On February 20, nurses around the globe gathered to celebrate the kick off of a new global nursing campaign called Nursing Now. This type of collective intention is now possible due to advances in technology and communication. Nurses representing sixteen countries are represented on the board; comprised of two-thirds women and two-thirds nurses. The non-nurses are supporters of the campaign and major influencers including the World Health Organization and the International Council of Nurses.
Lord Nigel Crisp, one of the co-chairs of the initiative, which will last three years, opened the live-streamed event by saying, "It is time to pay more attention to nurses." He included the over all goal of Nursing Now is "to raise the profile and status of nurses so we can improve health globally."
The reasons the time is now for nurses to take the helm of healthcare globally included:
*We are experiencing significant changes in diseases including a huge increase in non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and mental health issues that are best addressed by nurses.
*Increase rise in the burden of disease
*Complications arising from Climate Change and Migration
*Scarce healthcare resources
As well as other concerning reasons.
Dr. Catherine Hannaway, a nurse and the campaign's manager, outlined the five key areas of focus:
1. To advocate with and on behalf of nurses to maximize nursing’s contribution to achieving health for all. Nurses need to play a key role in new, innovative ways to serve the global health needs. Included in this: community and home-based health initiatives, expanding holistic and people-centered services with more attention to mental health and wellbeing. Also of importance is better preventive health strategies and improved use of technology.
2. The campaign will advocate for a greater investment in more nurses, improving education, professional development, standards, regulation and employment conditions for nurses across the globe.
3. Help empower nurses to use their knowledge, skills, and expertise to full potential.
4. Support and encourage nurses to develop innovative practices, becoming even more involved in leading on the planning and delivering of treatment of health, health promotion and disease prevention. A particular emphasis will be on primary and community care settings.
5. The campaign will advocate for more nurses in senior leadership positions-giving far greater involvement and influence for nurses and midwives on global and national health policy. We will advocate for at least 75% of all countries across the world to have a chief nurse as part of their most senior management team in health. In addition, these very senior nurses will be skilled, mentored and supported to play key roles to ensure all policy on health, and healthcare, acknowledge the role of nursing and nurses in their plans.
As a nurse for nearly thirty years I felt several things as I participated in the United States site in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for the event.
1. First, and foremost, a sense of pride welled up inside to be a nurse and for the relentless dedication nurses around the world enact to improve the health of their fellow human beings.
2. I felt validated on many levels: the struggles we experience as nurses are not isolated-speaker after speaker had my head nodding confirming the struggles and challenges we nurses face globally.
3. I felt heard. Listening to non-nursing leaders acknowledging our struggles and making a commitment to help gave me hope. There was also a sense of urgency; a recognition that this is a monumental task, not a quick fix, but very much needed. In fact, if we do nothing, it is predicted that we will have a nursing and nurse midwife shortage of nine million by 2030 globally.
4. I felt empowered. The world, including The World Health Organization wants us to lead change in healthcare! I have no doubt that any nurse on the planet could hand in a list of what they can do to be part of this, what they need to do it and a list of other ideas they have never had the chance to implement yet.
5. I felt moved. I was not alone. As I looked around the room while the various speakers presented stories of what is going on in their respective countries, there were times I felt tears building, and so did others.
6. I felt grateful. Finally, let me repeat this, FINALLY, we have non-nurse advocates including Her Royal Highness, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, who will helping to champion and support the campaign for the next three years. They recognize this is not a nurse issue. This is a health need for all of us.
Did you know that 'loose weight' or 'get in shape' was the second most common New Year's Resolution for 2018 among Americans surveyed? Was that your New Year's resolution? How are you doing so far?
Hopefully you are doing great, already achieving some of the short-term goals you set up for yourself. Maybe you are looking for a few more tips or motivation to strive forward.
Others of us may not be doing so well. After the holidays it is easy to fall back into our old routines despite the good intentions we had for this year. Perhaps we joined a gym, went everyday the first week, but only once last week. Many people end up quitting the gym siting time constraints, expenses, the commute and dislike for the gym atmosphere as reasons.
Walking in nature may be just the answer you're looking for! No drive required, just walk out your front door. Nature's dress policy is come as you are. No fancy workout clothes needed. It's free and there are no screaming television screens vying for your attention. You can do it for ten minutes, a half an hour or walk all day around a city or park. An added benefit, exposure to nature results in seven hours of feel good hormones in your body.
Research has found that exercising outdoors has been found to have a more positive impact on the affect and exercise adherence of post-menopausal women. There were similar findings in another study comparing indoor treadmill walking with outdoor walking in obese women. In addition, this study found that walking outdoors improved mood, participants found it more enjoyable, and their perceived exertion was less. Social interaction is greater in outdoor exercise versus exercising indoors. This finding was also linked with a higher intention to exercise in the future.
Does this information resonate with you? Have you ever noticed that when you walk with a friend, you may be so busy chatting that you may complete a hike in what felt like no time at all? How about when you walk along the beach and find that your mind was so soothed by the rhythmic sounds of the waves that you found yourself miles away from your starting point. Perhaps you even turned around and wondered if you had enough energy to make it back to your towel!
