- Administrative and managerial support are vital in promoting and launching the use of social media and web-based education in the hospital environment.
- Demonstrate how the concept is of benefit to the institution and in alignment with the strategic plan.
- Peer support and buy-in is very important in sending out the message to the rest of the staff.
- Align with those who see the value of social media as an educational tool and platform.
- Dispel misconceptions
- Plan to provide training and support for those unfamiliar with its use.
Monday, September 20, 2010
I was a speaker at a Nurse Educators Conference recently with close to 200 participants. Everyone in the audience had the opportunity to participate in live polling by using audience response cards. My presentation topic was on the creative use of technology in nursing education. I used a poll slide that simply asked, “What is your favorite social media site?” The options I listed included: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, and SecondLife (I believed this would be a nice way to start this segment of my talk). Once the poll closed only 60 participants had responded. I remarked to the audience, “Only 60 of you responded.” I then asked, “Did I give you enough time to answer?” One educator remarked, “You didn’t list, none.” I looked at the list and said with mild embarrassment, “You’re absolutely right, my error.” For verification, I then asked the audience, “For those who didn’t respond, would you have answered none?” Before me I could see a large portion of the audience nodding their heads in agreement. It appeared as though more than 2/3 of my audience do not engage in social media of any kind.
Many months ago I pitched RNchat to a number of nurse educators when Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: The Future of Nursing was going to submit questions to the weekly nursing discussion group developed by Phil Baumann. I was enthusiastic about the prospect of more educators I personally knew becoming involved in social media and networking. My invitation was met with a less than tepid response. Many expressed that they were too busy. One educator vehemently responded, “I have a big problem with that Twitter.” I was speechless about the strong sentiment yet this particular individual could not articulate what her specific issue was with the site.
According to the initial statistics from the 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (HRSA, 2010), the average age of registered nurses in the workface is 47; 16.2% are between the ages of 50-54; hospitals employ 63%; 3.7% are in nursing instruction and 0.3% in informatics. According to the Nursing Faculty Shortage Fact Sheet by The American Academy of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the age of the” doctorally prepared” associate professor is 56.1 whereas the “masters prepared” age is 55.2. Facebook reports more than 500 million active users. Inside Network detailed that as of July 1, 2010, 80% of all users of Facebook were between the ages of 13-44 and 20% of users were 45-65+. The 45-54 category recorded only 13% as active users and 55-65+ at 7%. Based on these numbers, one can surmise why the use of social media as an educational tool in the hospital setting has been slow. Sadly, misconceptions fueled by headlines that detail firings, and suspensions hamper the adoption of social media. Additionally, in-house restrictions/access to the Internet, filter blocking, and a general lack of time to learn the basics of social networking sites further impacts the ability to launch educational endeavors in this venue easily.
From my perspective: