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5-3 NCC Schools of Nursing Bring Climate Change into the Classroom

Nurses for Healthy Environments
Nurses for Healthy Environments
5-3 NCC Schools of Nursing Bring Climate Change into the Classroom

In episode 3 of the Nurses Climate Challenge series, Shanda interviews two nursing faculty members who are committed to climate education, discussion and engagement for nursing students. They reflect on their own experiences, strategies and approaches.


Cameron Kiersch DNP, RN holds a Doctor in Nursing Practice in Health Innovation and Leadership from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Kiersch is the Director of the Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing program at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he has been a nurse educator since 2017. As an emerging nursing education scholar, Dr. Kiersch utilizes a systems-thinking approach to prepare future nurses to lead interprofessional teams in the pursuit of solving complex problems like climate change and health inequity. Kiersch’s recent publication Collaborative Improvement Model: A Quality Improvement Approach to Curriculum Revision in Nurse Educator blends innovation with design in the pursuit of a forward-thinking curriculum that intentionally integrates environmental health. Dr. Kiersch believes nursing is well positioned to lead the way towards a carbon neutral future, and it is up to nurse educators to provide them with the tools to do so.


Sahar Nouredini, PhD, RN, CNS is an assistant professor of nursing California State University East Bay where she teaches masters, pre-licensure and post licensure students as well as leads the post-licensure program. She teaches courses related to community health, population health and environmental health. She earned her doctoral degree from UCSF’s Occupational Environmental Health Nursing Program. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Nouredini primarily worked as an oncology nurse and a public health nurse. She is dedicated to ensuring that the next generation of nurses get the training that they need to be better able to mitigate and respond to climate change.





About the Nurses’ Climate Challenge Podcast Series

The  2022 Nurses Climate Challenge series elevates nurses from all walks of life taking action to address the number one public health threat of the 21st century: climate change. Listen in as Nurses Climate Challenge founder Shanda Demorest, registered nurse and outdoor enthusiast, interviews Nurse Climate Champions inspiring others to take climate action. Co-sponsored by ANHE and Health Care Without Harm, the Nurses Climate Challenge is a national campaign with the goal of empowering nurses to educate 50,000 health professionals about the health impacts of climate change by the end of 2022.

Shanda Demorest, Guest Host of the Nurses Climate Challenge Podcast Series

Dr. Shanda Demorest, DNP, RN, PHN (she/her/hers) is a Sustainability Strategy Manager with Practice Greenhealth, where she works with hospitals and health systems to reduce their environmental impact. A cardiovascular nurse with horticultural training by background, Dr. Demorest earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Health Innovation and Leadership from the University of Minnesota.


About the Nurses for Healthy Environments Podcast

Since 2017, Beth and other hosts have interviewed dozens of nurses across the globe, all of whom are working at the intersection of health and environment. Practicing clinical nurses, faculty and educators, policy makers and elected officials, leaders of non-profits, students, and more have shared their work, commitments and perspectives.

There are two primary goals of the podcast. First, to spread the word about the fabulous work of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments – so we’re glad you found us! Second, to highlight and share the amazing and leading work nurses around the world are doing to help protect our natural world in order to support health and healing.

Again and again, nurses are spearheading social change, climate action,environmental justice, and improving health for vulnerable populations, while using their valuable clinical skills, teaching, and caring.  Nurses’ work can seem overlooked or taken for granted, and we are here to tell their important stories. We hope you enjoy meeting the nurses in the Nurses for Healthy Environments podcast!

Beth Schenk, Nurses for Healthy Environments Podcast Host

Elizabeth Schenk, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a leader of environmental stewardship in healthcare, where she has been working to reduce pollution from healthcare for 3 decades. Schenk is the executive director of environmental stewardship for Providence, one of the largest non-profit health systems in the United States. She led the development of CHANT: the Climate and Health Tool to understand perceptions, behaviors and motivations of health professionals regarding climate and health. She developed the WE ACT PLEASE framework for environmental stewardship, identifying key focus areas of Waste, Energy/water, Agriculture/food, Chemicals, and Transportation. Schenk serves on the national board of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, and on the boards of Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate and Climate Smart Missoula. She lives in Missoula, Montana.