As I presented my short talk on the importance of nurses writing for publication at the Yorkshire and Humber Region Queen’s Nurse meeting on 19th June, I was reminded of how nurses can and do achieve great things.

From developing mainstream services to putting nurses forward for awards, to writing journal articles and blogs, for me, it reinforced the importance of attending such events and making connections and networking with others. Such events can help nurses to build relationships, raise our profile, generate ideas and meet the people with the right skills to make things happen.

Disappointingly, the enthusiasm that prevailed within a meeting can easily wain as we go back to our everyday jobs and work becomes all-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Continue to sustain those contacts, keep sharing ideas, and talk to the right people. Nothing worth achieving was ever easy. In isolation, it can be so much more difficult. Working with others can make it fun and help you to stay motivated when motivation is in short supply.

Talk to the staff at The Queen’s Nursing Institute. Don’t underestimate the support that the QNI can offer you in getting your ideas, opinions and blogs published.

Writing blogs can help you to develop your interests in writing, without being overly academic. The QNI will help you edit your work, keep it interesting without waffling and help you to build your confidence. The QNI was the first organisation I blogged for. It helped to build my confidence and now I absolutely love it.

A blog as defined by the English Oxford Living Dictionaries is ‘a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group that is written in an informal or conversational style’. Not too challenging so far then!

Some Useful Tips on Blogging

  • Have an idea that you are interested in. Find out about it. Look at reputable websites and find the information to build on your blog. Remember though, reputable sources are best.
  • Keep your blog relatively short. 300 words should be enough unless you have a greater remit. Discuss your ideas with the QNI.
  • Keep sentences short and to the point.
  • Start with a blank sheet of paper but don’t let this put you into a state of shock. Draw a central idea, and build on those ideas by developing a plan.
  • Begin writing
  • Use links. Posting to other websites can improve traffic to those areas, but can also be a great help in developing your ideas. It is, however, important to check the information on external links before you add it to your article; although in reality, no blogger can guarantee the accuracy of such links. You will also need to review your blog from time to time in case the information has changed or been removed.

    One more thing: always check that links can be used to support your blog, some sites may not want you to do this. Again, any concerns the QNI can help and provide appropriate advice.

  • Use images. The QNI can help find an image that’s suitable for your blog.

Using social media can be scary, but the QNI will post your work for you and social media will do the rest. Don’t worry – the skill and expertise of the QNI team will ensure that this process runs smoothly.

All nurses have an idea to share, a story to tell, an opinion that they feel passionate about. Why not take 5 minutes out of your busy day and take a blank sheet of paper and start creating some ideas for a blog. The skills and the confidence you develop can be long-lasting. It can also help to support revalidation.

Catherine Kelsey
Queen’s Nurse

 

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