What competencies on environmental health are needed in the nursing curriculum?

The health effects of climate change are being experienced across the world suggesting that climate change is the biggest threat to public health for the 21st Century.

Preparing nurses to be readily adaptable to the health impacts of climate change and challenges to the supplies of basic raw materials used in the delivery of healthcare is essential. However, limited attention is given to climate change and sustainability in nursing education; there is no clear guidance on curricula content for nurses or recommendations regarding the skills and competencies that will be required to face such a challenge.

For this reason, a systematic review has been carried out that focuses on the environmental competencies required and pedagogic approaches used to embed sustainability in curricula in nursing education, within the project NurSus TOOLkit in which members of our research team participate.

The findings of this review suggest that topics such as the use of resources, food, health promotion, globalism, disease management, and the environmental impact of delivering healthcare, if embedded in nursing education could support the nursing profession’s response for this new and important aspect of healthcare.

The full text is available at: López-Medina IM, Álvarez-Nieto C, Grose J, Elsbernd A, Huss N, Huynen M, Richardson J. Competencies on environmental health and pedagogical approaches in the nursing curriculum: A systematic review of the literature. Nurse Education in Practice. 2019; 37: 1-8.

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