ANA Issues Updated Climate Change Position


According to the World Health Organization, climate change is the biggest health threat facing humanity. This assertion opens ANA’s latest position statement–Nurses’ Role in Addressing Global Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health­–which was released today. This new position statement builds on previous work at ANA around the nurses’ role in addressing this global health issue. Recognizing that climate change is a critical public health issue, the position statement calls for nurses to take action while providing additional guidance for nurses in all specialties and settings.

Foremost, ANA calls on nurses to integrate the science of climate and health in nursing education, research, and practice. Nurses also must work with other stakeholders and policymakers to identify and implement approaches to addressing climate-related health impacts. The vital role of the nurse in the nation’s health care delivery system makes our nurses critical contributors as climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts are identified and implemented.

ANA outlines several recommendations for how nurses can affect change in professional settings and in state- and federal-level legislative and regulatory advocacy. Recommendations for nurses in the professional setting include educating patients, modeling and promoting strategies responding to the impacts of climate change, and prioritizing nursing workforce capacity for disaster/climate change preparedness. State- and federal-level legislative and regulatory advocacy recommendations include advocating for underserved patients, calling for just and equitable climate responses in public health, and promoting coalitions and other partnerships.

ANA also provides guidance for all nursing organizations to build on member education, and collaborate with partners and stakeholders to strengthen the influence nurses have on climate change legislation and policy. Further, the position statement details the importance of supporting research led or supported by our nurses to further identify innovative and real approaches on climate change and climate justice.

Such efforts will be futile if we fail to participate in policy making and fail to engage in climate justice. Which is why it is imperative for nurses to use their voice to lead action aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change and to protect vulnerable individuals, families, and communities responding to changing climate conditions. As the most trusted profession, nurses are in a unique position to also serve as a source of hope—acting ethically on behalf of their patients.

ANA does not have all the answers to climate change and its outsized impacts on healthcare delivery. As a first step, it is critical that we all recognize that the health concerns related to climate change exacerbate every issue our nursing organizations actively work to resolve. The threat of climate change will not be addressed in a silo—an all-hands approach is called for to make real and lasting progress on this issue. The guidance and recommendations in ANA’s newest position statement are a call to action, and a call for nursing leaders to get involved.

Additional ANA Resources:

ANA House of Delegates Resolution (Historic policy, 2012) — Nurses’ Role in Recognizing Educating, Advocating for Healthy Energy Choices

ANA House of Delegates Resolution (Historic policy, 2008) – Global Climate Change

State Approaches to Using ARPA Funds


Passed through The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) via the 117th Congress, $195.3 billion dollars of the total $1.9 trillion dollar package has been allocated to states through The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF).

Although individual state circumstances will be different, highlighted below are examples of how the ARPA allocation process occurred in Delaware, Kansas, New Mexico and Vermont. We wanted to provide these examples as indicative of how nurses and the nursing community have been advocating to be included in these funds.

How Funds Have Been Awarded

While states formed varying types of committees to examine SLFRF requests, each state’s interpretation of its constitutional and statutory provisions that outline authority over unanticipated federal funds and authority to spend during a state of emergency vary greatly. Processes ranged from decision making solely vested in governors, in state legislatures or a hybrid/joint approach between the executive and legislative branches.

ARPA funds must be allocated by December 2024 and expended by December 2026 and were generally released in two rounds. States have earmarked a portion of these funds to cover payroll and benefits expenses for health care/public health employees, specifically “the portion of an employee’s time that is dedicated to responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency” per the US Treasury Department’s Final Rule (31 CFR Part 35. RIN 1505-AC77).

Capacity building, workforce expansion and associated infrastructure have been priority areas, with the use of ARPA funds increasing not only the number of current nursing students, albeit also enlarging the ability to hire faculty and train nurses across communities and practice settings. Specific utilization data can be found through the National Conference of State Legislature’s ARPA Funds Allocation Dashboard.

State Examples

  • Among other funds, Delaware received $500,000 from the state’s allocation to develop free, easy to access, evidence-based tools and programming for nurses coping with various issues exacerbated by the pandemic. Delaware’s State Clearinghouse Committee coordinates the ARPA process and consists of the Secretary of State, representatives from the House/Senate and the Director of the state’s Office of Management and Budget.
  • Kansas announced a maximum of $50 million in available funding for hospitals to either provide premium pay or improve retention of nursing resources and support personnel, approved by the SPARK Executive Committee (comprised of the Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House, President of the Senate and private sector representatives). This emergency funding provided immediate support for Kansas hospitals to manage the COVID-19 surge and addressed critical shortages in nurse staffing across the state.
  • New Mexico’s Governor directed $15 million of ARPA funds to increase capacity and expand nursing training programs after meeting with the New Mexico Nurses Association and representatives from the wider New Mexico nursing community. 16 institutions received funding which cumulatively added slots for pre-licensure nursing students, developed tutoring to help students pass the licensure exam, retained nursing faculty and expanded clinical sites to rural communities.
  • Vermont’s Governor signed legislation after advocacy from the Vermont Nurses Association, ultimately appropriating two million for emergency grants to support nurse educators, $400,000 for preceptorships $2.5 million for pipeline/apprenticeship programs as well as several million more in collective loan incentive and forgiveness programs.

ANA and our Constituent/State Nurses Associations will keep advocating as funding continues to be appropriated and released. Please feel free to reach out to Jason Richie, Associate Director for State Government Affairs and Policy at with questions or for more state specific details.  

No Pride in the Status of Health Care Rights for the Transgender Community 


As we close out Pride month, it is important to reflect on the state of access to quality compassionate health care for LGBTQ+ communities. As LGBTQ+ Liberation makes a step forward, there is always a backlash right on its heels. Transgender individuals specifically face immense danger for living authentically, which includes having access to gender-affirming health care. They are more than four times more likely to experience violence, including sexual assault, than cisgender people. Instead of offering more support and services to this community, anti-trans legislation has grown exponentially. Before 2021 there were no gender-affirming care bans in law. Today 16 states ban this essential health care for young people. There are over 350 active anti-trans laws attacking access to care, instituting criminal charges for providers, child-abuse charges for supportive parents of transgender children, and much more. 

The risks of violence and legislative bans have undeniable implications for high-quality, equitable health care delivery. In fact, such tactics are antithetical to nursing practice. The Code of Ethics for Nurses states that “the nurse practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person.” Nurses are not only advocates for their patients and the right for everyone to receive the health care they need – nurses practice evidence-based care. Research continues to prove that gender-affirming care improves the overall wellness of gender diverse young people. Laws banning this care are passed under the guise that they are protecting children and parents. In reality, these laws “are not grounded in reputable science” and instead promote misinformation endangering the lives of transgender people across the country.  

Nurses continue to be voted the most ethical professionals and hold a unique and enduring level of trust with their patients. From schools to primary care and emergency rooms, we need to be increasing access to comprehensive and compassionate nursing care for the entire LGBTQ+ community. Nurses can ensure they are LGBTQ+ compassionate by following best practices and talking to their colleagues about barriers they witness in their workplaces. Even though June is over, the work to ensure the right of equitable health care for this community must continue year-round.