When you scored your dream nursing job you thought you had it made. You had a steady income, a rewarding career and you knew you’d help people every single day.
In some ways, you still do have it made because you still have and do all those things. And although your job is tough, you have to do more than show up to work every day to stay on track. In the constantly-changing world of healthcare, you need to keep up to date on all the new trends to really be a successful nurse.
Don’t worry—it’s not as complicated as it sounds. In fact, it’s easy to keep up on trends in nursing once you have the right tools and know where to look. Here’s where to start:
1. Download nursing-specific news apps
As you know, the healthcare field is constantly changing and, of course, nursing is no exception. It can be difficult for any nurse to keep up, whether they’re brand new or have years of experience. Here’s a secret: You likely have something in your pocket right now that will help you. Your phone!
Many helpful nursing apps can be of use no matter your career stage. If you can’t quite remember a specific medical definition, for example, Black’s Medical Dictionary app could help you figure it out. Or if you’re stuck when it comes to a nursing plan, Nursing Care Plans 2014 has 100 templates for you to choose from.
There are also an abundance of apps for student nurses who still have a plethora of tests to take, a few apps for nursing journals and even some apps that can help you manage your schedule or make you an organizational pro.
2. Follow nursing blogs
If you want more information on breaking news these days, what do you do? Obviously you don’t wait until the next day’s newspaper anymore. Maybe you turn on your TV to CNN or MSNBC. Chances are, though, you’ll head to the Internet and see what you can find. So why wouldn’t you do that for nursing news?
Nursing bloggers are usually focused on just one thing—nursing! That means you get hyper-focused content about information you need and, as a bonus, you get the benefit of the conversations that happen around blogs. It can be overwhelming once you realize just how many bloggers out there focus on nursing. Don’t worry, you don’t need to read them all! Just pick a few favorites and follow them.
You’ll likely find some bloggers interested in the same things as you. For example, one nursing blogger focuses on the stories of being a school nurse while another writes about being a rehab nurse. Other bloggers dole out nursing career advice, ideas on nursing and technology, the humorous aspects of nursing and nursing support.
3. Join professional nursing organizations
Nursing organizations can help student and professional nurses connect, keep up to date on education requirements, search job listings or attend local events.
The range of nursing organizations covers nearly every possible nursing specialty. Looking for an association for neonatal nurses? There’s the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. Do you want an association that focuses on student nurses? Look to the National Student Nurses Association. There are even associations for nurses who want the support of others who share their race or ethnicity, such as the National Black Nurses Association and the National Association of Indian Nurses of America.
Sure, there are probably several organizations that could fit you. So how do you choose? Choosing a professional nursing organization doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. It can help to ask a trusted nursing friend or instructor about organizations of which they’re a member. You should also take a look at each organization’s benefits to see if any stand out to you.
4. Follow nursing-related social media accounts
This one is big. Social media can give you up-to-the-minute nursing news if you know where to look (Hint: think Twitter!). Nursing Twitter accounts, much like nursing blogs, can cover nursing in general or a specific aspect of the nursing world. Some, like @MaleNurseProbs and @NurseEyeRoll, cover the more humorous aspects of the profession. Others, like @ScrubsMagazine and @NurseTogether, bring together nurses to form a community, and their tweets reflect that.
If you’d like your social media to be more visual, good news—plenty of nurses are on Pinterest, too. There you can find boards full of nursing memes, educational infographics and uniform ideas. Some, like Noteworthy Nursing, even have student-focused pins.
Your dream nursing job is still your dream, so why stop learning about it or connecting with other nurses? Whether you want to hear about the latest medical procedure or just have more to talk about around the water cooler, checking out news apps, joining nursing organizations, following bloggers and paying attention to social media can all put you on the right path.
If keeping up with trends in nursing isn’t enough, take a look at 5 Healthcare Innovations Impacting Medical Professions to see how things like remote patient monitoring or Google Glass might change your hospital or doctor’s office in the future.