A HealthyNurse™ is a nurse who takes care of his or her personal health, safety, and wellness and lives life to their fullest capacity – physically, mentally, spiritually, and professionally. A HealthyNurse™ is a better role model, educator, and advocate – personally, for the family, for the community, for the work environment, and for the patient. Nurses are 3.1 million strong and the most trusted profession, and have the power to make a difference! By choosing nutritious foods and an active lifestyle, managing stress, living tobacco-free, getting preventive immunizations and screenings, and choosing protective measures such as wearing sunscreen and bicycle helmets, nurses can set an example on how to BE healthy.
Three hundred eighty nurses took the short Health Risk Assessment (HRA) in the ANA Programs Booth at the Biennial House of Delegates and HealthyNurse™ Conference, June 2012. Each participant earned a pair of ANA athletic socks (which ANA’s CEO, Marla Weston, wore so well in her HealthyNurse™ Conference closing address).
Thanks to Pfizer for providing ANA with the HRA instrument that allowed us to collect and report these results.
- About seventy percent of the group were age 50 and above.
- First the good news... Only 3% use tobacco, although the rate for the under 30 age group was 17%. This low tobacco use by nurses is consistent with the Harvard Nurse study.
- And nearly all drink less than the suggested maximum of 2 units of alcohol a week, so we, nurses, aren’t drinking away stress.
- But like the general population, we struggle with nutrition, fitness, and weight.
- Seventy percent of us are in the overweight and obese category, with 40% being obese. The highest group was age 30-39.
- Only thirty five percent exercise 4 to 5 times a week. And only forty percent eat the suggested 4 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Both activity level and fruit and vegetable consumption increased with age.
- Seventy eight percent drink one or less sugary beverage a day, with the highest level in the 30-39 year age group (consistent with the overweight/obesity group)
During the HealthyNurse™ Conference, participants were asked to write down their commitment to adapt one new health behavior. While many identified mental and spiritual goals, more than 85% have committed to increasing physical activity, increasing, nutritional intake, or decreasing weight.
Nurses are committing to improving ourselves, personally and professionally. This will empower us to become better role models, advocates, and educators, for ourselves, our family, our communities, our work environments, and for our patients. Just think, if each of the 3.1 million registered nurses positively affects one person within each of these groups, the world would be such a healthier place. And we know we each touch more than one person!
ANA has demonstrated its commitment to "HealthyNurse™" and safe and healthy work environments through its transition from the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) to ANA's Center for Health, Safety, and Wellness. Watch for more great resources, education, and services to be developed!
Subscribe to HealthyNurse e-mail list: