A Warming Planet and Human Health
As the most trusted profession in the United States, it is imperative that nurses understand the health impacts of a warming world and climate breakdown on chronic conditions and emotional health. This knowledge will enable nurses to educate, assess, and help people achieve and maintain good health in a changing climate.
Climate breakdown can worsen chronic conditions and challenge our emotional health, while leading to more frequent and severe drought, flooding, wildfires, and superstorms, risking health and well-being. As the most trusted profession in the United States, nurses play a pivotal role in helping people achieve and maintain good health, even in a warming world. Nurses can use their knowledge about the health impacts of climate breakdown to assess and educate patients and the public.
Key Learning Outcomes
- Describe climate breakdown and its effect on chronic health conditions and mental health.
- Discuss the language of urgency developed by climate experts.
- Discuss action steps nurses can take to educate patients about health and climate breakdown, impact preparedness for climate disasters, and advocate for climate change mitigation and prevention.
Elizabeth Schenk, PhD, RN, FAAN; Claire A. Richards, PhD, RN; and Phyllis Eide, PhD, MPH, RN
Elizabeth Schenk is associate vice president of environmental stewardship at Providence in Renton, Washington, and research assistant professor at Washington State University College of Nursing in Spokane. Claire Richards is an assistant professor at Washington State University College of Nursing. Phyllis Eide was an associate professor (now retired) at Washington State University College of Nursing.