In acute care settings, nurses comprise 35-40% of staff. Nurses are present in most clinical situations and have deep understanding of care processes. An environmental stewardship program is likely to be more successful when nurses are engaged and empowered to address environmental challenges.
This panel will highlight nursing leaders who have demonstrated success in advancing environmental stewardship in complex organizations. Moderator Shane Dunne will frame the challenges of integrating environmental stewardship and sustainability programs in busy, complex health care organizations with competing priorities. He will describe why nurses are in optimal positions to be influential in this arena.
Nurses Julie Kleber and Katie Cortes will describe the innovative Green Reps program and examples of focused environmental stewardship efforts at Memorial Sloan Kettering. The Green Reps are passionate champions who have individually co-founded dedicated Sustainability Task Forces on their units, bringing together other nurses to act as change agents advancing sustainable practices, and serving as models for how nurses at hospitals can mirror efforts to engage staff and drive change.
Dr. Schenk will describe a framework for nursing leadership in environmental stewardship that can be used at all levels. She will provide exemplars from her work in a large (50 hospital) health system, in a 13-hospital regional team, and at a single hospital. She will identify how the strengths of nurses are natural skills in environmental stewardship, leadership, and safe care.
Dr. Sattler will discuss nursing leadership in regional and national settings. She will describe the work of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, as well as descriptions of successes in planning for, mobilizing and engaging nurses in environmental health issues and events.