Nurses gather at RCN to think through 'nursing sustainably'

Rebecca Gibbs's picture

At the first day of its kind, nurses gathered at the RCN's headquarters on 13th April to think through what sustainable nursing practice might mean for the profession and for their own settings.  Janet Davies, the RCN's chief executive, welcomed us and set the scene speaking on what the RCN is already doing and how it can play a key role in taking action on climate change and health.

The day itself was evidence of the RCN’s commitment, funded by the College and welcoming participants from diverse areas of clinical practice and nurse education.  In a comprehensive session of case studies we heard from nurses working on: food growing, waste reduction, improving patient experiences through reducing resource use, sustainable NHS estates and the power of time in green space. 

During lunch participants were able to meet with organisations such as CSH, Medact, Care Without Carbon and find out about NUS’s Green Impact programme.  The World Café session in the afternoon asked participants to discuss and record action they are already taking, what they would like to do and what they need to achieve those goals.  It was clear from the lively discussion that this part of the day could have claimed the afternoon!  One table leader commented on how much she’d enjoyed seeing nurses new to sustainability get really excited about the possibilities.  Perhaps the atmosphere and enthusiasm is best summed up by a Tweet: Thank you @theRCN for an amazing day. Meeting passionate leaders in #NursingSustainably head filled with exciting new ideas :)

The names of those interested in participating in a nursing sustainability network have been collected.   If this includes you but you weren’t able to make it to the day or you’d just like to hear more please contact me at rebecca.gibbs[at]sustainablehealthcare.org.uk  I’d love to hear from you.

For more on the day visit @NursingSustainably

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