Planetary Health and the Role of Nursing: A Call to Action


Kurth AE. Planetary Health and the Role of Nursing: A Call to Action . Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 2017.


To discuss the drivers of planetary health, responses, and the role of nursing in making health systems more resilient in an era of increasing stresses. As health providers, scientists, educators, and leaders, nurses have an obligation to prepare for climate change and other impacts of ecosystem strain on human health.
Design and Methods
Review of literature relevant to a planetary health framework.
Population displacement, new disease patterns and health needs, stresses on air quality, food production and water systems, and equity concerns, as well as the generation of sustainable energy, are all intimately related to health.
Nurses are key to achieving the sustainable development goals that, like the planetary health framework, focus on environmental sustainability and human well-being. Nurses contribute to resilient health systems, as trusted leaders and providers of health care, and as advocates and change makers impacting the world.
Clinical Relevance
It is critical that nurses and other health professionals consider the multiple effects of ecosystem strain on human health, and anticipate population health and health system planning and response.