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Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Have you accepted the challenge?

By: Holly Carpenter, BSN, RN, and Jaime Murphy Dawson, MPH

Nurses are leading the nation’s journey to better health.

By Holly Carpenter, BSN, RN, and Jaime Murphy Dawson, MPH

Since May 2017, over 10,000 nurses and 250 organizations have joined the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ (HNHN) Grand Challenge, launched by the American Nurses Association (ANA) Enterprise.

Grand Challenges are bold, socially beneficial goals that successfully address a systemic, embedded issue through collaboration and joint leadership. The goal of HNHN is to improve the health of the nation by improving the health of its 3.6 million RNs.

A look inside HNHN Connect

healthy nurse nation accept challenge
Partial screenshot of HNHN survey results. Green indicates low to no risk, yellow is medium risk, red is high risk, and gray (not shown) indicates not applicable or question was skipped. When survey participants click on any of the colored boxes, the box expands and shows the participants the original question, their answer, the ideal answer, and the national average.

HNHN offers an online community to connect and engage nurses and organizational partners around five domains: physical activity, sleep, nutrition, quality of life, and safety. Individuals and organizations can join at hnhn.org. Organizational partners (including nurses’ associations, employers, and schools of nursing) are first asked to complete a quick application to join.

A sneak peek at the data

Nearly 7,000 nurses have taken the HNHN survey. Initial results show:

  • More than 90% work overtime.
  • 62% put their patients’ health before their own.
  • 26% have felt sad for 2 weeks or more.
  • 16% eat the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • 14% have fallen asleep while driving.

Get involved

Here’s how you can become part of the community.

  • Get started. Begin by setting up a basic profile, similar to other social media platforms.
  • Take the HNHN survey. This comprehensive survey will help you assess your health, safety, and wellness at home and work. You’ll receive an interactive heat map report that allows you to compare your results against national averages and ideal standards, and access related references and resources. Take the survey each year to track improvements.
  • Commit. Post your health commitment in the community and share on your social media pages.
  • Connect. Join discussion boards on topics ranging from safe patient handling to running a 5K. Read blogs that highlight successes from HNHN participants and partners. Participate monthly health challenges that foster friendly competition and encourage better habits.
  • Engage with social media. Once you’ve joined, learn more about HNHN Grand Challenge by joining the Facebook group or following @HealthyNurseUSA on Twitter or Instagram.

We look forward to seeing you online!

Partner highlight

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) is an exemplary HNHN Premier Partner. CHLA uses an innovative approach to health and wellness for their employees, including 15- to 20-minute pop-up workshops on wellness that take place on the units. Topics can be anything from stress management to healthy, high-energy snack options. Other staff wellness offerings include tai chi, yoga, massage therapy, an on-site farmers’ market, and quarterly shape-up challenges.

Holly Carpenter is the senior policy advisor in Nursing Practice and Innovation at ANA. Jaime Murphy Dawson is the director of program operations, Department of Nursing Practice and Innovation at ANA.


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