Hundreds of nurses nation-wide participate in ‘NurseStrong’ health and wellbeing program

More than 1,500 nurses across the country have signed up to participate in the Australian College of Nursing’s (ACN) NurseStrong program to support their fellow colleagues and improve their own health and wellbeing.

ACN first launched the NurseStrong campaign in August 2018 in a bid to encourage the nation’s nurses to take time each day to focus on themselves. The program’s goal is to support nurses as they build their physical, mental and emotional strength within a safe and supportive environment. 

“Australians admire, respect and appreciate all that nurses do for them, yet as nurses we do not always give taking care of ourselves the same priority as taking care of others,” said ACN CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward.

NurseStrong is run in partnership with celebrity gymnast, athlete and personal trainer Lauren Hannaford, and all participating nurses will undertake Hannaford’s 12-week ‘FHIT’ exercise and healthy eating program.

Ms Ward says that the program is flexibly structured to accommodate for the long and irregular working hours of a typical nurse.

“The program is designed so nurses can take part anywhere and anytime of the day. With many nurses working shifts and long hours, this was a very important consideration,” she said.

In addition to the FHIT course, ACN has also created a private NurseStrong Facebook Group that allows nurses across Australia to seek and share advice as well as motivate and support each other throughout the program. The Facebook group is open to anyone who wishes to join, regardless of whether they are taking part in the NurseStrong program.

Ms Ward says the launch of the campaign has been extremely successful and has significantly exceeded its original sign-up goal of 1,000 nurses.

“The level of registration [for NurseStrong] shows that while it can be difficult to make time for self-care, nurses understand how important taking care of ourselves and each other is and want to help one another,” says Ms Ward.

CQ Nurse, part of Health Solutions Group Australia (HSGA), is proud to endorse NurseStrong, particularly because of its benefits for agency nurses. Workplace Health and Safety Manager, Kylie Rowan, says the program is “a terrific initiative.”

“As health care professionals, our HSGA staff are not immune to experiencing health issues just like anyone else,” she said. 

“Agency, remote and community work all carry unique stresses, and the demands of nursing and support in these environments may increase risk of developing health issues and illnesses.
“Taking the time to look after yourself in a holistic way - body and soul. Not only will it make your own health better, but will also make you better equipped to look after your patients.”

This October – National Safe Work Month – HSGA is joining NurseStrong in its campaign to encourage all staff to “take a moment” and look after their own physical, emotional and psychological needs.

All year round, HSGA also offers an Employee Assistance Program, which features 24-hour online resources including exercise, mindfulness and sleep to build, replenish and support emotional health.

Follow-up “care calls” are also made to each of our nurses following any placement in a new facility to check in, seek feedback and provide any support that may be required. HSGA has a dedicated team commitment to supporting our members’ health and wellbeing through quality, evidence-based services.

For more information on our support services, or to find out how to become a nurse with HSGA, visit: