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Nurses Climate Challenge: Challenge Accepted

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing has joined an initiative to fight climate change. The Nurses Climate Challenge is a global initiative that brings together nurses around the world to educate health professionals about the health impacts of climate change. The belief is that as one of the most trusted professionals in the world, nurses can be the ideal advocates for increased climate action in the healthcare sector – a significant contributor to climate change, representing 4.4% of global net emissions.

“Pitt Nursing has committed to the challenge to arm their students with the knowledge and skills to care for a population dealing with issues of extreme heat, air pollution, volatile weather, vector borne diseases, and negative mental health impacts of climate change,” said Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean and Distinguished Service Professor of Nursing. “Being part of the commitment is a simple, easy, way to introduce climate and health content into the curricula.”

The Nurses Climate Challenge was launched in 2018. In 2020 a School Commitment component was added to empower nurses to educate their colleagues and community about the impacts of climate change on human health. Pitt Nursing joins 60 colleges and universities across the United States who are already taking part in the initiative.

“Faculty members hold multiple roles and having a turn-key solution of resources and presentations already prepared, allows for content to be easily implemented into current coursework,” said Jennifer J. Wasco, DNP, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing, and the School’s Nurses Climate Challenge liaison. “With the 2022 Report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change being released last month, the addition of a competency that nurses must understand the impact of climate change on environmental and population in the AACN Essentials, and the National League of Nursing’ recent release of a new vision statement on climate change and health, this is perfect timing to launch this initiative and we are eager to get started.”