Is nursing competence evident online ?

I am now over halfway through my series of blogs about how the 6Cs are evident in our online behaviour having already explored courage, communication and commitment I want to take a little look at competence.

I believe that competence is very much in the eye of the beholder and each person will measure competence differently so it is important to understand what is required in order to explore competence.  Whilst doing some leisurely surfing online I came across this diagram:


This shows the entwined relationship between knowledge, skill and attitude and how they combine to produce competence. Looking at competence from an online nursing behaviour perspective is quite challenging but if we break it down into these areas it is possible to recognise competence.

knowledgeKnowledge – You only have to read through the latest WeNurses chat transcript to see that there are an awful lot of very knowledgeable nurses out there in the Twitterverse.  Furthermore the knowledge is as wide and diverse as nursing itself and is being shared at a phenomenal pace and on a global scale.


attitudeAttitude – Sarah Fraser expressed the attitude of the online nurse community rather eloquently in her blog Is #wenurses THE NHS social movement? Sarah wrote “These are nurses who don’t talk about what’s wrong, or complain about the reforms. They are asking questions about how they can be better at what they do, how they can get help in understanding changes” This is something I wholeheartedly agree with, the online nursing community have a “can do” xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxattitude and what’s more it’s highly contagious!

skillSkill – Now this is a little tricky as one would assume that nursing skill is tied up in the practicalities of our roles from administering medications to inserting catheters and beyond.  However what about some of the skills we often forget about? Communication skills, leadership skills, role modelling skills and our skills in supporting our colleagues and being part of a team are all skills that are highly evident in our online behaviours.

As I move through each of the 6Cs in this series of blogs it is becoming more and more evident to me that the more I am aware of the 6Cs the more I see them, recognise them and in turn the more they influence my own nursing. But the one thing that strikes me with competence is the overwhelming evidence that more and more nurses are becoming competent users of social media on a professional level.  Nurses are using social media in a safe, responsible and productive way however nurses who see the value of connecting in this way are still in a minority, therefore it is imperative that  we continue to share our knowledge, be positive in our approach and keep on acting as role models and lead the way.