Empowering Canadian Nursing’s Voice in Environmental Health
by © 2016 ~ June Kaminski, MSN PhD(c) and Fiona Hanley, MSN
Presented at Canadian Nurses Association Biennium, Saint Johns, NB on June 21, 2016.
Currently, many ecological issues demand societal attention, including climate change, food safety, and exposure to toxic contaminants and pollutants. Critical issues that influence the health of our natural environment impact all of the social determinants of health in many ways.
- Develop awareness of the interconnectedness of environmental and human health
- Analyze how environmental health is a foundation for primary health care
The Canadian Nurses for Health and the Environment (CNHE) is designing environmental competencies and curriculum to share with nurses and educators. We will introduce this work to encourage engagement and explore ways that nursing can collaborate with others to support environmental health.
This discussion included an overview of the innovative technological tools being developed by CNHE for teaching environmental health and developing ecoliteracy in nursing education and practice. Authors encouraged nurses to access these educational resources to inform primary health care practice through environmental health knowledge and competencies.
The Canadian Nurses for Health and the Environment - Infirmieres et Infirmiers pour la Sante et l'Environnement (CNHE/IISE) is currently preparing curriculum resources and learning activities that can be used by schools of nursing to integrate environmental and ecoliteracy content and theory into nursing curriculum. Nurses can also use these resources to develop their personal ecoliteracy. As part of this process, we are currently engaged in the following preparatory work
- An environmental scan of resources and activities currently offered by nursing schools;
- A review of the literature and available resources;
- A survey to gather input from nurses and nursing faculty about topics to focus on;
- Learning activities on a variety of ecoliteracy and environmental topics.