#NursesActive is over for another year, we can safely head over to Twitter without being bombarded by nurses climbing stairs, climbing mountains, running, walking, jumping, swimming, cycling in fact we are safe from a whole range of active pictures….. all joking aside though … this year was absolutely brilliant ! Not only did #NursesActive win the WeActiveChallenge but we totally smashed it.
Year on year we collect #NursesActive data, and whilst I won’t go in to the minuture it’s safe to say that we have always lagged behind those amazing (if slightly annoying) #AHPsActive. This year though, right from the starting pistol shot, #NursesActive were a force to be reckoned with. Here are just a few of the impressive statistics:
- 2823 nurses participated in #NursesActive
- There were 27,156 tweets sent in total
- The Twitter reach was 157, 397, 960
- There were 9527 #NursesActive pictures tweeted
- So that’s (at least) 9527 time that nurses were active throughout the challenge
- The best day was the final day when 674 pictures were tweeted!
- 86% of people stated that #NursesActive inspired them to do more physical activity or exercise than usual during August
- 94% of people stated that they would keep going with that physical activity post #NursesActive
- 84% of people stated that they experienced physical or mental health & wellbeing benefits from taking part in #NursesActive
- 88% of people said #NursesActive helped them to feel part of an online community
- And finally 97% of people said that we should do #NursesActive again next year
Pretty amazing hey! But why is that? What was different about this years challenge? Why did so many nurses participate? What were the magic ingredients? And most importantly can we replicate and improve for #NursesActive 2020? Here are some of my thoughts:
5 years of running the challenge – there is a lot to be said for longevity and we have been running WeActiveChallenge for 5 years now, which means that nurses are getting really used to this popping up on their Twitter timeline … perhaps we have even tweeted enough that nurses thought “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” 5 years is a significant period of time and the impact of this challenge being around for that length of time cannot be underestimated.
Key community influencers – every year that we have run WeActiveChallenge we have had nurses who have been key influencers, but this year they seemed more vocal and more encouraging than ever. You can see (if you squint a bit) the nurses who were the key influencers in the image above. The image is Twitter avatars of all of the nurses who tweeted into #NursesActive in 2019, ranked in order of “most tweets” first. (for a live version of this CLICK HERE) As you can see this is truly a community led challenge with top key influencers job roles (as per bio) including:
- Lead nurse for Childens Directorate
- Patient Safety Fellow
- Respiratory CNS – community
- Programme Manager
- Nurse – CXH CDU / Acute Frailty Unit
- Nurse for life
- Lead Nurse – Professional Development
- Director of childrens nursing
- PALS Service Manager
- Nurse leader
- Deputy Divisional Director of Nursing & Midwifery
- Adult and Paeds Nurse
It was great to see that no matter what peoples job role or number of Twitter followers they still influenced and inspired others and really kept that challenge going for the full 31 days.
Organisation participation – This year we saw more organisations taking part and encouraging their staff to take part in #NursesActive and this was utterly fantastic. It was great to see spin off hashtags such as #ImperialActive and key influencers and nurse leaders from those organisations leading the way and inspiring nurses within their organisations and beyond to take part.
Making it realistic – it was important to realise, and acknowledge that not every nurse is a marathon runner – myself included! We were very careful this year to ensure that everyone felt included and even a little activity should be encouraged …. parking further away, taking the stairs, a 10 minute walk, energetic housework or gardening were all included and celebrated. Having no expectation on the range of activities was definitely a key ingredient to #NursesActive success.
Nurse leaders – It’s clear to see (from the image of key influencers above) that there were a good number of national nursing leaders who took part and joined the #NursesActive challenge. For a good number of years now the brilliant nursing leaders at Public Health England have really embraced the challenge and led the way but this year it was great to see nursing leaders from NHS England and NHS Improvement joining in too…. this could be because this year we made an effort to alert them all by tagging them into tweets … so it was great to see that they picked up on it and joined in. On some level if national leaders take part in drives like this it creates a “permission” for others to follow suit, so it was amazing to see that nursing leaders well and truly embraced this. It’s absolutely wonderful to see nurses health being taken seriously in Public Health England, NHS Improvement and NHS England.
Strategic approach – Many of the things that we do at “We” are very organic and up until now this has been the case with #NursesActive, however after so many years of being beaten by #AHPsActive we felt it was time for a more strategic approach this year. So we sat and created a plan of action:
- we made sure that we tweeted 3 times a day, at peak nurse tweeting times, about the challenge;
- we put aside time two or three times a day to RT people, answer tweets and encourage people;
- we created mini challenges like “take the stairs Monday”;
- we tagged and included nursing leaders and key influencers into tweets
- we created montages of our favourite pictures
- we kept the momentum going for the full 31 days
It was fun – what more can I say here … it was fun and that is a massive reason as to why so many people took part!
New graphics – we already had many inforgraphics and pictures from previous years but this year we created more graphics from pictures that were tweeted out. We made them bright and bold and eye catching.
Nurses taking their own health seriously – part of me has to believe that actually the success of #NursesActive has a large part to do with the fact that nursing culture is shifting and we are starting to take our own health seriously. If we, as nurses, are not fit and healthy then how can we take care of others? This is something I have been banging on about for a number of years now and I am so heartened to see the shift. Our role is hugely challenging so our own health (both physical and mental) is ridiculously important, we need to look after ourselves so that we can care for our patients … as the saying goes “put your own oxygen mask on before helping others.”
Competition – of course, it’s worth mentioning that WeActiveChallenge is a competition and where would we be without our very worthy adversaries #AHPsActive. The AHP’s of Twitter definitely played their part in #NursesActive’s success, (sorry AHPs) but without them being so brilliant and amazing and incredibly inspiring with their tweets, videos, gifs and pictures the I do believe that nurses would not have been spurred into action. A bit of healthy competition goes a long way … thank you #AHPsActive.
A little bit of magic – sometimes the key ingredients for making great things happen include a little bit of magic … that certain something that no one can quite put their finger on … I think that this was definitely the case for #NursesActive 2019.
Whatever the ingredients it’s clear to see that every member of the nursing community on Twitter came together and played their part, this years #NursesActive was all about team work, it was all about being in it together, it was all about inspiring each other and the most important thing of all was that two thousand eight hundred and twenty three nurses each made a difference to their own health. I can’t wait for #NursesActive 2020, we will certainly be following the recipe above and adding in more ingredients along the way, so that together we can inspire more nurses to take action on their own health …. AND with 2020 being the Year Of The Nurse what better excuse is there to look after ourselves !
Finally I would like to personally say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who took part … you were bloomin fantabulous!