Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Online Newsletters for Staff Development Updates

In November 2010 I went to the AAN pre-conference kicked-off where I attended a terrific presentation given by Barbara Rickabaugh RN, MSN  from UC Davis Medical Center. Her presentation was on developing online hospital newsletters. What I enjoyed about this particular short program was that the information was practical and resourceful. Barbara Rickabaugh discussed a useful way of organizing hospital-wide departmental information (generally found in e-mail distributions) by creating a monthly newsletter for the hospital’s intranet site. As I listened, I thought how this concept was a great way of consolidating important announcements in one monthly document!  
Following monthly department meetings, staff development (SD) instructors at my institution perform a variety of on-unit in-service updates. These updates include new or revised policies, procedures, products or initiatives. Based on Barbara Rickabaugh’s idea, I developed an online monthly SD newsletter that incorporated these in-service updates in an online staff development monthly newsletter complete with links and pictures. I also added an attestation link that staff can use to document that he or she reviewed the information in the newsletter.
I limit the newsletter to two sides. The links connect to “Fast Facts,” tutorials, new product information, in addition to policy and procedure documents. If a link connects to an Internet site, I request IT to “bypass the proxy” to allow access by staff who do not have Internet privileges.  Attractive Newsletter templates are available on the Microsoft Office site in Word, Publisher, and Outlook. I am fortunate to have several of my SD colleagues review and edit content.  Review and editing are necessary to ensure accuracy and readability. The newsletter has been well received and serves as a good resource, especially for those who missed the on-unit in-service.


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  2. Glad to read that you found the information useful!