The Challenge

In 2011 I had a goal. Read more research, I was hoping to read 1 paper per week. That proved a bit unrealistic, or at least posting about it was, but the goal is something I still believe in. As frontline care providers, educators, administrators nurses have a responsibility to keep up to date with research. As a profession we need to watch trends and innovative to improve our workplaces, organizations and profession. To do this we need to know the emerging evidence and trends, to know where the gaps are and to develop research and projects to test our ideas.

To that end I encourage all nurses to regularly read research, attend continuing education events and to look for new media emerging online. Besides doing those for your own knowledge I want to encourage you to share it!

There are millions of nurses around the world and we all need to help teach and share what we are learning. To point to the important pieces of work that slip out into the world and to often quietly slip online and into the archives without making a big splash and immediately starting to change the way we think or practice.

I’m tired of practice change and implementation taking decades, it needs to happen sooner.

The Challenge

It is actually quite simple, here are the basics:

  1. Commit to regularly setting aside time for new knowledge
  2. Share what you learned about and what others can take away from it

Those are the two basics. How you do that is up to you. Not everyone is into having a blog, or using  Twitter. I always say, use the digital tools that suit your needs and if it isn’t online that is fine to. Share it in the way that works best for you and you feel can influence others in the way you know best. Maybe you could share it with your nursing colleagues over coffee, I know nurses that have a book club where they meet share food and wine and talk about research. Whatever works.

Sharing Research

One of my favourite nurse bloggers is without a doubt Joni Watson  RN, MSN, MBA, OCN.

Joni Watson RN Shares Research on her blog

 She has done one of the best jobs at sharing research she is reading on here blog. When she posts she shares:

  • The Article (Title & reference info)
  • Big Idea (summary of article)
  • Survey Says (Covers research involved)
  • Quotable (Take away points)
  • So What (How it impacts her thinking or could impact practice)

Twitter is easy and hard to share. Easy because it only requires a few characters, 140 at most and probably 120 by the time you include a link to the research you are sharing. The hard part is getting noticed. One great way is to have a bigger discussion around a topic, using groups like #RNchat (general nursing conversations held weekly Thurs at 9 pm EST)  or #IVchat (regular discussions about Infusion Thereapy) lead by Cora Vizcarra RN, CRNI, MBA  
We all know references lists go at the end of your research paper or on the final slides of presentations. Another great place we can make reference lists is online. A good friend and colleague Richard Booth (@rbooth5) started a shared research library through Mendeley. It is a place we can share papers on the topic of social media in nursing and healthcare. Using some online tools I share this list through my website.

Social media in healthcare reference list

This makes is easy for others to find the reference list and it also means all I have to do to update it is drop an article into that folder. I like it when sharing is simple!


Another great way to share information is by email. There are tons of email list serves out there and some hospital can email their entire unit. Why not ask your manager to share interesting articles in the next email that goes out to staff?
Google+ Sharing ResearchThe new Google+ communities are a great place to share research. They provide great discussion boards and an easy place to share content. The Nurse+  community is one of my favourite places to look for new ideas. I prefer this because doesn’t create an excess of emails, the way some listserves can. I love the content, but sometimes the email overload is a bit much. I’d highly suggest Google+ for those looking to find good nursing communities online with more focus than Twitter.

Those are just a few ways. Feel free to send me examples of how you share. I’d love to hear more. If you are already sharing research get in touch and I’ll try and share what you are doing and link to it!

Another thing I’m going to do to help share more research is to guest post your content. If you have a research article, you want to share what you learned at a conference or presentation, get in touch. Use the contact form below. The email can even include what you post content.