The primary dictum for registered nurses, as health care professionals, is first, do no harm
The following are the principles of environmental health for nursing practice according to the ANA Principles of Environmental Health for Nursing Practice with Implementation Strategies
- Human health is linked to the quality of the environment.
- Air, water, soil, food, and products should be free of potentially harmful chemicals.
- Environmental and social justice is a right of all populations and assumes that disparities in health care are not acceptable.
- Current generations should meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
- Pollution prevention should occur at its source.
- The concern of nurses is promotion, maintenance, and restoration of people’s health.
- Nurses have an obligation to address health disparities and environmental justice.
- The nurse collaborates with other professionals, policy makers, advocacy groups, and the public in promoting local, state, national, and international efforts to meet health needs.
American Nurses Association. (2007). ANA's Principles of Environmental Health for Nursing Practice with Implementation Strategies. Silver Springs, MD, USA: American Nurses Association.