In this first blog, @FloNursingtales writes about her experience of blogging…could you have a go?
SoMe? So What? Most of you reading this will likely utilise social media (SoMe) in some form on a daily basis, and whilst I myself am a big user of numerous platforms, I’ve always had a particular soft spot for blogs. Before I started my nursing education, I was an avid reader of arts and culture blogs, so much so that it spurred me on to co-found and run my own feminist-orientated music blog. It was a brilliant experience, and one that I look back on fondly. In the time that we ran our blog, a lot was achieved: connections were made with other music lovers and bloggers around the globe, creating our own nurturing, small on-line community; and for me in particular, my writing and confidence improved immeasurably; perhaps above all else though, we felt that in some small way we had found voices, and that they were being heard.
Given this past love affair with blogging, and social media in general, it’s easy to see why I started my current blog prior to embarking on my nursing degree. The aim of Florence Nursingtales was and always has been, ‘to inform, support, and amuse during my journey through university and beyond’. It all started back in July of 2011, when a frantic on-line search for tales of what was in store from current student nurse bloggers produced surprisingly few results – though thankfully things have dramatically improved since then. What initially began as an idea to relay experiences and provide useful information and resources to prospective and other student nurses, has turned into something far more rewarding and important than I could ever imagine. Through blogging I have been introduced to a wonderful on-line community of student and qualified nurses, all of whom have proved to be an invaluable source of information and support. It’s also helped me to reflect on many of my thoughts and experiences, more so than I would have done otherwise. In addition, it’s provided me with a platform with which to share these thoughts and ideas with others, gaining much more insight as a result.
‘So what?’ you may be thinking, ‘how would any of this benefit me?’ Well what if I told you that in addition to what I’ve already outlined, blogging can prove a handy resource for evidence that will help fill and enhance your portfolios? Or how about the fact that it will undoubtedly improve your writing abilities? An issue a lot of student nurses worry about in my experience. Perhaps the idea of seeing your name in print, or on a reputable website does it for you? You never know, it could be the very thing that sets you apart at interviews.
Maybe you feel you can’t commit to running your own full-time blog. Good news! There are of plenty community blogging platforms that are happy to consider publishing as few or as many contributions as you feel you can reasonably offer: The Student Nurse Blogger Collective (@STNBC) is just one example of such platforms, and it just so happens to be an initiative that I co-founded with a wonderful, fellow student-nurse called Laura Marston, who writes her own rather brilliant student-nurse blog titled She’s Off Again. The platform has been provided by the wonderful people over the Britain’s Nurses website, and through this collaboration, has allowed us to reach a wide and established audience with our student-nurse blogger contributions. It seems only apt to point out that none of the above would have been possible if it weren’t for the wonderful world of social media.
What I’ve discussed are just a few of the rewards and benefits of blogging. If I’ve even slightly convinced you to have a go, then please do: the more we share our thoughts and ideas, the more we benefit as a community and as a profession. After all, what do you have to lose? Far less than you have to gain it seems.