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Improving nurses’ health: Association issues ‘Grand Challenge’

female nurse
Photo: asiseeit/iStockphoto

Silver Spring, MD – Intended to promote better health habits among the nation’s 3.6 million registered nurses, as well as the patients they serve, the American Nurses Association has launched the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge.

Shift work and other occupational factors make nurses more likely to be overweight, experience higher stress levels and get less than the recommended amount of sleep, according to ANA. The challenge seeks to improve nurses’ physical activity, nutrition, rest, quality of life and safety.

“The ANA Enterprise is leading the way to improve the health of nurses through Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation, which will connect nurses, employers of nurses, state nurses associations, and specialty nurses associations to resources specifically designed to address the unique health challenges nurses face,” ANA CEO Marla Weston said in a press release. “We’re inspiring action and creating a national movement to live up to our commitment to ensure the health and wellness of our nation.”

Participants will complete a health assessment survey and receive a health risk heat map. They then can choose one or multiple focus areas, each featuring different challenges. Participants are encouraged to connect with others, share support and success stories, and repeat the survey annually to help chart progress.

“Nurses are in the spotlight as the most trusted profession,” Kathy Wruk, a registered nurse at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, AZ, said on the challenge website. “We have a significant influence on others by living a balanced lifestyle focusing on our own health and wellness.”

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