Nurses are called unsung health heroes

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The vast majority of American nurses promote a culture of health in their communities but rarely get credit for their efforts, according to a recent study published in the journal Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice.

Results of the study, co-authored by researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Nursing at Chapel Hill and New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, found that as many as 80% of nurses do some form of volunteering in their communities that is directly related to promoting health and wellness. Still, very little information exists on such efforts, the study authors noted.

Nationwide, more than 20,000 nurses currently volunteer with the American Red Cross to assist during large-scale disasters. But about three-quarters of the 315 nurses queried in the study said their health promotion efforts were not work-related. These included fundraising, health fairs, church activities and family- , population- or disease-related volunteering, according to various reports.

Nurses also were asked about their health promotion habits in the 2016 RN Workforce Study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.