International Nurses Day 2022

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. During the pandemic we have all had to endure considerable hardship, but our nurses and healthcare workers have gone beyond the call of duty, day after day in life-threatening conditions, as a critical component in of our struggle against COVID-19 and its variants.

This month NEAFAN acknowledges Nurses Week 2022 and the nurses of our healthcare system who steadfastly and selflessly provide Canadians with the care and compassion that ensures our health. A recent report, An Environmental Scan of the Role of Nurses in Preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, presents results of an environmental scan of resources relevant to nursing professionals and nurses’ role in addressing alcohol misuse. Gaps in nursing education and practice guidelines regarding defining the nursing role in preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancies were revealed. Findings identified a need to promote adoption among nurses of evidence-based preventive practices to prevent alcohol misuse.

Nurses are in an ideal position to talk to their patients of reproductive age about alcohol use and to encourage the prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies. Effective conversations can be efficiently included in the clinical encounter to identify alcohol misuse and offer appropriate follow-up.