Promoting Climate Change Resilience

Kenneth W. Dion, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN; Daniel B. Oerther, PhD, MS, PE, FAAN (hon.), ANEF (hon.); Roberta Lavin, PhD, MA, RN, FNP-BC, FAAN


Nurs Econ. 2022;40(3):139-145. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Disasters associated with a changing climate create excess demand for emergency health care. Four case studies are used to highlight ways to help prevent excess demand for emergency healthcare services due to climate change. Nurse leaders are encouraged to expand their collaborations in climate finance to promote resilience to disasters and prevent excess demand for emergency health services.


Reports of climate change and health effects document a consistent result – changing climate (more intense and more frequent heat waves, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, etc.) is strongly associated with worse human health (Rocque et al., 2021; Romanello et al., 2021; Salas et al., 2021). Addressing climate change is essential to society, all healthcare professionals, and especially nurses on the frontlines of emergency response (Hastings, 2020). Nurses have a pivotal role in global climate action because nurses are the largest single healthcare profession, trusted, and close to patients who are most vulnerable to climate change (Butterfield et al., 2021).

The International Council of Nurses recognized climate change as one of the world's greatest threats (Catton, 2020). The Emergency Nurses Association adopted the position climate change is a health problem requiring a response by emergency nurses in the clinical setting and beyond the bedside (Kolbuk et al., 2021). Nurse leaders have an opportunity to assess new approaches at partnering for disaster risk reduction and helping to prevent excess demand for emergency health services due to weather-related disasters exacerbated by climate change.