American Association Of Colleges Of Nursing (AACN)
We are pleased to shine the spotlight on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), an exceptional Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Catalyst Partner.
Nurses are less healthy than the average American. Research shows that nurses experience 2.8 times more stress, have a 30% less nutritious diet, 5% higher body mass index (BMI), and get 10% less sleep.
That’s why one of AACN’s strategic goals is to be a leading partner in advancing improvements in health, health care, and higher education. One of the ways it does this is through a partnership with ANA Enterprise’s Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN).
Together, AACN and ANA Enterprise launched a student ambassador program that connects AACN’s Graduate Nursing Student Academy Liaisons with HNHN.
How Does the Program Work?
In 2018, AACN shared the HNHN Grand Challenge with its Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA) Liaisons, who are identified leaders at nursing schools across the country. These students are empowered to have health and wellness conversations with fellow students, faculty, and deans at their respective schools, as well as:
- Educate key leaders at the nursing school regarding the partnership with HNHN
- Recruit fellow nursing students, faculty, or other nurses to participate in HNHN
- Promote the HNHN program at the nursing school through newsletters and school websites
Not only does the student ambassador have access to the health and wellness resources of HNHN; they also have access to:
- Leadership development opportunities
- Training calls and webinars
- Recruitment toolkits including HNHN fact sheets, slide presentations, and social media guidelines
- Recruitment contests
- Recognition through online publications and certificates
Promoting Wellness in Multiple Ways
While AACN is eager to promote nurse wellness through the Student Ambassador Program, it also finds ways to encourage health through other touchpoints.
“We actively promote best practices for student and nurse wellness through our conference and webinar programming,” said Marta Okoniewski, MPA, director of student engagement at AACN.
The Clinical Nurse Leader Summit, which takes place in February, brings together deans, faculty, CNOs, nurse managers, practicing CNLs, and students. While learning about the changing health care and practice environments, attendees are also invited to physical activities sprinkled into the conference agenda.
For example, AACN President and CEO, Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN, hosts “Walk and Talk” chats with attendees. While getting some exercise, nurses also get facetime with the leader of AACN.
The organization also incorporates healthy snacks and a variety of protein options at its conferences. This allows attendees to make smarter, healthier choices when it comes to food.
Online webinars are another popular wellness initiative for AACN. Past webinar topics include:
- Exploring succesful mentoring relationships
- Developing the leader within
- Be well, teach well, learn well
- Evidence-based strategies for achieving optimal wellness while balancing the faculty role
Additionally, AACN hosts an online community where members can share ideas, questions, and get feedback from others.
“It’s a great place to build community and camaraderie around a certain topic, especially health and wellness for nurses,” said Marta.
Through these initiatives, AACN is raising the bar for the well-being of America’s nurses — one avenue at a time.
Learn more about the work of our Champion partners here and become an HNHN Champion.
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