Nursing News

New Appraisal Tool Provides View of RNs’ Health, Wellness, Safety on Job


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November 18, 2013 - Registered nurses (RNs) constantly evaluate the health and wellness of their patients and provide guidance and educational resources. But how many RNs really know the status of their health, and how to improve their wellness?

Now RNs can compare their health, safety and wellness to the overall U.S. population and other nurses within demographic categories, including nursing specialty, by taking the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) new HealthyNurse™ Health Risk Appraisal, which was developed in collaboration with Pfizer, Inc. This HIPAA-compliant online survey also allows nurses to assess workplace risks such as patient-lifting injuries and workplace violence.

The appraisal is a component of ANA’s HealthyNurse™ program, which encourages nurses to focus on self-care so they can be at their healthiest--physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually--to provide the highest quality of care and serve as role models, advocates, and educators for their patients.

“When we model the healthiest behaviors ourselves, it becomes easier to help our patients to do the best things for their health,” said ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN.  “This appraisal will help nurses to optimize their health and serve as an online check-up on the health risks they face in their personal and work lives.”

The data-gathering tool is combined with an interactive “Web Wellness Portal,” a website for respondents to obtain information and educational resources based on their interests, workplace conditions and results in areas such as fitness, nutrition, stress management, health screenings, sleep and tobacco and alcohol use.

“As within the nursing profession, at Pfizer health and wellness is a priority.  We are delighted to be partnering with ANA to enable nurses, our largest health care professional group who are closest to patients, to take a proactive approach to their own health.  A healthy nurse promotes a healthy nation,” said Paula R. DeCola, MSc, RN, Pfizer senior director, external medical affairs.

The appraisal, which takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete, will become a continually accumulating database that will enhance the nursing profession’s ability to track trends and set policy and advocacy priorities and strategies. ANA has recognized a lack of current data on nurses’ health and work environment, or demographic comparisons to national health benchmarks. The most applicable data, the Nurses’ Health Study from the Harvard School of Public Health, is more limited in topics and focuses on women’s health issues.

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,” and who “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.”

ANA’s concept of a healthy nurse includes five aspects that enable nurses to function at their highest potential: 1) Calling to care; 2) Priority to self-care; 3) Opportunity to serve as a role model; 4) Responsibility to educate; and 5) Authority to advocate.

All RNs and RN nursing students are encouraged to take the appraisal for free and access the Web Wellness Portal at: www.ANAhra.org.