Building upon the current nursing curriculum, the University will educate students on the impact of climate change on human health.
La Salle University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences joined the Nurses Climate Challenge, a commitment to educate students to be more informed and engaged in care settings in relation to climate change.
The Nurses Climate Challenge is a national campaign led by Health Care Without Harm and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. It provides resources to nurses to educate others about the health impacts of climate change.
The campaign’s School of Nursing Commitment allows nursing students at all levels and at universities across the country the opportunity to participate in this movement. The challenge aims to prepare nurses to care for patients amid climate change and be knowledgeable about actions to mitigate further climate impacts.
La Salle’s inclusion on the list of university partnerships was the idea of associate professor Jeannine Uribe, Ph.D., RN and assistant professor Laurie Colborn, Ed.D, MSN, RN. Both are members of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.
Jeannine Uribe, who has taught the public health nursing (PHN) course at La Salle for several years, and had previously included environmental nursing collaborated with Colborn to have La Salle’s SONHS included in this initiative. They thought joining the challenge would offer an opportunity to highlight and expand this area, further demonstrating La Salle’s commitment to preparing students with the tools they will need to meet the demands of an evolving healthcare field.
“Nurses are experts at translating science in understandable terms for the public and the community at large,” Uribe said. “By incorporating this knowledge into the curriculum, our students will become comfortable sharing this information with their clients. This further demonstrates that La Salle University is committed to being one of the leaders in our region in promoting the importance of climate change and its health impacts among its students, faculty, staff, and the community.”
Becoming a partner school provides La Salle with access to presentations featuring detailed talking points, resources, and references on the health impacts of climate change, along with a messaging guide with strategies for leading conversations around climate change. Partners like La Salle also can utilize action-oriented resources to educate, implement, and advocate for climate-smart health care within the healthcare setting, at home, and within communities, and CHANT (Climate, Health, and Nursing Tool), a survey instrument evaluating awareness, experience, motivation, and behaviors related to climate change and health.
The Nurses Climate Challenge expects nursing schools to promote the challenge and CHANT amongst students and faculty, utilize at least one component of the challenge in teaching content, and report the number of students educated with the content by using an online activity tracker.
Currently, Colborn and Uribe are looking at ways to build onto the current curriculum with information from the challenge. The long-term goal, Colborn said, is to bring awareness to all students across La Salle’s campus and inspire the next generation of professionals to be prepared to advocate for change.
“Historically, nurses have always viewed the environment as an important aspect in the health and well-being of all people,” Colborn said. “Being partners in the Nurses Climate Challenge provides us the opportunity to help facilitate deeper conversations surrounding the issues with climate change that can generate innovative and impactful ideas for change.”
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