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Metropolitan State joins the Nursing Climate Challenge

Preparing nurses to care for patients and communities in a changing climate is our priority at Metropolitan State University. The administration in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences announces the signing of a partnership with the Nurses Climate Challenge to educate the university’s nursing students on the health impacts of climate change.

“This partnership brings environmental health education with a focus on the hazards and risks associated with climate change on health to the Metropolitan State University nursing curricula,” College of Nursing and Health Sciences Dean Doris Hill says. “Climate change impacts the health of our communities and this partnership assists our students to learn about environmental justice and how to advocate for marginalized communities that are directly impacted by climate change. Many recent examples have highlighted the impacts of climate change on human health including wildfires, extreme weather events, and the pandemic. Our students need access to content that prepares them to care for patients impacted by climate change. The Nurses Climate Challenge School of Nursing Commitment provides free resources and a collaborative network to support faculty in integrating climate into curricula as they would like.”

Dean Hill signed the partnership agreement signaling Metropolitan State University’s participation in the Nurses Climate Challenge School of Nursing Commitment. Dr. Deb Eardley, associate professor of nursing at Metropolitan State, brought awareness of this initiative forward to a small group of faculty champions. Dr. Amy Harding, assistant professor, spearheaded the initiative on behalf of the nursing faculty. The proposal was supported and championed by  several other faculty including Dr. Karen Gutierrez and Dr. Pat Schoon.

Partnering with the Nurses Climate Challenge will prepare faculty to teach this important topic through open-access, evidence-based content and engagement in a learning community committed to sharing strategies and challenges for integrating this content into nursing programs. 

The health impacts of climate change are gaining attention, making it an important aspect of nursing care. Metropolitan State University recognizes the importance of teaching our nursing students about climate and health. By partnering with the Nurses Climate Challenge – a national campaign mobilizing nurses to engage and educate health professionals and students about climate and health – Metropolitan State is able to incorporate a comprehensive set of easy-to-use resources to prepare our nursing students to better care for patients and communities in a world with a changing climate. One example is this student-produced public service announcement, "Microplastics and the Effect on Our Water".

Metropolitan State University Department of Nursing joins a cadre of leading nursing schools across the country working to implement climate change curricula into nursing programming. Read more about the School of Nursing Commitment

The Nurses Climate Challenge is a global initiative delivered by Health Care Without Harm in partnership with the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments that aims to mobilize nurses to educate health professionals about the health impacts of climate change. As one of the most trusted professions worldwide, nurses are ideal advocates for increased climate action in the healthcare sector.

Climate change is already damaging human health and will have a greater impact in the future. Healthcare is at the forefront of this, bearing the cost of increased disease prevalence and more frequent extreme weather events. At the same time, the sector is also a significant contributor to climate change, its climate footprint representing 4.4% of global net emissions. The United States is the largest contributor to global healthcare emissions, while the European Union follows closely as the third-largest contributor.

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) at Metropolitan State promotes educational advancement through uniquely designed programs, community partnerships, scholarly activities, and academic excellence that are guided by the mission to prepare graduates to enhance the health of under-served and diverse populations. With 533 students enrolled in nursing programs, the CNHS currently offers a full range of degree programs in nursing and dental hygiene including the Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN), Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN), Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education Bachelor of Science in Nursing (MANE BSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), preparing nurses for advanced practice as family nurse practitioners; Bachelor of Science program in Dental Hygiene (BSDH), Post Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Dental Hygiene, and the Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy (MSADT) program, which is the first program of its kind in the nation, preparing baccalaureate educated and licensed dental hygienists for the new dental provider role of Advanced Dental Therapy.

Metropolitan State University, a member of Minnesota State, is the Twin Cities public, urban, comprehensive state university providing lifelong learning, and competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels.