Health Nurse Healthy NationSpecial ReportYour Health

Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation: The first 5 years

By: American Nurses Association

Inspire. Empower. Move.

Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN) is excited to share 5 years worth of nurse wellness data, program progress, and so much more!

When HNHN launched on May 1, 2017, we knew that nurses health was in jeopardy and something had to be done. However, we didnt know how many nurses and organizations would join us in driving change. That first year, HNHN began with a vision, a handful of organizational partners, an online platform, and some great ideas. By the end of year one, we had about 25,000 participants. Fast forward 5 years and HNHN has more than 340,000 participants and over 600 partners.

HNHNs inaugural year also was ANAs Year of the Healthy Nurse, with the May launch date of HNHN coinciding with National Nurses Week. In those early years, at large nursing conferences, HNHN set up banks of computers where nurses could take our online health appraisal, the HealthyNurse Survey. Step challenges, healthy breakfasts, and partner recognition events took center stage at these conferences.

Continued growth

To spur growth (and with sponsorship help), we launched the Partners All In Contests and awarded thousands of dollars to organizations that recruited the largest number of participants in a specified time period. Winners included Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, New Jersey State Nurses Association, and the Medical University of South Carolina. We also worked with hospitals to offer more healthy food choices in hospital cafeterias, wellness challenges and resources, and activities focused on occupational health safety. Our work earned an American Society of Association Executives Power of A Silver Award.

Here’s a timeline of some of the most significant events from the past 5 years:


  • We opened our e-store with branded items, including water bottles and tee shirts, which we regularly update.


  • In January, we added financial health to ANA’s healthy nurse definition, which now reads, “A healthy nurse actively focuses on creating and maintaining a balance and synergy of physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, financial, personal, and professional well-being. A healthy nurse lives life to the fullest capacity, across the wellness/illness continuum, as they become stronger role models, advocates, and educators, personally, for their families, their communities and work environments, and ultimately for their patients.” Accordingly, HNHN offers several financial health resources and challenges.
  • Just before the pandemic, HNHN launched a committee to develop resources on nurse suicide prevention. Over 50 nurses helped create articles, webinars, blogs, a comprehensive website (, and other resources via the Strength through Resilience Committee.
  • We partnered with Headspace to provide HNHN participants with a free 1-year subscription to Headspace PLUS. Since April of 2020, 5,759 HNHN participants have spent more than 8 million minutes accessing content in the Headspace app.


  • HNHN convened an Advisory Committee, a deliberative body of experts focused on providing guidance to the HNHN team as well as making resource and growth recommendations. Our Advisory Committee has organized a smaller workgroup focusing on nurse leader mental health resources and looks forward to releasing a series of videos on this topic in 2023.
  • Advisory Committee has organized a smaller workgroup focusing on nurse leader mental health resources and looks forward to releasing a series of videos on this topic in 2023.
  • HNHN expanded to six domains by adding mental health.

Leading and engaging

HNHN continues to lead and engage with nurses in various ways. For example, HNHN helps lead the Nurses Obesity Network, which is made up of nursing organizations and other professional groups. The Network acts to change how those living with obesity, including nurses, are viewed, treated, and cared for.

In addition, HNHN has posted over 100 #healthynurse Spotlights, has run 75+ challenges, and offers over 220 additional blogs. This has spurred HNHN engagement via good-natured competition, storytelling opportunities, and participant resources. HNHN continues to work to identify the resources nurses need based on the current climate and situation. For example, HNHN released a fun video highlighting the use of its program and resources (

At nursing conferences around the world, HNHN continues to offer inspiring experiences. Offerings include Tai Chi powered by Humana; live cooking events made possible by Compass One Healthcare; healthy snacks, pre-conferences, sponsorship, quick videos, and product gifts from CeraVe; presentations; and virtual roundtables. With expanded research capabilities, we publish in multiple journals and share our research broadly, as demonstrated in this report:

Whats next?

HNHN works hard to improve our virtual platform user experience so that its engaging and provides the resources participants need. In addition, were looking forward to evolving and growing our organizational partnership work with enhanced opportunities for collaboration.

