Adult Nursing students in clinical skills laboratory

A new UK network to help nurses to become more sustainable has launched today – thanks to input from academics at the University of Plymouth.

The Green Nurse Network, led by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH), is now available for students and practising professionals to consult and keep up-to-date with the best sustainable nursing practice online.

The resource has been developed over the last two years by the CSH in collaboration with Plymouth’s Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, the Royal College of Nursing and Medact, and offers a range of activities to support the development of sustainable nursing practice. 

The network is designed to:

  • be an empowerment tool for nurses developing sustainable nursing practice
  • connect like-minded nurses and enable them to share best practice, collaborate on project ideas and build stronger relationships with one another
  • keep members abreast of issues and insight in sustainable nursing, as well as inspire innovative thinking and problem solving
  • host resources such as evidence, opinion and discussions and structure these items in a systematic way
  • provide a central hub for the sustainable nursing practice programme.
The launch follows that of the University’s European nurse education sustainability initiative – the NurSus TOOLKIT. A collection of research-led resources, the TOOLKIT is designed to help nurses and health professionals throughout Europe embed sustainability into their teaching and learning; offering lectures and activities that can be adapted to meet the needs of students studying subjects such as geography, design, nursing, midwifery, environment, public health, and health planning and management.

Janet Richardson, Professor of Health Service Research at the University of Plymouth, who led on NurSus and the Plymouth collaboration for the Green Nurses Network, said: 

“With the work we’ve been doing at the University across the continent we were so pleased to be involved in this UK network and help to further promote sustainability in nursing.”

Rebecca Gibbs, Sustainable Specialist at the Centre of Sustainable Healthcare, said: 

“This is a great next step on the road to developing future-proofed nursing practice. I’m looking forward to working with colleagues to develop approaches to care that work for patients and the planet.” 

Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: 

“This is an initiative which addresses an issue which is important and critical for all of us. I’m delighted that we now have a way for nurses who are taking the risks to health from climate change seriously to cooperate and share best practice. The Royal College of Nursing is committed to supporting nurses, students, and nurse educators to develop sustainable approaches to clinical practice and to provide excellent prevention and care to patients suffering as a result of heat waves and floods.

“I hope this initiative is just the start of a journey of discovery for our nursing workforce, one that tangibly demonstrates the power that each and every nurse has to make our health and care system truly sustainable.”

Professor Janet Richardson on the NurSus TOOLKIT:

Climate change is a huge challenge in health care – but this new resource will help nurses and health professionals face it.