During the spring of 2019, the New Brunswick Environmental Network Children’s Environmental Health Collaborative Team Nurses, invited registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) to respond to a brief survey on nursing and environmental health. The survey was disseminated through the Nurses Association of New Brunswick’s electronic bulletin. Members who received the bulletin were able to click on a link that took them directly to the survey found on the Children’s Environmental Health webpage.

The survey results were as follows:

Nineteen nurses responded (18 English and 1 French).

17 respondents shared that they were not prepared to address environmental health concerns as a RN or that they had ‘limited knowledge’ in environmental health. 2 respondents stated that they knew of good resources to refer to patients, including the New Brunswick Lung Association, federal government websites and resources from the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Nursing (Fredericton campus).

All 19 respondents shared that they were given little or no time to even consider environmental health concerns in their clinical practice; that there was a lack or readily available resources related to environmental health in their work place; and /or that they perceived the employer did not have environmental health as a priority for them as a RN employee.

Additionally, all 19 respondents stated that they’d like short educational webinars and tools to learn about the environment as it relates to health, including electronic links to print off or share
with patients and/or colleagues.

For further information and to learn more about Team Nurses or the Children’s Environmental Health Collaborative please contact nben@nben.ca or visit the Collaborative's home page.
The New Brunswick Bill of Rights to Protect Children's Health from Environmental Hazards is an initiative of organizations working together through the New Brunswick Children's Environmental Health Collaborative.

Children are far more vulnerable than adults to harm from environmental hazards, and childhood exposures can result in health effects throughout their life stages and into adulthood. Although children in Canada and elsewhere in the world already have a right through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health”, this does not explicitly address protection from harm to their health due to environmental hazards. 

VISION
To develop and promote practical and enforceable laws that will:
  • recognize the particular vulnerabilities of children
  • protect children's health from environmental hazards, and
  • promote healthy indoor and outdoor environments that support children's health and development.                                   
                                      
TAKE ACTION
Children should have the right to special protection from environmental hazards to ensure that they can live and grow in healthy environments. Do you agree?  
 

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