Healthy Nurse, Healthy New Jersey (HNHNJ)
We are pleased to shine the spotlight on Healthy Nurse, Healthy New Jersey (HNHNJ), an exceptional Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Champion.
The year 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of plans. This is especially true for HNHNJ, which thrived with in-person events like its beloved Alzheimer’s walk, and had big goals for future in-person activities. But when stay-at-home orders were issued and social distancing became the new normal, plans shifted. Those in-person events were put on hold and HNHNJ shifted gears to virtual events and becoming an online resource.
Luckily, the organization was already coinciding with and promoting the monthly ANA Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation challenges, which it continues to do. It does so on the private HNHNJ Facebook group — an active, growing community where health and wellness resources are shared often. Members support each other and encourage healthy lifestyles.
Over the past year, HNHNJ also decided to dedicate more time and resources toward online webinars. In January 2020 (pre-pandemic), it hosted a webinar called Healthy You in 2020. The webinar was so popular and relevant that HNHNJ continues to promote it today.
Becoming a Resource for New Jersey Nurses
The organization’s true pride and joy are the resources on its website. Topics cover a range of issues affecting a nurse’s mind and body, including:
- Healthy sleep
- Mental health wellness and stress
- Moral resilience
- Nutrition/healthy holidays
- Professional health
- Skin health
- Work-life balance/worksite wellness
“Now is the time to focus on the health and wellness of [a nurse’s] mind, body and spirit by encouraging the importance of self-care,” the HNHNJ website says.
The articles are a hit among HNHNJ members because of how supportive and relevant they are to nurses’ daily lives. Members receive the articles through email newsletters and in the Facebook group on a regular basis.
The website also includes a pledge asking nurses to participate in the Healthy Nurse, Healthy New Jersey initiative by:
- Making one specific goal to improve their quality of life
- Reading the Healthy Nurse, Healthy New Jersey emails
Building Moral Support
Another popular wellness initiative the organization has created is its moral support meetings. These virtual meetings introduced members to laughter yoga, which quickly became a hilarious hit among attendees.
“Everyone felt great having the support of one another, so we opened the meetings up to all New Jersey nurses,” says Tracey Jaworski-Lucas, former team lead at HNHNJ.
Another meeting hosted a guest psychologist who listened and offered advice as attendees talked out tough issues. Nurses were opening up and gaining support from other nurses on the call, as well as the trained professional. The meeting ended with another session of laughter yoga, which helped everyone leave on a positive note.
“I really do believe we make a difference in the lives of nurses,” says Tracey. “I’ve gotten emails from members who say, ‘you’ve helped me so much,’ and they thank the team for everything we do.”
ANA’s Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation is a steppingstone to a healthy lifestyle for nurses across the country and Healthy Nurse, Healthy New Jersey creates a bridge that takes nurses even further. HNHNJ truly cares for the mind, body, and spirit of each of its state’s nurses.
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