Blogging, nursing and lots of bicycle analogies!

Whilst helping a nurse friend to get blogging this week I noticed that my first blog post on this website was 5 years ago … although I had an anonymous blog before this one .. this blog marked my decision to be me in social media.  Back then I both tweeted and blogged under “Agency Nurse” I didn’t use my name, not because I was doing anything wrong but because I wasn’t very confident in social media and being a nurse in this space …perhaps not revealing my real name was akin to having stabilisers on your first bicycle, it gave me confidence and helped me to practice getting my voice just right.

bicycle-14863_640Back then things were very different, there were next to no blogging nurses, hardly any tweeting nurses and no NMC Social Media Guidance.  Blogging as a nurse was not really a “thing.” I recall, when i first set up my blog, reading through my copy of the NMC Code and checking off each point to make sure that I wasn’t compromising myself as a nurse by blogging … I was nervous as there was no one for me to copy or emulate, no one to show me the way, but, nevertheless I took a deep breath and published my first post.

I was really not sure what to expect – perhaps I hoped, (

to carry on with the cycling theme that I seem to have started,) to be an instant “Tour de France” type hit, find lots of other bloggers, for blogging to be taken up by every nurse that ever nursed and for blogging to be the best thing since sliced bread (or a red bicycle) for nursing.

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Of course the reality was more like this:

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It felt like I was on a journey all by myself … and it felt like that for a long time!

At this point you may be wondering why I kept going …. well mostly for me.  Quite early on i found that I liked blogging.  It helped me to reflect, to organise thoughts, to develop ideas and to challenge thinking.  But mostly it has been about moving forward and pushing the boundaries and by being determined, by working to raise the profile of how social media can help nurses and nursing I hope that this ultimately helps nursing to keep it’s balance … cue next bicycle analogy:

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Slowly I found more nurse bloggers, slowly I found that more people read my blogs (maybe it was because I got a little better) slowly I found that people began to comment and quote my blogs and slowly I felt that we started to move forward.

Blogging can do so much for nurses and nursing….. but in the main it can give us a voice, and we can use that voice to share ideas, experiences, research, thoughts, reflections, resources and so much more.  This in turn, due to the global nature of social media, makes who we are and what we do more visible …. and thats got to be a good thing.

So my stabilisers are definitely off, I’ve been blogging as me (and not anonymously) for quite sometime now and have clearly found myself helping other nurses to find the value in blogging.  Today see’s the launch of #70nursebloggers and #70midwifebloggers, backed by CNO Jane Cummings, this initiative blossomed from a tweet by Sam Sherrington where she suggested that we could encourage more nurses and midwives to get blogging by challenging 70 nurses and midwives to blog for the NHS’s 70th Birthday celebrations.  Read more about it HERE …. but this is my blog …. encouraging you …. yes YOU to get blogging.  You may need some stabilisers, it may not be quite the Tour de France to start with … but keep moving forward and you will find value in blogging.

As for me I am thinking it may be time for one of these:

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(Mostly because I kinda gotta keep going with the whole bike thing now, right up to the bitter end of this blog post … for which, dear reader, I humbly apologise!)

And as for the friend I was helping (way back at the start of this blog and before the bicycle stuff got in the way) you can read her first blog HERE

 

 

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