Nursing & Healthcare News

Nurses and Environmental Action

Become a Climate Champion with the ANHE

Are you concerned about the impact environmental threats like climate change will have on health and healthcare? Are you looking to do something about it? The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) can help.

From Lead Contamination to Wildfires

It’s no exaggeration to say that health depends in large part on the state of one’s environment. Air pollution, contaminated water and exposure to toxicants like lead can obviously make people very sick. Climate change is also a growing threat to both public health and our healthcare system — for instance, California’s recent wildfires have destroyed or threatened various hospitals and clinics.

Environmental health is a big subject and it can be difficult for an individual nurse to know where to even begin. It’s also easy to feel powerless in the face of environmental hazards beyond your personal control.

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However, nurses — being both highly educated and widely trusted — are in a unique position to shape public discourse surrounding environmental issues. Helping nurses do that is the mission of the ANHE. Founded over a decade ago, the organization is a cross-specialty alliance of nurses, nurse midwives and other APRNs dedicated to educating and empowering nurses on environmental health.

Getting Involved

The ANHE website, envirn.org, offers a variety of resources, ranging from a textbook on environmental health issues to reports designed to familiarize you with specific topics like water pollution.

Hiring Now

Those resources emphasize opportunities for individual nurses to take action, whether it’s leaving a public comment on a proposed regulatory change or writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.  Another opportunity to get involved is the Nurses Climate Challenge, a joint initiative of the ANHE and Health Care Without Harm that is recruiting “Nurse Climate Champions” to help educate other healthcare professionals about the threat climate change poses to human health.

To learn more, visit nursesclimatechallenge.org.


Aaron Severson is a freelance writer, editor, and writing consultant as well as the associate editor of Working Nurse.


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