The following resources help nurses, advanced practice nurses, and nurse practitioners demonstrate to patients how a low-fat, plant-based diet can prevent and reverse chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Please help advocate for healthy communities by sharing these tools with your personal and professional contacts. For additional information, please contact Caroline Trapp, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., B.C.-ADM, C.D.E., PCRM's director of diabetes education and care, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-686-2210. Join the PCRM Nurses Nutrition Network >
General Resources for Nurses
Encourage your patients to join PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart to begin receiving tips and recipes. Based on research by Neal Barnard, M.D., one of America’s leading health advocates, this program is designed for anyone wanting to explore the health benefits of a vegan diet. This program repeats the first of each month.
Vegetarian Starter Kit
Health Care Providers Information
Breaking Medical News
Waiting Room Materials
Downloadable Fact Sheets
NEW PCRM/AADE Nutrition Education Scholarship Opportunity
Diabetes Resources for Health Care Professionals
A group of researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine are examining the differences in gut bacteria in vegans. If you are interested, please contact Erin Gilroy at email@example.com or 215-746-4218. Tell her that you learned about the study through the Penn Vegan Society.
Want to be featured as a Nutrition Nurse in Action? Send your name, a short statement about your experience(s) with vegan nutrition and a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your credentials, professional affiliation(s), and city/state, if you'd like them listed. Stand up and be counted as a nurse championing the cause of nutrition to prevent and treat chronic disease. Below, read about nutrition nurses in action.
Chris Kafity, R.N.
Chris Kafity, R.N., B.S.N., Alfred Kafity, D.O., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.G., their sons, and their daughter-in-law participated in the Physicians Committee’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart and collectively lost more than 400 pounds.
Ms. Kafity lost 35 pounds, reversed her diabetes, and is now off all medications. Her triglycerides went from 500 to 140, and she eliminated her eczema.
Ms. Kafity started Be Plant Healthy, a series of plant-based nutrition courses at Fisher-Titus Medical Center. Several participants have dramatically improved their diabetes, lost weight, and improved Crohn’s disease.
Meg Mulder, R.N.
Meg Mulder, R.N., a graduate student at the University of Michigan, learned firsthand about preventive nutrition after a lecture presented by Caroline Trapp, PCRM’s director of diabetes education and care. Meg decided to test-drive the approach and has inspired family members, friends, and patients in the process.
Whole foods soon replaced meat, oil, and dairy products. Meg was pleasantly surprised at what she saw: cheaper grocery bills, improved health, and increased energy for her upcoming wedding. Her friends lost weight, family members managed chronic pain, and her patients soon eliminated the need for diabetes medications.
Meg’s favorite resource is www.21DayKickstart.org and her favorite meal is homemade vegetable fajitas.
Laura Ann Schlenker, R.N., B.S.N., C.E.N.
I’ve been an ER nurse for more than 12 years, including several years spent as a nurse for the Army. My new goal is to keep people from ending up in the ER through the use of a plant-based diet as preventative medicine.
When I joined the Army, I was at the top of my game. However, due to a hectic schedule and unforeseen circumstances, I stopped exercising and transitioned away from healthful eating habits. After I left the Army, I began managing an ER in Texas. I became sick and was diagnosed with multiple allergies. Due to allergies and stress, my weight climbed.
A couple months later, I seized an opportunity to move back to the Northwest. I took over an ER in Washington and a year after moving there, I met my future husband, Joe. We went and did things I didn’t think I would ever do again—like wine tasting, traveling, and going to sports games. We’d both been having some health problems and were potentially at risk for diabetes, but when we watched Forks Over Knives together, things started to click. I did more research and found Dr. Barnard and PCRM. Almost immediately, I was inspired to start a vegan diet.
I did all of this mostly for Joe, but my own results have been amazing: I eliminated migraines, went off all medications, and started to run again. I haven’t felt this great in years!
My new lifestyle inspired my parents, my brother and his wife, and several of my friends to switch to a plant-based diet. I’m grateful for this newfound knowledge and am passionate about helping others stay out of the ER and live a healthy lifestyle.
Annette Marinkovic, B.S.N.
Annette Marinkovic, B.S.N., is a nurse specializing in pediatric acute pain service at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. She completed PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart in 2010 and lost 50 pounds, eliminated chronic pain, and improved her overall health.
Annette thought she was pretty healthy but her wake-up call came when scary chest pains sent her to the emergency room. She was sent away with a clean bill of health, though nearly obese and with a family history of heart attacks and stroke. Annette knew she needed to change. After seeing Dr. Barnard’s nutrition special on PBS, Annette decided to take action: She immediately transitioned to a low-fat, plant-based diet. Her energy increased and the pounds continued to drop. She soon reached her high-school weight. Now, Annette is in the best shape of her life and loves to kayak, cycle, and run.
Jacquelin Deatcher, N.P., C.D.E.
I have been advocating a plant-based diet with my patients for several years, and I am thankful that the USDA has finally advocated this simpler approach to diet than the long-standing food pyramid (adopting MyPlate). I do find that my patients who choose a well-planned plant-based diet have better blood glucose control and even more flexibility in the carb content of their diets, due to the low glycemic index of high fiber fruits and vegetables. Weight loss is also easier, which is important to the vast majority of type 2 patients, who are overweight. I have found it important to consider that just becausea patient has type 1 diabetes, this does not protect him or her from having insulin resistance issues. High-fat foods, as Dr. Barnard has pointed out, cause insulin resistance; they are the "gum gunking up the works" when the proverbial key (insulin) won't work inthe lock (cell "door"), for example. So a useful approach with my patients has becomeexploring the relationship between blood glucose excursions and not just carb content (carb counting), but also carb quality (glycemic index) and fat content (high-fat meals causing insulin resistance, resulting in higher BG levels even hours later). I have seen quite a few patients significantly decrease their need for insulin or oral medications (some even stopping them) by adopting this healthier way of eating.
I find PCRM's Vegetarian Starter Kit and Diet and Diabetes: Recipes for Success to be most useful; they give simple ideas to get started, with excellent recipe suggestions. Dr. Barnard's DVD has been very helpful as well, generating quite a bit of excitement in a number of my patients. Thank you PCRM!
Jacquelin Deatcher, N.P., C.D.E.