Madison, Wisconsin — May 7, 2018 — Dr. Bernadette Melynk kicked off Nurses’ Week at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing by sharing her evidence-based strategies for promoting health and wellness among the nursing workforce. Her presentation offered accessible, actionable, and inspiring ideas tailored to nurses and health systems but relevant to all of us.
Dr. Melnyk is vice president for health promotion, chief wellness officer, professor and dean of The Ohio State University College of Nursing and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the OSU College of Medicine. She believes schools and colleges of nursing play a critical role in developing and advancing a culture of health for the nursing profession and the entire healthcare system. “We should be role-modeling healthy lifestyle behaviors, creating cultures of wellbeing,” Dr. Melnyk says.
At OSU, Dr. Melnyk installed standing desks and implemented standing meetings, the latter of which both minimized time spent sitting and increased meeting efficiency. A true scientist, Dr. Melnyk also requires data collection and analysis for all wellness efforts and programs. “You’ve also got to have metrics,” she says. “We measure outcomes of every single thing we do every single year.”
Nurses, she believes, are well suited to wellness leadership roles. She notes that health promotion has long been fundamental to nursing practice, and she believes nurses have the best preparation and expertise to drive the wellness charge in educational institutions and other organizations. She wants to see more nurses in chief wellness officer roles in schools and colleges of nursing across the country.
“Dr. Melnyk’s compelling messages about health promotion and leadership within the nursing workforce are important for all nurses to hear,” says Dr. Linda D. Scott, School of Nursing dean and professor. “Nurses are better able to care and advocate for patients when they also care for themselves and advocate for healthy workplaces, organizations, and systems.”
You can view Dr. Melnyk’s presentation online at: https://go.wisc.edu/nursesweek2018
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