Continue our journey with us into the future as we streamline our HealthyNurse Survey, and build our program, resources, and participation. Joining and being a part of HNHN is a tangible way to enhance your own wellness journey. Together, were improving the nations health, one nurse at a time!

Going 5 years strong, Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation remains steadfast in supporting the mental, physical, and emotional health of thousands of nurses nationwide. At a time when many nurses report experiencing burnout like never before, HNHN connects nurses to meaningful content and resources, while removing the stigma of seeking help. This work is vital to help the nursing workforce of today and the future achieve the best quality of life.

Jennifer-Mensik-KennedyJennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, President of the American Nurses Association


Frequently Asked Questions

What is HNHN? HNHN is a free nurse health, safety, and wellness program that is open to everyone. We connect and engage participants and partner organizations within six domains: physical activity, rest, nutrition, quality of life, safety, and mental health. We do this through a web platform, text, and social media to inspire action, cultivate friendly competition, provide content and resources, gather data, and connect nurses.

How can I participate? You can join HNHN at You can receive challenge tips by texting healthynurse to 52-886. Check out our social media content on:

  • Facebook (Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation)
  • Twitter (@HealthyNurseUSA)
  • Instagram (@HealthyNurseUSA)

What does HNHN offer to individual participants? You’ll have access to a supportive online community and wellness program complete with discussion boards, monthly challenges, fun giveaways, spotlights showing everyday nurses wellness journeys and wins, topical blogs, well- being resources, newsletters, a commitment wall, and so much more!

Can organizations join HNHN? Absolutely! Hospitals and other healthcare facilities, nursing associations, schools of nursing, universities, employers of nurses, and others are welcome to join HNHN at different partnership levels, all of which are currently free of charge! Learn more under the Partnership tab on


Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation serves as a platform to take a pulse on nurses’ overall health and well-being and thrives on a growing community of nurses helping other nurses with achieving well-being and wellness in every aspect of their lives. The energy and diversity of nurses that contribute to this program is a testament to how important this program is to our healthcare community. Our motto is improving the nation’s health, one nurse at a time. It’s been 5 years since the start of HNHN and we remain undaunted in our efforts to improve the health of our nation’s nurses.

Katie Boston-Leary, PhD, MHA, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, Director, Nursing Programs, American Nurses Association



Survey and sample: The HealthyNurse Survey covers the six HNHN domains. When logging into the HNHN online community, participants are prompted to take the annual survey, which examines the change in their HealthyNurse index score over time.

Analysis: This report explores trends in health outcomes among those who completed the survey during the 5 years since HNHN launched2017 to 2022. Since May 1, 2017, weve continuously collected data; all subsequent years contain data from January 1 to December 31. Multivariable logistical and linear regression models compare changes over time and estimate marginal means and prevalence of each outcome. Models are controlled for tenure (<1 year, 1-2, 3-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, >40 years), race (non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, multiple races, and other), sex (male, female), licensure (RN, APRN, LPN/LVN, student pre-RN), and tertiary setting (yes/no). We set statistical significance to p=0.05. You can review major findings in the graphics on the following pages.

Limitations: We collected HealthyNurse Survey data using convenience sampling only among active participants in the HNHN community. These results shouldnt be generalized to the entire nurse population, or the entire HNHN community. While participants were allowed to take the survey every year, most (~99%) completed it once, so the results should be considered cross- sectional. We controlled for several demographic characteristics to increase the internal validity of the analysis, but causality still cant be inferred.


Most Prevalent Current Diagnosis



50% greater odds among women
(25.8%) than men (18.6%)




Compared to White nurses (8.5%),
Black nurses (18.3%) had 2.4x odds
of hypertension




WOMEN (10.6%) 4X as likely to report migraine compared to MEN(2.9%)

Lower Back Pain





AMONG WOMEN (9.1%) than MEN (5.3%)


View more stats




HNHN is made possible, in part by the generosity of the American Nurses Foundation, Humana, Compass One Healthcare, CeraVe, Prudential, and Novo Nordisk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

Recent Posts