Study: Nurses’ Smoking Rate Drops - ANA HealthyNurse™ Program Positions RNs as Role Models

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By example, registered nurses (RNs) are taking actions to demonstrate that they are role models for their patients for living healthier lifestyles.

The proportion of RNs who smoke dropped by more than a third between 2003 and 2011, from 11 percent to 7 percent, according to a new UCLA study tracking changes in smoking prevalence among nurses and other health care professionals. The rate of smoking among nurses decreased by 36 percent, compared to a 15 percent decline among the general U.S. population.

The finding appears as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. surgeon general's first report calling attention to the negative health consequences of smoking. It also coincides with the recent launch of the ANA’s HealthyNurseTM program, which encourages RNs to pay attention to self-care and embrace opportunities to serve as role models, and ANA’s Health Risk Appraisal, an online assessment of RNs’ personal and occupational health.

The UCLA study’s results appear in the January issue of JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, which commemorates the surgeon general's landmark 1964 Report on Smoking and Health. Read the study: "Changes in Smoking Prevalences Among Healthcare Professions from 2003–2010/11."