The Nurses Climate Challenge: A National Campaign to Engage 5,000 Health Professionals Around Climate Change.
Climate change poses significant threats to human health and worsens existing inequities. The health sector is a significant contributor to climate change, making up approximately 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Yet most nurses do not learn about the health dangers of climate change in their education or in practice, and therefore are ill-equipped to lead action on climate change. When educated about climate change, nurses can effectively lead climate adaptation and mitigation strategies aimed at creating healthier populations. As the most trusted professionals and making up 40% of the health-care workforce, nurses have the potential to impact behavior change and launch a movement around climate solutions. Health Care Without Harm and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments partnered on the "Nurses Climate Challenge" with the aim of nurses educating 5,000 health professionals on climate and health. In the Nurses Climate Challenge, nurses register as Nurse Climate Champions and gain access to online resources to plan and host educational sessions about climate change. After educating, Nurse Climate Champions return to the online platform to track their progress. Within 10 months, over 540 Nurse Climate Champions from 6 continents, 16 countries, and 42 U.S. states registered for access to the resources. To date, the champions have educated over 5,250 colleagues and students about climate and health. Based on early metrics, this model of education and engagement around climate action may be applicable for other disciplines in health care and beyond.
Demorest, Shanda; Spengeman, Sarah; Schenk, Elizabeth; Cook, Cara; and Weston, Hermine Levey, "The Nurses Climate Challenge: A National Campaign to Engage 5,000 Health Professionals Around Climate Change." (2019). Articles, Abstracts, and Reports. 2037.