Connecting nurses has been a passion of mine for a good few years now – working as an agency nurse I felt very isolated professionally for a very long time and this drives me to connect nurses and be connected myself. WeNurses currently has nearly 10,000 followers and my waking hours do not pass without my phone alerting me to a tweet – in fact we worked out recently that WeNurses is tweeted on average 4 times an hour. This is a pretty amazing statistic but it wasn’t always like that – I spent an awful lot of time in the early stages feeling like I was tweeting purely to the ether! I remember sending out tweets that were never answered so the fact that WeNurses is part of so much Twitter engagement now really warms my heart … as it means that nurses are connecting.
Yet however great connecting is we do have to always strive to think differently, push boundaries and drive the evolution of social media for nursing. Staying static in any environment is not an option but more so in social media and because social media is akin to life on steroids evolution too is a super-powered, super-fast process. When I first started WeNurses we were purely a fortnightly discussion forum for nurses however this is very different to the Wenurses we see today – now weekly discussions involve a range of professionals and also patients and carers, we involve organisations and encourage guest hosting, we encourage #nursecommunity and #madeadifference and we have recently developed a community blog. In addition to this we have shared our knowledge and cyber space with other professions & nursing specialities. We now do all of this across multiple platforms Twitter, Vimeo, Facebook, Pinterest, Prezi and Twibbon and using many different media – blogs, microblogs, videos, photos, pictures and infographics. That’s a whole heap of evolving that even Darwin would be impressed with!!
Through all of this I have remained very much in control of what is shared and how it is shared via WeNurses ….. but several conversations on Twitter lately have made me think about this. As nurses we are striving to empower the people we care for and give them control of their care ensuring that they take the lead in their own care … I talk a lot about #nursecommunity and how WeNurses is driven by the community … but is it really ??? I have been thinking a lot about how the natural next step in the evolution of social media and nursing is to become more social with social media. It was this thinking that led to the advent of the community blog, giving nurses an open forum in which to reflect, question and share expertise and it is now this thinking that has led me to hand over the @WeNurses Twitter reins to four people to be @WeNurses for a day. By opening up and giving people the opportunity to guest tweet for WeNurses we are evolving yet again to give a wider and more diverse nursing perspective … it’s a risk, and I have to say I feel like I am jumping off the edge of a cliff. I have tweeted for and nurtured @WeNurses right back to when no one tweeted back, so this is a difficult thing personally for me to do.
However if you do not jump how will you ever know if you can fly ?
Watch the WeNurses blog this week as we will announce our Guest Tweeters …. And please continue watch and engage and help us evolve some #NurseCommunity wings.