American Association Of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) 4103

American Association Of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN)

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Nursing organization creates monthly programming to promote nurse well-being

We are pleased to shine the spotlight on the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN), an exceptional Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ (HNHN) Champion.

Nursing has always been a field with high stress and burnout. But the past 2 years of the pandemic have taken those unwanted consequences to the extreme. AAHFN recognized this among its members and acted swiftly to incorporate monthly programming to help — even just a little.

Throughout 2021, AAHFN launched the “It Starts with Me” movement — a monthly education program with different topics geared towards nurse well-being. The goal of the initiative was to provide heart failure prevention education for nurses themselves through healthy living resources.

“There is just so much burnout, and nurses can’t take care of themselves like they need to,” said Karyn Lockshine, CMP, Executive Director of AAHFN. “Their health is in jeopardy, so we did a big push to help people focus on their own health more.”

The “It Starts with Me” program covered topics like:
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Diet and nutrition
  • COVID-19
  • Small, sustainable changes

Something for Everyone
Each month, AAHFN would rotate the programs and topics of focus. The second Tuesday of every month featured an hour-long webinar members could use for CE. July had 2 webinars, the first on plant-based diets and the second on COVID-19 and ethnic disparities. Both were some of the most well-liked events of the entire year.

“For our webinars in general, we’ve had excellent participation,” said Karyn. “We had at least 200 people for each of our webinars, as well as a really positive response. It’s been pleasantly surprising.”

The organization also held a 3-month, virtual 5K where members could participate at their own pace by walking or running. AAHFN’s social media channels spurred conversation and motivated members to get moving. Conversations included asking for input on things like favorite songs to listen to while exercising. Members submitted their favorite songs, which AAHFN turned into playlists for participants.

“The 5K was really popular in that it brought people together in a healthy way during a time when they couldn’t be together physically,” said Karyn.

Becoming a Healthier Nurse for a Healthier Nation
Throughout the monthly offerings, AAHFN also encouraged members to join the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation movement. The organization used its social media channels and newsletter to spread the word about a commitment to nurse health and well-being.

“Throughout all of this, we provided nurses with motivation to make small yet impactful changes they can actually implement,” said Karyn. “For example, walking. Some nurses might not want to walk anymore after a long shift, but we offered a gentle reminder about how walking outside — even for a moment — can provide an opportunity for quiet self-reflection that might make you feel better.”

Moving forward, AAHFN has multiple plans in the works for health and wellness initiatives throughout 2022. Leadership has seen how impactful promoting nurse health is, and with the pandemic still in full force, nurses need it now more than ever.

What does your organization do to promote nurse well-being? Share with us in our discussion below.

The AAHFN is a specialty organization dedicated to advancing nursing education, clinical practice, and research to improve heart failure patient outcomes.

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Blog Champion Spotlight 02/01/2022 4:41pm CST

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