It was some 2 years ago now that Calvin Moorley and I wrote for the Journal of Advanced Nursing Using Social Media For Continuous Professional Development and much has changed. Revalidation has been implemented and more and more nurses are engaging professionally via social media. However I think much of this article is still very relevant and the concept of using social media for CPD is still very new to some.
A few weeks ago someone asked how many nurses were using social media for continuing professional development, not being sure of the answer I thought that a quick straw poll via Twitter might shed some light:
A resounding (and I say resounding for reasons that will become clear in a moment) 37% said yes!! So why resounding … well I think that’s pretty amazing as look at how far we have come … it wasn’t so long ago that social media in nursing was totally frowned upon and here we are at a stage where people are using it to inform their work. What was more interesting were some of the comments we received following this poll:
Which is pretty wonderful as people clearly are thinking about it, and I started to think that maybe as peoples time to Revalidate comes closer this will spur them into action? Then I read Jenny Clarkes blog post Revalidation – My Journey and I loved how she made a passing reference to using social media for her CPD … it made it all so common place and .. well .. normal! Social media is part of our everyday “normal” lives and it’s becoming part of our everyday “normal” working lives, some of us are further along on this journey than others but its wonderful to see how nurses (and midwives) are creatively using their time in social media spaces to inform their work as practitioners.
This leaves me with a few questions? How do we help the “not yets”? How can we make using social media for CPD easy and accessible? How do we help people to become socially CPD savvy? Here are some of my suggestions:
- Just because a conversation is virtual don’t rule it out as a learning point for CPD
- Be open to learning anything from anywhere – a tweet, a YouTube video, a blog, a Twitterchat, a Facebook post, an inforgraphic (I could go on!)
- Remember to critically appraise the information you are presented with – this doesn’t have to be formal but it’s important to always dig a little deeper and not take things at face value
- Use #MyWe – its fab for reflecting on Twitter Chats for CPD (and its free!!)
- Use blogs to their full potential – comment on them, add your reflections and join in discussions in the comments section, take screen shots and add them to your portfolio. Also write your own blog and use it to reflect on practice and learning (the WeBlog is really simple and easy to use for those of you without a blog of your own) and add this to your CPD portfolio
- Think differently – no matter what social media you use or how you use it think a little differently about it, ask yourself the question “can I use this for CPD?” if the answers yes take a screen shot and save it
- Share what you learn from so that others can use it for their CPD too
- Share the value of using social media for CPD with colleagues (there are some handy posters HERE and HERE that may help)
Of course, I don’t have all of the answers, merely a few suggestions … the wonderful thing about social media though is that one thought often leads to another and I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions around social CPD.