New Research: N.J. Nurses Take Care of Everyone Except Themselves

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 Nurses Pledge to Improve Their Own Health in Celebration of Nurse’s Week

TRENTON, N.J.—May 4, 2017—To help the Garden State’s 125,000 registered nurses become their healthiest selves, New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) announced today that it will participate in the “Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ (HNHN)” initiative led by a consortium of health care organizations.

Sandra Foley (left), New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) Region 1 president elect and Susan Weaver (right), a NJSNA Board of Directors member, work out to get healthier.

Results from a recent American Nurses Association survey revealed that New Jersey nurses are living a lifestyle that could transform them into patients. According to the findings, nurses are overweight with an average body mass index of 27.6 (up to 24.9 is considered healthy by the Centers for Disease Control), rarely eat the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables (16 percent), and occasionally nod off while driving (12 percent).

“When I saw the results that showed nurses are overweight, have high stress levels and do not get enough sleep, I recognized that it was time for nurses to take care of ourselves,” said Susan Weaver, NJSNA board of directors member who is leading NJSNA’s involvement with the HNHN initiative, which is a program of ANA Enterprise. “Additionally, nurses are leaders, and being the most trusted profession, we should be healthy role models for our patients and each other.”

New Jersey nurses are urged to make a pledge to participate in HNHN through NJSNA’s initiative by creating and meeting a personal weekly goal. Pledges and goals from New Jersey nurses can be entered online.

“My personal pledge is to get more sleep, at least seven hours each night. Through my involvement with ‘Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation.’ I recognize that getting enough sleep is just as important as getting exercise and eating nutritiously,” said Weaver, a nurse scientist at Hackensack Meridian Health’s Ann May Center in Neptune. “Life is so busy that I would often do ‘one more thing’ at night, sacrificing sleep and feeling exhausted in the morning. I started tracking my sleep and am now trying to go to bed just 12 minutes earlier each night to reach my goal of seven hours of sleep.”

Participants in NJSNA’s program will receive weekly emails with tips to encourage them to stay on track toward their goals.

NJSNA’s program coincides with National Nurses Week (May 6-12), which celebrates the many contributions nurses make to keep America healthy and the launch of ANA  Enterprise’s HNHN Grand Challenge, a new initiative designed to transform the health of the nation by improving the health of America’s 3.6 million registered nurses.

“ANA Enterprise has a long-standing commitment to ensuring the health and wellness of the nation, and we want nurses to be role models of good health,” said ANA Enterprise CEO Marla J. Weston, PhD, RN, FAAN.  “Nurses are committed to caring for their patients, and they often put their own health aside. As a result, nurses are less healthy than the average American due to the demands of shift work, higher levels of stress and lack of access to healthy food.”

The HNHN Grand Challenge will connect and engage individual nurses, employers of nurses, state nurses associations and specialty nurses associations to take action to improve their health in five key areas:  physical activity, rest, nutrition, quality of life and safety. There will also be health challenges related to the key areas, such as a quality-of-life challenge with daily tips to reduce stress, in May, and a safety challenge with tips on safe patient-handling and mobility in June.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has designated 2017 as the “Year of the Healthy Nurse,” with the tagline, “Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit.” Each month, ANA will highlight various health, safety and wellness topics to help guide nurses on their journey toward their best health ever.

For more information, contact NJSNA at

PHOTO CAPTION: Sandra Foley (left), New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) member and Susan Weaver (right), a NJSNA Board of Directors member and a nurse scientist at Hackensack Meridian Health’s Ann May Center in Neptune work out to get healthier.


The New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) represents the interests of 125,000 registered nurses and advanced practice nurses as an advocate for the nursing profession. NJSNA, which was established in 1901, is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association. NJSNA’s lobbying arm continues to protect the nursing profession through legislative victories. Its nonprofit foundation, Institute for Nursing, helps nurses further their careers by providing continuing education, scholarships and research grants in addition to invaluable networking opportunities. For more information, nurses can visit or contact NJSNA at or (609) 883-5335.

About ANA Enterprise

The ANA Enterprise is the organizing platform of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the American Nurses Foundation.  The ANA Enterprise leverages the combined strength of each to drive excellence in practice and ensure nurses’ voice and vision are recognized by policy leaders, industry influencers and employers.  From professional development and advocacy, credentialing and grants, and products and services through its Nursing Knowledge Center division, the ANA Enterprise is the leading resource for nurses to arm themselves with the tools, information, and network they need to excel in their individual practices. In helping individual nurses succeed—across all practices and specialties, and at each stage of their careers—the ANA Enterprise is lighting the way for the entire profession to succeed.

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