Nursing Educational Blogs and Their Benefits

Afza.Malik GDA

 Blogger Impact on Nursing Education and Research

Nursing Educational Blogs and Their Benefits

Whats is Blogging In Internet Technology,Benefits of Blogging for Nursing Educators,Nursing Bloggers and Social Media Impact, Nursing Bloggers and Social Media Impact,Impact of Blogging On Nursing Research and Educational Collaboration.

Whats is Blogging In Internet Technology

    A weblog or a blog is a web-based collection of thoughts or information, similar to a diary or a log. Blogs are arranged chronologically and may be hosted by one or more people (Curry, 2012). Blogs are also described by Bonk and Zhang (2008) as websites that provide a personal opinion or viewpoint on a topic of interest and is open for comments. 

    Blog entries are posted sequentially, with the most recent post appearing first on the list. Blogs cannot be edited or rearranged; they can be created for internal use and be password protected: and media files can be linked to blogs (Billings, 2009).

Benefits of Blogging for Nursing Educators

    There is increasing need for nurse educators to incorporate technology in nursing education. More than 80% of nursing students are Millennials, or the Net Generation. These students are considered to be digital natives and view new technologies as a normal part of everyday life (Peck, 2014). In addition, Schmitt, Sims-Giddens, and Booth (2012) noted that it is expected that many nurses will return to school for further education. The demographics of current undergraduate and graduate nursing students vary from millennial to baby boomers.

Nursing Educational Blogs at a Glance 

    Blogs can be an empowering tool for personally publishing ideas and communicating with a worldwide audience. However, blogs in online courses and academic settings typically relate to course readings, course tasks and activities, field experiences, and extra course-related work (Bonk & Zhang, 2008).

    Results of the pilot study conducted by Roland, Johnson, and Swain (2011) suggest that blogs help students become more adept in written communication. A blog can be used for reflection to enable the student to express thoughts and feelings about a learning situation. Carozza (2012) noted that blogging promotes reflection and greater understanding needed for writing. She further identified blogging as a tool that can help those students with some fear of technology.

Nursing Bloggers and Social Media Impact

    Peck (2014) identified how social media is changing the communication paradigm from a traditional face-to-face model to the one that uses a variety of web based applications. She further noted that online interactive and social media platforms are changing the way nursing students communicate and that one third of faculty in academic institutions report using social media to communicate with students. 

    The major privacy concerns related to the use of social media include the potential to violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) that protects students' privacy in the school environment. However, the overall benefits of social media in the classroom far outweigh the challenges. Blogging can help students develop problem-solving skills, and enhance networking, collaboration, and student engagement in the course.

Impact of Blogging On Nursing Research and Educational Collaboration 

    Blogs are another way to facilitate internal and external communication and dialogue among nurses and nurse educators. When used in clinical agencies, they have been shown to promote inter-professional collaboration, simplify project development, provide peer support, and link users to information provided by national health care organizations (Billings, 2009). It is therefore recommended that blogs be incorporated into nursing curricula for faculty's and students' use.

    It is also recommended that educators are provided with technical support and necessary training on how to use blogs. Due to the ethical and legal issues associated with the use of social media, it is essential that educators be familiar with the policy for the responsible use of social media in their institution before adopting the use of blogging or any other social media in the courses.

    According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN, 2011) improper use of social media by nurses may violate state and federal laws established to protect patient privacy and confidentiality. Such violations may result in both civil and criminal penalties, including fines and possible jail time. Therefore, there is the need for further research into the use of blogging in nursing education. More nursing faculty should also be trained and encouraged to incorporate blogging as a form of social media in their courses.

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