Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation: A Grand Challenge

By Abby Schneider MSN, RN, Clinical Content Manager

 The Center for the Advancement of Healthcare Professionals

Welcome to 2017 – the year of the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation Grand Challenge (ANA, 2016)!  Spanning the entire year, this Grand Challenge is a call to change the health of the nation by focusing on creating and maintaining the “physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, personal and professional well-being” of America’s 3.6 million professional nurses (Weston, 2015).

ANA President, Pam Cipriano, PhD, RN, FAAN, states one reason for the Grand Challenge as a gap between knowing and doing (Kahan, 2015).   As a profession, nurses know that a healthy lifestyle and making healthy choices leads to improved health in their patients.  Unfortunately, there is a disconnect when it comes to taking care of themselves.  While the nation’s nurses are well equipped to care for the widely diverse population of the United States, research indicates they do not necessarily practice what they preach (Kahan, 2015).  However, Dr. Cipriano adds that nurses who do participate in self-care activities are more likely to discuss the benefits of being healthy, making healthy choices, and lifestyle changes with their patients, and their patients are more likely to take them serious. (Kahan, 2015).

Throughout 2017, ANA will focus on a 5 different components of a healthy lifestyle; rest, nutrition, physical activity, quality of life, and safety.  Monthly foci will include:

February - Cardiovascular Health

March - Nutrition

April - Combatting Stress

May - Women’s Health

June - Men’s Health, Skin Health, Cancer Awareness

July - Healthy Sleep

August - Happiness

September - Recovery, Work-Life balance

October - Infection control, Immunizations, Moral Resilience/Moral Distress

November - Mental Health, Wellness

December - Healthy Eating/Healthy Holidays

Nurses who accept the Grand Challenge are encouraged to visit the American Nurses Association’s and sign up to receive monthly emails containing tips for making lasting lifestyle changes,  links to articles and resources, as well as mini challenges to help you meet your goal of becoming a healthy(ier) nurse.  In addition to the effort being made by ANA, our RN.com Bulletin will present education and articles centered on ANA’s monthly focus, as well as small, personal challenges to keep you motivated and moving.  We will also provide links to ANA’s monthly challenge.

2017 is positioned to be a year of great health improvements in our nation’s population and it all starts with you.  Keep up the great self-care you are doing! With 3.6 million American nurses leading the way to improved health this will be the year of the Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation.





American Nurses Association: HealthyNurse

American Nurses Association: 2017: Year of The Healthy Nurse



American Nurses Association. (2016). Healthy nurse healthy nation: Grand challenge. ANA Enterprise. Retrieved from: http://www.nursingworld.org/HealthyNurse-HealthyNation

Kahn, S. (2015). Healthy nurse healthy nation. Visionary Leadership [Video file]. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/149328192

Weston, M. (2015). Grow your wellness: A healthy nurse, healthy nation challenge. American Nurses Association [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysrdFsHYDyo