1. Dawson, Jaime Murphy MPH

Article Content

The American Nurses Association (ANA) advocates for the safety and wellness of all nurses and nursing students in the United States. The ANA defines a healthy nurse as "one who actively focuses on creating and maintaining a balance and synergy of physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, personal and professional well-being. Healthy nurses live life to the fullest capacity, across the wellness/illness continuum, because they become stronger role models, advocates, and educators, personally, for their families, their communities and work environments, and ultimately for their patients."1


The ANA has declared 2017 as the "Year of the Healthy Nurse." Each month, the ANA will provide resources related to the monthly topics. Resources will include


* sharable social media graphics, logo, tweets, and Facebook posts;


* Web pages filled with resources and events and monthly update dedicated to the "Year of the Healthy Nurse";


* ANA member messaging;


* tool kit for 2017 National Nurses Week (May 6-12); and


* thematic articles throughout the year in ANA's periodical, American Nurse Today.



Throughout the year, nurses are encouraged to share their experiences and promote nurse health and safety on social media by including the #FitNurseFriday and #healthynurse tags in their posts.



The need for this focus is supported by data from ANA's Health Risk Appraisal, an online survey that ran between October 2013 and December 2016.2 More than 14 000 nurses and nursing students participated. Key findings included the following:


* Eighty-two percent reported that workplace stress is the top health and safety concern.


* Fifty-one percent report musculoskeletal pain while at work.


* Forty-eight percent experience aggression or threats in the workplace.


* Twenty-five percent reported being physically assaulted at work.


* Sixteen percent eat at least five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables.



The monthly themes for 2017 are as follows (Figure 1):

Figure 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE 1. Year of the healthy nurse calendar.


The Year of the Healthy Nurse will include the launch of the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge (Figure 2). The goal of the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge is to transform the health of the nation by improving the health of the nation's 3.6 million RNs. Grand Challenges are bold, socially beneficial goals that address a systemic and embedded problem through collaboration and joint leadership. The framework for Grand Challenges is built on the research of Economos et al3 in determining the key elements needed to change the behavior of a large population for the good. Social change studied in this research includes movements such as recycling, breastfeeding, and the use of seat belts.

Figure 2 - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE 2. Home page for the healthy nurse/healthy nation grand challenge Web platform.

This initiative will


* broadly connect and engage individual nurses and partner organizations to take action within five domains: activity, sleep, nutrition, quality of life, and safety; and


* provide a Web platform to inspire action, cultivate friendly competition, provide content and resources to nurses, gather data, and connect nurses with each other, with employers, and with organizations.



The Web platform features a comprehensive health, wellness, and safety assessment available to all nurses and other interested healthcare workers. In addition, health challenges specific to the five domains will be available throughout 2017.


The initiative will launch on May 1, 2017. To learn more, visit



Continuing with an emphasis on the health of nurses, the 2017 National Nursing Week theme is "Nursing the Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit." The aim of this week will be to celebrate nurses who lead the charge for health and wellness. To learn more, visit




1. American Nurses Association. Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation. American Nurses Association Web site. Accessed March 1, 2017. [Context Link]


2. American Nurses Association. 2017: Year of the Healthy Nurse. American Nurses Association Web site. Accessed March 1, 2017. [Context Link]


3. Economos CD, Brownson RC, DeAngelis MA, et al. What lessons have been learned from other attempts to guide social change? Nutr Rev. 2001;59(3 pt 2): S40-S56. [Context Link]