How to Stay Current in Healthcare as a Nurse Leader
Issues with healthcare advances, technology, and nursing news evolve and continuously change. Nurse leaders often realize early in their role that today’s information on healthcare trends could be yesterday’s news before the end of the day. But the busy schedule of a nurse leader can make it difficult to stay current with what’s happening in healthcare. Fortunately, technology offers a multitude of ways to keep up-to-date with news and upcoming healthcare changes without leaving the office. This can provide the nurse leader with relevant information to assist in leading and managing their organization.
Consider Social Media
It can be lonely at the top. Having peer interactions can be beneficial if nothing more than to validate that you’re not alone in your nurse leadership struggles. Conferences, webinars, and meetings with peers, thought leaders, or mentors are helpful, but can sometimes be difficult to fit into your schedule. Online professional nursing or leadership organizations, or LinkedIn groups, can offer opportunities for gaining insight, professional growth, and networking. The discomfort or worry of oversharing with local colleagues who may be seen as a competitor can be reduced with online interactions. You may also learn different methods of increasing productivity, reviews of new technology, or other topics of interest.
Most patients and employees expect to get their information online. It’s also often where your patients look to connect and gain answers to healthcare questions. Social media sites are often utilized for marketing and organizational branding, but there are other potential benefits. Focusing on specific sites can assist in learning more about the preferences of your patient populations. Communicating in real time can help build a trusting and supportive relationship with your patients and the employees you manage.
Choose Your Platforms
Sometimes it seems as if there are new social media sites popping up everyday. Choose sites that can help you stay current with what’s going on with your patients and employees, as well as ones that provide information about what’s happening in healthcare.
You may already have determined which platforms you prefer, and others that you don’t enjoy. Focus on those with the most relevant information to decrease the time spent looking for news and information whether it’s a blog, Facebook page or group, Twitter, Instagram, or a Podcast. A few social media sites for healthcare information include:
- Facebook- Show me Your Stethoscope (SMYS) The motto of SMYS is that they take care of nurses since nurses are always taking care of patients. This page provides advocacy and support for nurses.
- Instagram- @nineliveshealth Cat Golden is a self-proclaimed burnout survivor who started the #nursesinspirenurses movement. Burnout has been a hot topic in healthcare for some time. Seeking new ways to assist your nurses in identifying and avoiding burnout, and developing a work and life balance, can benefit you, and your staff.
- Twitter @AmJNurse The American Journal of Nursing has always been a great source to help stay current. Following them on Twitter can help you get a quick look at what’s happening in nursing research and nursing news. You might also find other nurse leaders to follow and add to your network.
If you’re unsure where to start, you can utilize a search engine, to pull from multiple websites to compile newsfeeds specific to your interest. This can allow you to quickly monitor relevant news.
Perhaps you’d rather gain information through listening. Podcasts are an episodic series of digital audio files that can provide instant access to a variety of healthcare experts on a range of topics that can help nurse leaders stay informed. A podcast could be fit into the time you’re commuting, while taking that much-needed break, during a walk, or downloaded to listen to any time that’s convenient.
- The Healthcare Policy Podcast can help you keep abreast of public health issues and healthcare policy issues. Healthcare experts discuss subjects like healthcare reform, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and issues regarding Medicare and Medicaid.
- Medtech Talk provides information on the latest in healthcare technology and innovations set to transform healthcare delivery. Listen to the latest updates on industry trends, tools, and technology that might help increase efficiency in healthcare.
- Happy Nurses. Happy Patients. provides updates on the latest trends in nursing and the perspectives of prominent nurse leaders in the industry. Each podcast episode is designed to be short and insightful, making it perfect material for commutes, lunch breaks, etc.
Often social media gets a bad reputation and can drain your time, but there are benefits to using social media for information and networking. It provides an easy way to connect with peers, gain information, and stay relevant. Focus on structuring your time, and limiting the sites you frequent to those that are the most beneficial.
There’s no doubt that technology has increased the challenge of staying up-to-date with changes in healthcare, although it also provides endless sources of information to assist in this endeavor. Determining which platforms or methods you prefer to frequent can help prevent feelings of being overwhelmed or distracted. This can help you to gain appropriate knowledge for your organization and employees.