Nurse-sensitive environmental indicators: A qualitative study.

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Publication Date


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Journal of nursing management


washington; renton; montana; sph; environmental stewardship


AIM: This study aims to explore the proposed concept of "nurse-sensitive environmental indicators" among nursing and non-nursing leaders of environmental stewardship who work with nurses.

BACKGROUND: Aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, nurses are obligated to "practice in a manner that advances environmental safety and health." Little is known about environmental impacts in acute-care nursing.

METHODS: Nursing and non-nursing leaders of environmental stewardship across the United States (N = 9) were interviewed to explore the concept of acute-care nurse-sensitive environmental indicators. Transcripts were examined using qualitative descriptive analysis.

RESULTS: Thematic analysis revealed that nurses are in key positions to influence environmental change, need more education and awareness to be effective, and need leadership support and role-modelling. Issues related to waste were highly nurse sensitive; issues related to food, chemicals, and transportation were moderately nurse sensitive; issues related to energy and water were minimally nurse sensitive.

CONCLUSION: Preliminary consensus on nurse-sensitive environmental indicators was confirmed by leader participants in this study.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: To help meet environmentally focused Sustainable Development Goals, nursing leaders can use the concept of nurse-sensitive environmental indicators in planning, education, resource allocation, and leadership to improve environmental stewardship in acute care nursing.




Environmental Stewardship