It’s crazy to think about the social media boom that has occurred over the past decade. Facebook was invented in 2004. In 2009, FB had 350 million users. In 2012, it had 1 BILLION.
That’s what we nurses call an epidemic.
Social media in healthcare is blossoming.
And although caution should be exercised when a nurse uses social media in any capacity, the benefits to the profession are numerous.
Top 5 Things Nursing Has Gained From Social Media
1. Professional Development
Online communication and social media provide flexible opportunities to engage in a variety of professional activities that might otherwise be missed due to barriers such as time, geography and cost. A group of midwives in New Zealand developed a Virtual International Day of the Midwife Event. They wanted to create a way for midwives around the globe to share information, discover new evidence-based research and promote collaboration. E-conferences are popping up everywhere. Check out what opportunities might be available to you and take advantage of your colleagues’ knowledge, wherever they are in the world.
2. Networking and Job Opportunities
AMN Healthcare conducted social media and job search surveys in 2010 and 2011. Thirty-one percent of healthcare clinicians used social media for professional networking. In 2011, 48% of clinicians reported using social media when looking for a job, a number that grew 10% from the prior year. More than half surveyed said that they were approached by recruiters via social media.
3. Staying Current
Healthcare news and progress continue at a cutting-edge pace. Nurses are able to stay abreast of new technology, research and trends as quickly as they happen. There are also numerous ways to continue your professional education and keep your skills sharp with online continuing education opportunities.
4. Clinical Referencing
Sixty percent of nurses use a handheld device daily. The complexity of patient health needs requires accurate and up-to-date clinical information. Having that data in the palm of your hand makes it that much easier for providers to consult and act quickly. Nurses frequently use drug database smartphone applications, as well as incorporate smartphone use into patient education.
5. Strengthening the Public-Professional Voice
Never before in the history of nursing has there been a forum for nurses to participate in critical discussions about healthcare, to illuminate the importance of what nurses do, to stand as a health expert who has something valid to say. Theresa Brown, RN, is a regular contributor to the NY Times Well Blog, where she writes about poignant and controversial healthcare topics that deserve attention and discussion. Others are following suit.
As a nurse, how do you use social media? Do you think social media has benefitted the nursing profession?
A Brief History Of Social Media (1969-2012)