANA shows that nurses are actually more unhealthy than the average American in many areas. ANA notes the following: “nurses are more likely to be overweight, have higher levels of stress and get less than the recommended hours of sleep.” Because health care delivery requires 24/7 support, the demands of shift work exacerbate the health of nurses. In addition, hazards such as workplace violence and musculoskeletal injuries are contributing factors to poorer health. RNs have the fourth highest rate of injuries and illnesses that result in days away from work when compared to all other occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

    How do we improve our health via this initiative?

    Join the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge by filling out this form and sign up for virtual challenges that organize nurses like us to take action to improve our health, like last month’s 5 for 10 Fruit + Veggie Challenge and this month’s hydration challenge. In addition, you can take has produced an IRB-approved survey that assists with developing your personal goals to improve your health. It is a comprehensive look into our health as nurses across five domains of Physical Activity, Rest, Nutrition, Quality of Life, and Safety. I took the survey -– it’s quite detailed and produces a heatmap that places you in the green, yellow or red zone depending on your answers. Green zone means that these are low to no risk for you. I scored in the green zone for most safety issues because even though I'm exposed daily to bloodborne pathogens I also always use precautions and I do feel empowered to change policy to improve safety. I fall into the red zone (high risk) for several of the physical activity questions as well as the number of hours I spend at work. When I looked at the scoring matrix, I agreed with most of the results. In a couple of areas, I was surprised that my score put me in the red zone - those are areas where I need to improve.

    And based on your heatmap results, you decide on a goal to improve your health and then make a commitment to improve your health, which can be shared with other nurses you know and also on your social media. This program is free and assists you to achieve these goals via discussion boards, blogs and interaction with experts and other nurses.

    In order to achieve improved health for nurses, the HNHN GC engages nurses on three levels: individual, organizational and interpersonal. If you think your employer should participate, let them know about this initiative. The end point is to create a healthy nurse population and in turn...
    • Healthier workforce
    • Effective, safe, sustainable health care
    • Role models of health
    • Educators and advocates for health

    As role models for our nation, improving our health is the first step. And there are additional pluses for accomplishing this:
    • Going the distance as a nurse is hard work, achieving health gives us more energy to pursue our career
    • Decreasing our stress levels results in decreased health risks
    • Achieving optimal weight is key to being able to function as a nurse
    • Eating nutritionally sound meals while working can be problematic - however, the effort put into preparing nutritional meals is worth the effort
    • Our safety matters, improving our safety awareness benefits us as well as our patients

    This is an excellent chance to have input into something bigger than us as individuals and have an impact on our nation’s health. Join the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge today!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Aug 2
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  3. by   Surg-OncRN
    I really like this idea and the effort the ANA is putting forward to help nurses be healthy healers. Nurses should lead by example, but unfortunately most are not doing that. I believe you are in control of your health and what happens to you. As nurses we should step up to the plate and be examples of health for the general population. Each individual taking control of their own health is how health care will be fixed, not by Washington.

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