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Once viewed as frivolous, blogs are quickly becoming popular within the nursing community. Known to the Internet savvy as the blogosphere, nurses are using their blogs to reach out to each other and as a way of promoting the nursing profession.

What is a blog? 

Basically, a blog - a shortened version of the words "Web log" - is an online journal.

Writers use a blog as an online journal/diary, or as an electronic podium to discuss a particular subject. 

Blogging Web sites usually consist of stories, articles, or other media, presented in reverse chronological order. Blogs are usually interactive, allowing readers to give feedback by posting comments about blog entries. 

According to a survey published by the Pew/Internet & American Life Project in July 2006, blogging is bringing new voices to the online world. 

Fifty-four percent of the bloggers surveyed were not traditionally published authors, and while usually young, the survey indicates that writers otherwise represent a broad demographic spectrum of people who cite many different reasons for writing a blog. 

The survey also reveals that about 8 percent of Internet users (roughly 12 million adults) in America keep a blog, while about 39 percent (roughly 57 million adults) read blogs. 

In addition, the survey found that 8 out of 10 bloggers expect to be blogging in the future. 

Millions Surfed

There are an estimated 55 million blogs in cyberspace, and everyday more of those blogs are being written by nurses. 

Most nurse bloggers write about their life and experiences, including what they experience at work, while others blog about American culture and national healthcare policy issues.  

Kim, an ER nurse from San Francisco, writes about her nursing experiences on her blog, Emergiblog. She doesn't use her last name to protect patient confidentiality. 

Kim said blogging has greatly influenced her professional life. 

"I would never have decided to go back for my BSN without the debates and discussions in the nursing blogosphere - and I'm just one nurse, one blogger," she said. "Multiply that by thousands and the influence of the nursing blogosphere can be significant."

Kim said blogging has great potential within the nursing community, but only a relatively small number of nurses read blogs as of yet.

As blogs become more widespread and are read by more nurses, she believes the effectiveness of blogging within the nursing profession would increase.  Blogs will increase as more and more nurses find their voice online," she said.

Emergiblog's popularity within the blogosphere has grown since its inception, and in December Foxnews.com named Emergiblog as one of the Top 10 Health Care Blogs on the Internet. Kim's blog is also in syndication at nursingvoices.com.

Global Appeal

Alisa Schneider, executive vice president of the National Nursing Network Organization, is a contributor to the National Nurse blog, which is used as an interactive Web site where people can learn about the National Nurse initiative, and learn how to get involved in political action.  

The National Nurse Web site is visited not only by nurses and general public, but by political leaders, as well, Schneider said. 

"The amassing of 42 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives could not have been fully realized without the site," she said, referring to the number of who support legislation establishing the Office of the National Nurse.

"Nurses have used the sample letters and phone scripts to inform Congress of their concerns for many other nursing and healthcare related issues, Schneider continued. "It was exiting to hear that Lois Capps, the sponsor of the National Nurse Act, has linked her Website to our blog. That meant greater connection for her supporters, and for National Nurse Web site readers to important legislative issues."

Tammy Swofford, RN, a nurse and Lt. Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, is author of tammyswofford, a blog focused not only on nursing, but also cultural and societal aspects of American life. 

Swofford has been blogging for 2 years, and she has impacted the blogosphere with her spirited commentary. Swofford is also passionate about world affairs.

Describing herself as patriotic, Swofford weighed in on a story published by Newsweek that inaccurately reported the desecration of a Koran at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq by U.S. troops.

BBC News picked up her blog entry, and she was quoted in their story, "Blogging Newsweek's Nightmare" in 2005. Swofford received feedback from around the world, and she continues to blog in support of U.S. troops. 

"I think that people took me seriously because I'm a nurse," she said. "Nurses are trusted by the public."

Swofford believes nurse bloggers will continue to have a positive impact on the profession, as well.

"Blogging gives nurses a way to exchange ideas with each other," she said.

Sources
http://tammyswofford.blogspot.com/
www.emergiblog.com
www.nationalnurse.org

Terri Polick is a frequent contributor to ADVANCE.


Articles Archives
 

Hello, I'm Darek, I'm a nurse and also a writer for http://www.startingnursingagency.com, yes I agree, blogging is been very helpful for us nursing, it helps us in a lot of ways, also we can share our current events and insights...

Darek Moore,  NurseApril 14, 2012
USA, MN



I've found these type of blogs to be a very helpful tool and have learned a great deal from them. Another useful blog I've found is @ http://www.americantraveler.com/travel-nursing-blog/

Jack WilsonFebruary 04, 2010



Hey, I actually started my own blog. It can be found at http://medicalassistantschools.me

Michael July 28, 2009



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