Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Nursing


The world as we know it is becoming increasingly impacted by complex and interconnected global challenges. From poverty, hunger and global pandemics to climate change and widespread inequities, people and planet are being affected. The ambitious goals for global betterment set by the United Nations (UN) in 2015 aim to address these global challenges as well as numerous others through the targets of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the year 2030 (UN, 2015). With the 2030 deadline fast approaching, time is running out for achieving the SDGs.

Nurses are recognised as key players in achievement of the SDGs, given that they constitute the largest professional group in the healthcare sector and possess extensive reach into the most isolated and vulnerable communities (International Council of Nurses [ICN], 2017). Numerous opportunities exist for nurses to make meaningful impact on the goals, particularly those related to health and social inequalities. The ability of the nursing profession to enhance its contributions and visibility of actioning the SDGs, however, may be hindered for multifaceted reasons. These reasons include a lack of awareness of the goals, a limited understanding of the connection between the role of the nurse and the SDGs, as well as a lack of comprehension on how the state of global affairs affects health. Nurses may also experience feelings of hopelessness and concern regarding the magnitude of the issues encompassed by the goals. To overcome these limitations and maximise impact towards the goals, it is crucial to increase awareness on the SDGs and the global challenges they aim to address, including how they relate to health. Educating and empowering nurses to recognise they can take action is critical.

FoR codes (2008)




Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.