NNU is taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and health of nurses, our patients, and our communities during the COVID-19 crisis. As part of these efforts, we will be making adjustments to our continuing education schedule and moving classes online wherever possible. Nurses registered for the courses below will be notified of any changes 2-3 weeks prior to the scheduled date of their class. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will return to in-person classes.
Please check back regularly for updates.
Over the last several decades, the human impact on the Earth’s climate has exponentially increased, initiating an environmental crisis that threatens the sustainability of our planet and the wellbeing of its inhabitants. This course examines the implications of the anthropogenic disruption of the planet’s ecosystems for human health and health care, from changing ecologies of infectious disease to increased exposure to environmental toxins and natural hazards.
We will analyze the structural causes of environmental change by investigating how an economic system oriented towards limitless extraction, social relations rooted in consumption and competition, and cultural assumptions about human dominion over nature affect not just the natural environment, but the social distribution of health, wealth, and resources. In doing so, we will pay particular attention to how the adverse health effects of environmental change disproportionately impact already vulnerable communities, compounding systemic injustice and economic inequality. The class will reflect on the ways in which climate change is relevant to not only the health of patients, but to the integrity of clinical practice and functioning of health care systems by considering how it disrupts all conditions of care—from supply chains to infrastructure—increasing cost and undermining public health. Finally, the course will illustrate strategies that nurses are already implementing to respond to the structural causes of the climate crisis and offer tools for building a democratic and just transition to a more sustainable future.
Course Objectives :
Upon completion of this class, participants will be able to:
- Grasp the fundamental science and terms of climate change and familiarize students with contemporary studies of anthropogenic climate disruption.
- Link environmental change to health and healthcare determinants and demonstrate how it disproportionately affects already-vulnerable populations, including in the Global South and economically disenfranchised communities everywhere.
- Articulate the structural causes of climate-induced health issues and the social forces that create environmental inequalities.
- Offer strategies for counteracting environmental injustice, addressing climate change, and “justly transitioning” to democratic and sustainable energy systems.
Times and Credits: 10am - 2pm. The class is worth 3 CEH
What will the future of nursing look like? Will the quality of patient care improve along with the quality of nurses’ jobs? Or will emerging technologies and a changing health care environment degrade the nursing profession and undermine patient outcomes? This course will survey key health care trends and help nurses understand how they can shape a future in which they will have the time, resources, professional autonomy, and safe workplaces they need to provide the care their patients need.
The first part of the course will analyze how nurses are affected by a broader crisis in care work. The second part will focus on technological change in health care, the factors driving it, and its impact on nurses and patients. The final section will explore how Medicare for All and other crucial reforms would empower nurses to reclaim the future of their profession and ensure that care work is truly valued and given the respect it deserves.
- Articulate how gender stereotypes shape the way care work is perceived, defined, and valued in our economy, and how this in turn affects the American healthcare system.
- Describe recent technological trends in health care, and explain why technologies ostensibly introduced to complement nurses’ skills, ease workloads, and improve patient outcomes often have the opposite effect.
- Describe how a Medicare for All (single-payer) system works and identify other concrete measures nurses can take to improve job quality and quality of care in their workplaces.
- Explain how nurses can work with patients and their communities to address the crisis of care, shape technological change, and achieve health justice in America
Nursing has been described as both a science and an art. What is the science of nursing? In what ways is nursing an art? How does one describe the multidimensional role of the RN? How do we express the art of nursing? Is the humanitarian nature of the art of nursing in danger? And, how do science and art help nurses to articulate the essence of their profession in the context of societal, political, and health care delivery changes?
This course will examine all these questions as we look at the impact of blind reliance on technology on the science and art of the nursing profession; how it will cause an erosion of skills for the next generation of RNs who (unless stopped) will be “trained” in tasks instead of “educated” in skills; and how it has the potential of destroying the professional practice of registered nurses.
- Articulate the unique patient advocacy role RNs hold in the health care delivery system.
- Explore the potential of technology replacing human interaction in the delivery of patient care.
- Recognize the potential of technology to supplant RN critical thinking and independent clinical judgment with rigid clinical pathways or RN displacement and/or override technologies.
- Discuss technology's role in the health care industry's restructuring of provider roles.
- Define the critical role all RNs have in maintaining the science and art of the nursing profession to preserve holistic care.
Workplace violence is a growing epidemic in hospitals and other health care settings. Nurses and other health care workers encounter 5 to 12 times more workplace violence than workers overall in the United States. Simultaneously, nurses report extremely high rates of stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and burnout. Research has shown that as many as 86 percent of nurses report burnout syndrome and 22 percent of nurses have symptoms of PTSD.
This class will investigate the epidemics of workplace violence and burnout and what they mean for nurses today. Using national and state-level data and peer-reviewed literature, we will examine the relationship between the structure and management of the health care industry and risk factors for workplace violence and nurse burnout. Understanding this relationship reveals powerful structural solutions to workplace violence, stress, and burnout for nurses.
Upon completion of this class, participants will be able to:
- Describe the epidemics of workplace violence and burnout among nurses.
- Explain the impact of workplace violence and nurse burnout on patient care.
- Discuss how direct care nurses can take steps to end the workplace violence and burnout epidemics.