Can Nurses Use Blogging and Storytelling to Improve the Nursing Profession?

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Most people know that blogging is an excellent way to tell stories and share information. It places power with individuals and allows anyone anywhere the ability to have a voice. But even thought it’s a great medium for storytelling, can nurses who blog use their online presence to improve the nursing profession? Can they use their voice to connect with others nurses and make a positive difference?

I often see blogs that are mindless ramblings and recounts of the day that are seem to be posted out of obligation rather than with purpose. I have been guilty of this myself both online and off. Just talking to hear myself talk or blogging to put a new post up just so something is there. But I know this doesn’t provide any real value.

Having a voice without having a message is pretty much useless. What’s the point in talking if you aren’t really saying anything?

I think that nurses bloggers have to be particularly aware of this likely criticism. It’s pretty much the norm to hold nurses to impossible to reach standards. Nurses who blog are often help to those same expectations as well.

But I don’t think these expectations should be completely disregarded. There is good reason to examine the words you put on the internet to see if they provide value. For nurses, I think it’s also important to examine the words so that our profession isn’t represented poorly either. Although there are are some nurse bloggers who disagree with me on this, I feel that we have an obligation to the nursing profession to use or blogs for good and to help others rather than just ourselves.

Nurses who blog have the ability to add real value to the internet. We have platforms to raise awareness of issues that nurses face every. We have an opportunity to offer suggestions and solutions that others may not have thought of. We have a chance to make a positive difference in the nursing profession.

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Blogging is modern storytelling that can reach bigger audiences more quickly. Nurse bloggers can tell their stories to help other nurses find strength and feel more empowered. They can share opinions and ideas and get conversations started.

It’s not enough for us to complain around the water cooler about the things we hate about our profession. We have to make a bigger commotion. We have to offer solutions. We have to connect with others and form movements. Blogging makes this easier than ever to use storytelling to empower nurses to make a difference both online and off.

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15 thoughts on “Can Nurses Use Blogging and Storytelling to Improve the Nursing Profession?”

  1. Started off on The Great Nurse Chat room and mingled with nurses it was a great experience. Now im inspired to start a blog but am afraid I no one would want to read my blog. But honestly, we work in such a dynamic atmosphere and I have stories for days!! looking for inspiration

    1. Tanya, I say all the time that the internet is big enough for lots of nursing blogs. You are going to have a perspective that I won’t have. You will notice things that I don’t. Start writing, the readers will come.

  2. Nursing Shortage

    Yes, nursing blogs do help patient and nurse. I read about your nursing blog on the Rasmussen college website. You come highly recommended 🙂 I was recently diagnosed with leukemia and spent (and still spend) a good deal of time at MD Anderson. I have a new found appreciation for nursing and nurses!

  3. Such an important article Brittney!

    Being able to use social media/digital media is vital now a days. Nurses have stories to tell and can connect with eachother on these platforms. Our website did a similar blog post regarding nurses and social media: 

    I am sharing your article on my Twitter as I’m sure my followers would love to read it!

  4. Hi Brittney,
    Your blog gave me a sigh of relief after stressing about an assignment in my Teaching with Technologies nursing class in which I was to visit a blog or wiki site related to nursing and/or nursing education, share what I found during my exploration, and reflect on the postings.  I have never blogged before and had no idea where to get started, much less find the purpose of this assignment.  I have only put it off for 10 hours now before coming upon your site and now the fear is leaving me.  Why does technology make me so nervous? I know I am not going to break anything.  Just like you mention the benefits of incorporating technology into patient care to improve outcomes, as a future nurse educator, I am learning that making the classroom student-centered with interactive learning strategies, such as blogs, audio/video streaming and wiki will improve student’s motivation, learning and retention.  So far, I have learned how to embed audio in power points and create a Voki.  Now, I’m blogging to you…this is progress!

  5. elizabeth scala I was once a frequent complainer myself. I find myself slipping into negativity every so often and have to snap myself back out of it.

    I appreciate your comment because it justifies that others appreciative a positive attitude much more than just “rant” sessions. 

    What good is complaining without offering solutions?

  6. JoyceF thank you Joyce. I’ve had some posts that were just words. No meaning. I try to use my blog to share information that is valuable. Whether it’s technology tips, or branding and motivational words for nurses and nursing students. I’m so glad that there are other nurses using their blogs for the same purpose.

  7. Brittney, I enjoyed reading this post.
    It reminds me why I blog in the first place.
    When I started blogging, I would blog about chocolate, noise in the nurses station, and stuff that really had no value, -or added any value to anyone.
    Then one day I attended a seminar where I learnt to always ask the Question? 
    Did my story help anyone?
    I feel always trying to answer this question has helped my blog improve from the
    chocolate-storytelling  days.

  8. I love this post, Brittney. There is enough complaining out there (in person and online). It makes me crazy. At times I feel I may get ‘yelled at’ or ostracised with my ‘out there’ ideas of solution-based thinking. AWESOME post on highlighting how nursing must be the voice of empowerment. I really enjoyed reading your article, thank you.

  9. bbbboynton  actually Beth, Elizabeth and I both participate in a blog carnival.

    I do think that nurses voices after often ignored. We’ve always been the low man on the totem pole. Administrators run out of patients or time when it comes to listening to our complaints after they’ve already field the complaints of physicians and others deemed “more important” than nurses. 

    However, I still firmly believe that you get more flies with honey than you do vinegar. We really can’t expect to be taken seriously if all we do is complain and offer no solutions.

  10. Hi Brittney,
    Interesting that you and Elizabeth Scala are blogging about storytelling although with different slants.  I enjoyed reading both.  I agree with you re:  responsible nurse blogging and will offer a couple of points. One is that it is a leadership responsibility to somehow be constructive even if criticizing or ranting.  Another is that I wonder if nurses, and ok, this is a big generalization, but if nurses’ voices have chronically been ignored, dismissed, undervalued that there is a need to be heard and validated.  This may explain some of the ranting.  I don’t find it very entertaining to read chronic negativism…I guess we need a little room for it but it is really important not to get stuck there. 

    My last point is to share that I had the honor with other nurse leaders to write commentary in  a book called, “Toxic Nursing” by Cheryl Dellasaga & Rebecca L. Volpe and they used stories from Nurse Bloggers to recreated vignettes that we responded to.  Sometimes there is a waiting period between speaking up and being heard and this seemed like a testimony to nurse bloggers sharing their stories.  

    Here’s Elizabeth’s post fYI

    And now my story is that I must go out and shovel and get to work at 3p….Here on the coast of NH.

    Take care,

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