Pennsylvania State University College Of Nursing

Find out how The Pennsylvania State University College of Nursing is improving nursing student wellness by increased HNHN participation; campus-wide step challenges; and other fun programs and activities like lunchtime yoga.  Read more below. 
9243d046d3ea314510f7ce88584c739e-huge-peThe Penn State College of Nursing is using the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Challenge (HNHN) as our inaugural project to bring a greater focus on personal health and well-being to our students and faculty. Enhancing health is one of the thematic priorities of the University’s strategic plan.

The centerpiece of this vision is recognition of the multiple factors that contribute to overall health—including individual biology and behaviors, the contexts in which people live and work, the quality of their health care, and public health policies and programs. The objectives of HNHN directly parallel this vision, and provide a variety of resources to support nursing students and faculty as we strive to lead by example in our journey to improve our personal and collective health and well-being.


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During the spring semester, the College of Nursing has been sponsoring a Step Challenge. For this challenge, our students and faculty are encouraged to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. Participants log their weekly step totals by campus location. We added a dose of healthy competition to see which campus would log the highest number of steps over the 14-week time frame. To keep everyone motivated and moving in the right direction, we have team coaches at each campus that recruit and support participants for HNHN and step challenges. The team coaches are student leaders and faculty who have volunteered to serve in this role. 

All participants can monitor each campus’ progress on an interactive map found on our website. Dr. Kelly Wolgast, assistant dean for online education and outreach, chose to incorporate the step challenge into a leadership course in our D.N.P. program. We need our nurse leaders to advocate for personal and organizational fitness in order for nurses to maintain a high level of well-being, and participation in the challenge provides a structure to be more engaged in wellness. The response to the integration of the challenge into course work has been positive, and will serve as a model for the future. We hope to focus on a different health challenge each semester and build activities and programming around the challenge.


86c9228860b5c6ebec38b8f10520471a-huge-weHNHN has served as a catalyst for discussion and planning around health and wellness at the Penn State College of Nursing. Many students and faculty quickly embraced the opportunity to join HNHN, so we recognize this is an area where we can make an impact.

Penn State students and faculty have the opportunities and resources to participate in a wide variety of health and wellness programs. The College of Nursing extends programs to campuses at 12 geographic locations across the state as well as online. Each of these campuses provides unique programs and activities such as lunchtime yoga, stress relief walks, back safety and exercise programs, and a project designed to eliminate weight gain over the winter holiday season.

Our success is a result of involving students and faculty from all programs and locations. Using various forms of technology to connect our campuses is common within our college and these resources have helped to fully support participation. 


Special thanks to Melissa J. Snyder D.Ed., FNP-BC, CNE, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Nursing Programs at the Commonwealth Campuses and Associate Teaching Professor!

Find this helpful? Consider sharing it with a friend by using the social media icons on on the left side of this screen. Don't forget to use the hashtag #healthynurse.
Learn more about the work of our Champion partners here.
Have you thought about becoming an HNHN Partner? Join us today!

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Posted by Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN) on Mar 29, 2018 1:34 PM CDT

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