THE Australian College of Nursing has recently launched the Nurse Strong campaign, a 12-week online fitness and nutrition guide dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of nurses.
The program was launched on 1 October and was celebrated with a walk around the Lindisfarne foreshore by a group of nurses, some of whom were enrolled in the program.
Hobart registered nurse Janice Bartley said the Nurse Strong campaign was important and needed in the local and national nursing community.
“Nurses need to look after themselves, and they don’t always do that,” she said.
“It’s really hard to look after yourself when you’re a shift worker and you spend so much energy looking after other people.
“When I’m at work and I have patients, they come first, every single time.
“It’s really hard to walk off the floor and take a break when there is somebody laying in a bed who can’t do for themselves what they need to get done.”
Ms Bartley said all of the nurses she knew were inherently selfless, and their health would suffer as a result of their dedication to their work with patients.
“It’s so hard to find and keep a balance between looking after your patients and your own health, and that’s what the Nurse Strong campaign is all about,” she said.
“The stronger and healthier we are, the more able we are to look after our patients to the best of our ability.”
The Nurse Strong campaign includes an online fitness program, with simple exercise routines which focus on cardio and resistance training.
They have been designed in collaboration with Lauren Hannaford, an Australian personal trainer.
The program includes meal plans, meditation and self-care reflection, and a progress tracking element, all designed to be flexible for shift workers.
For Ms Bartley, the program will help her to be stronger so she can improve her ability to move patients at work without injuring herself.
Hobart was the only state to host a launch walk, and Ms Bartley said Tasmania had set a great example for the rest of the nation.
“The launch walk was a great event, it was so nice to get everybody out and about and to chat about work and self-care,” she said.
Ms Bartley said she hoped to continue having one walk a month until the end of the year to continue promotion of self-care among nurses.
“We want all Hobart nurses to get involved with the program and to start more conversations about self-care,” she said.
Nurse Strong is not only about promotion of an online fitness program and self-care initiatives – it’s about bringing the nurses community together as a whole.
“The whole point of the program is to get nurses to support each other to be happier, healthier, stronger and fitter,” Ms Bartley said.
“We’re stronger together.”
Caption: Hobart registered nurses Janice Bartley, left, and Anne Nitneth at the launch of the Australian College of Nursing’s ‘Nurse Strong’ campaign at Lindisfarne foreshore.