The American Nurses’ Association (ANA) has declared 2017 “Year of the Healthy Nurse.”
A healthy nurse is one who focuses on “creating and maintaining balance and synergy in physical, intellectual, emotional, social spiritual, personal, and professional well-being” (ANA). That’s a tall order with a lot of creating and balancing. Leaders at ANA have argued, however, that healthy nurses are necessary not only their own well-being, but also in the best interests of those for whom they provide care. Healthier nurses are certainly likely to be better role models for their patients and the public. Healthier nurses, who may feel better and feel better about themselves, can also contribute to healthier work environments.
To help nurses become healthier, the ANA has provided a toolkit on its website with smoking cessation, limiting alcohol use, and improved nutrition, sleep, and exercise leading the agenda. Their Healthy Nurse/Healthy Nation Grand Challenge kicks off March 9, 2017 at the ANA Annual Conference in Tampa, Florida. There is certain to be a good deal of excitement about this among the over 3.5 million US nurses and perhaps worldwide. We also hope that health care systems and nurses’ employers are excited about this movement and find ways for nurses to get and stay healthy.
JAN is going to do its part as well. Next month, we will make available a virtual issue of select papers that focus on some of the challenges nurses confront to getting and staying healthy as well as some strategies that may work to improve nurses health. We hope you check this space next month for a link to the virtual issue; the selected papers will be available at no cost for one month from the JAN website. In the spirit of Year of the Healthy Nurse, for the remaining months of 2017, JAN will highlight in this space one or two recently published papers on specific healthy nurse related topics.
For now, check out the ANA website. Then take a walk, relax with your loved ones, enjoy a healthy meal, and get some sleep!