So, are you ready to add more outdoor activity in nature to your wellness plan? I can guarantee you won't see scenes like this at your local gym or on your couch.
More great posts by freelance healthcare writers on this topic can be found on the Healthcare Marketing Network blog.
Looking for more ways nature can enhance your health and well-being? Subscribe to this blog, Susan's monthly newsletter or her social media channels @TheNatureNurse . Be well!
To be, or not to be, that is the question-
William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet.
Do you want to be healthy?
This may seem like a silly question but as a registered nurse with nearly thirty years of experience, you might be surprised that some people will say they don't care about being healthy. They recognize that their behaviors are causing, or leading them down an unhealthy path. They choose those behaviors over healthy ones. As much as we would like to see them choose a healthy path, it is their choice. We healthcare providers try and help them explore why they would want to choose this destructive path, encourage them to access options that may help or at least leave them with a few health resources in the event they change their mind.
The power of our intention, defined as a directed thought to perform a determined action, is a growing science. This is why we need to start with determining where we want to go.
So, I ask again, do you WANT to BE healthy?
If yes, what does health look and feel like to you?
Is your vision realistic?
If yes, what actions are you taking to achieve your vision of health?
For those of you who answered, "Yes, I want to be healthy!", let's get started!
Grab a notebook or a friend and write down- I AM Healthy.
Then write down what that looks and feels like.
Write down what you are doing, and will be doing, to manifest your healthy vision.
If you haven't already gone for your annual visit with your primary care provider, you may want to schedule an appointment. I suggest you consider bringing what you just wrote down. Ask your doctor or nurse practitioner, what they think of your goals. Ask what recommendations they might add to your health definition. Perhaps they may want to suggest some other behaviors that you may want to add based on your health assessment results.
Are you looking to educate yourself about how you can enhance your ability to become a healthier you? I invite you to subscribe to my blog, youtube videos, monthly newsletter and other social media platforms. As a board certified advanced holistic nurse, I have a wealth of information that I am excited to share with you including my favorite health tool-nature. I offer inspiration, motivation, ideas and the latest research on holistic health.
Please share your ideas, questions and success stories too! You are not alone on this health journey.
Let's get healthier together.
Cabin Fever is not an actual ailment; it is characterized as irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter. Many Americans are currently experiencing abnormally cold temperatures and record amounts of snow. While I am a strong proponent of getting out into the great outdoors, even I have to admit there are sometimes when staying inside just might be the best thing.
It can be easy to get lured into taking long naps, binge watching series on television or snacking on our favorite comfort foods during this season. Spring is a long way away- March 20th to be exact. If we are not careful, however, we may be regretting our slouching ways as we start peeling off the heavy sweaters and turtlenecks.
So, what else can we do to keep well and occupied during the winter season? Let's look at a few ideas that I have come up with. I hope you will add your own, we have a lot of time to fill.
1. Create an indoor garden. Studies suggest that indoor gardens may have several health benefits including decreasing stress, increasing attention capacity and restorative benefits. Orchids are an easy indoor plant to grow and maintain. Take a look at this VIDEO I made to see how easy it is to create a beautiful indoor garden.
2. Organize. Why wait until spring to clean? We can get started now-purging closets and draws, organizing cabinets and desks, so when the weather becomes warm and inviting again, we are ready to head outdoors!
3. Create Your Own Home Spa. How does soaking in a warm, Epsom salt bath surrounded by candlelight while sipping a warm cup of chamomile tea or wine sound to you? Put your favorite playlist on, close the door and breathe.
4. Phone A Friend. We may think we know how are friends are doing after all we see what they are up to on facebook and maybe we just got a holiday card. But, have you ever noticed that when you actually SPEAK to a friend, you may get a different story? Do you laugh the way you do when you reminisce about the old times? Wouldn't it feel good to hear their voice or know that you made their day by just taking the time to reach out? Go ahead, pick up the phone, give an old college roommate or a childhood friend a call.
5. Dream Of Spring. The sound of birds chirping outside your open bedroom window ushering in fresh, fragrant air may sound heavenly right now. Bright yellow daffodils bursting open in your backyard showing off their resilience may seem days away. We can prepare ourselves to participate in the wonders of spring by watching 'How To' videos such as my VIDEO on How To Create A Container Garden.
Perhaps you are thinking you may want to start or improve on growing your own food. Check out my colleague, The Nurse Farmer, He hosts a VIDEO series on how to grow food and includes the health benefits of vegetables, fruit and herbs. You'll have a blossoming green thumb in no time!
6. Make Believe It Is Warm. My most popular blog post ever, on my author website, has received thousands of hits. Fun Ideas For A Caribbean Book Club Meeting features how to create a book club meeting that just might make you feel like dancing to reggae music in your bare feet. The blog outlines how you can create a warm, tropical book club meeting right in your own home after reading the first of my two-novel series, I Know You're There.
Do any of these ideas sound good to you? What suggestions would you add? We would love to hear them!
Susan Allison-Dean is a board-certified, advanced holistic registered nurse who holds the intention to promote wellness with holistic tools. She specializes in nature and aromatherapy. To learn more about holistic wellness subscribe to this blog or follow Susan on one of her social media platforms which all use the handle @TheNatureNurse.