It’s hard to believe that a year ago tweeting as a nurse was discouraged by many directors of nursing and hospital trusts. I remember at the conference last year the audience were asked how many of them tweeted and a very small amount of people raised their hands – then last week at the CNO Summit this had changed significantly with over 50% of delegates raising their hands to the same question. But you don’t have to believe me you only have to look at the comparative figures to see the impact over the past year.
There can be no doubt that a huge change has occurred! Maybe down to Anne Coopers plenary last year extolling the virtues of being in a digital space or maybe down to the CareMakers enthusiasm and energy or maybe due to the permeation of the #NurseCommunity into nurses hearts and nursing culture. Whatever the reason it is clear to me that that it is not only in the numbers that had changed but also the language we are using – it was interesting to hear Jane Cummings talk of communities and not networks, the importance of a warm supportive community seems to have reached the very top of nursing. It was also great to see movements such as @GrangerKate‘s #hellomynameis being embraced throughout the conference and entering into the language of the speakers and delegates.
There was a time when I sometimes had to be careful who I told that I was a tweeting nurse for fear of reprisal or ridicule. Having started off my journey into social media anonymously I was well aware of healthcare’s attitude towards social media so to be able stand up and say “Hello my name is Teresa and I am a tweeting nurse” in front of a room full of senior nurses at the CNO Summit as I did this week it was somewhat of a revelation! I have to admit to being quite nervous about presenting a seminar at the conference. Having Sally Wilson (@WeLDnurses) and Alison Inglehern (@MHnursechat) alongside helped but having the voice of 12,000 nurses invading the conference via twitter really did give me courage. We asked the tweeting #nursecommunity to help us out using #CNOtweets and tell us why they tweet and why Directors of Nursing should tweet and we were totally overwhelmed by the help we received:
(To see all of these tweets please go to the WeNurses website)
On the morning of our presentation at the conference I awoke to my phone buzzing from tweets and once I started reading them not only was I incredibly emotional (and spent the first half an hour of the day in tears) but also very proud of the impact that this wonderful community has had on so many. We received at total of 801 tweets from 184 people over the course of the morning. So thank you to those of you who shared their thoughts – we had a twitter wall running whilst we presented our seminar and even read out some of the tweets. There were a few tweets that stood out but one in particular really hit home for me from @nursemaiden “As a nurse you will never walk alone with twitter by your side” This is how I feel. And as I stood at the front of the room at the CNO Summit and delivered our seminar I felt as though I had thousands of nurses right by my side ….. thank you all for being there.