About the Job

Why Healthier Nurses Lead to Healthier Patients

Why Healthier Nurses Lead to Healthier Patients

According to the American Nurses Association, the profession of nursing has been ranked as the most honest for more than 14 years, back to back.  With this in mind, it is no wonder the American Nurses Association has started what will be a pivotal movement for all nurses and citizens alike.  The association, as of May 1st, launch what they have deemed the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge, which can be described as a social movement that strives to improve the health and overall well being of the almost 4 million registered nurses living in the United States today.

The movement launch by the American Nurses Association has recognized the hard work every nurse puts in at the hospitals every day, and believes that by improving the health of the many nurses in the states, they may very well kick start a revolution of healthier individuals elsewhere.  Bonnie Clipper, a registered nurse and the American Nursing Association’s vice president of nursing practice and innovation, mentions that, “Nurses live and understand health… But they also are very busy and hard-working people, so if there’s a way for them to be healthier that fits in with their lives, that’s a plus for them.” 

The very nature of social movements such as these normally strive to better a large population of people through a variety of initiatives.  A variety of groups and associations will aim to do this by addressing some of the very core and systemic problems seen in otherwise accepted realities, and do so through collaboration, joint leadership, as well as the alteration of previously accepted policies and systems. Some examples of these types of movements launched in the past have included campaigns to implement seat belt usage, nationwide recycling and other sustainable lifestyle choices, as well as anti-littering initiatives.

The American Nurses Association’s Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge aims to better the health of the nation’s registered nurses by focusing on the improvement of five different regions. These domains consist of nutrition, rest, physical activity, quality of life, and safety. The association will be able to implement their movement through the use of what they call Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Connect, which is essentially a web platform that enables nurses to develop an online presence as well as complete an in-depth health survey. 

By completing this, registered nurses around the nation will be able to better assess their own well-being.  As previously mentioned, this can be an unfortunate downside to the many hard hours registered nurses must dedicate to helping others from one week to the next.  In addition to the surveys, the nurses that make use of this platform are able to make a wellness commitment, engage in professional safety and health challenges, and communicate with fellow registered nurses across the nation via a variety of discussion boards.

This movement shows great potential for the improvement in the well being of nurses nationwide.  At this current time, roughly 6,000 registered nurses have completed the health survey and 10,400 have created accounts on the web platform, using the resource at least twice a week, according to Clipper. 

A variety of healthcare groups are beginning to take notice as well, as roughly 250 partner organizations have committed to the social movement.  This increase in interest from the respective organizations has been thanks to the facilities encouraging their nurses to join, which has included monthly Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation challenges and the setting of personal health goals.  Clipper believes in the promising future of the movement, as she states that, “Healthier nurses make better advocates to their patients and give better care… By improving their own health, their efforts also will cascade to improving the health of their families, their friends and their communities.”

The importance of nursing in America

The profession of nursing has essentially been existent for as long as humanity has been.  This is due in part to the demand that life brings, as individuals simply get sick or sustain injuries, and may not be able to care for these ailments themselves.  However, nurses are so much more than what society may have previously viewed them as (beliefs that the job is simply the task of giving sponge baths and applying bandages).  Nursing involves a deep knowledge of a variety of health-related topics, spanning from the distribution of medication, inserting and managing intravenous (I.V.) lines, as well as determining the best treatment options based on a patient’s medical history. 

Beyond the variety of tasks described (with only some of them being touched on in the previous sentence), a registered nurse provides something much more important to the patients they care for.  This trait is one that make nursing one of the most trusted professions of them all, and it includes the priceless emotional support towards patients.  It is because of this trait, among others, that patients are able to feel more welcomed and at home, as registered nurses are able to strike up a conversation while they care for the patient, as if they had known the patient for years prior to meeting them.

In addition to the emotional support provided by registered nurses, these employees are also “on the frontlines of administering and evaluating your treatment. If you’re a patient, nurses are your greatest advocate. Because they spend more time with you, nurses can comprehensively moderate your progress. They know what symptoms might be a red flag and can assess the effectiveness of treatment. They then communicate all of this to your doctor,” Doctor Mehmet Oz, a Columbia University professor states. 

Nurses include some of the most diverse job opportunities, as there are a variety of potential work environments a nurse can work in.  The various healthcare settings by which registered nurses are able to work in include traditional hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory care centers, community health care centers, schools, medical offices, as well as retail offices. 

Just as the different potential healthcare settings exist, different types of nursing is also possible.  The positions can include nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and certified registered nurse anesthetists.  This wide spectrum of opportunities under the umbrella of nursing positions shows the flexible nature of the profession, as well as how important the job is within the United States and beyond.

Health and wellness of nurses worldwide

As the movement headed by the American Nurses Association suggests, the health and well-being of the registered nurses nationwide is imperative.  This is due to the fact that patients must be care for nurses who are aware and functioning at their best physical state.  Without this, the proper care may not be as likely, and can even affect the reputation and success for any given healthcare facility.  The progressive initiative taken by the American Nurses Association hopes to ensure that this is done, through their platform full of a variety of resources.

The movement goes to show just how much the most trusted profession of nursing really is, as it is a much needed service to all patients who are able to benefit from it.  With the steps towards improving the health of all nurses nationwide, society as a whole is likely to feel the positive effect, on top of the already incredible workings of registered nurses nationwide.