Nursing Education and Public Communication

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Public Communication In Nursing Education

Nursing Education and Public Communication

What Is Public Communication,Importance of Public Communication In Nursing Education,Source for Public Communication In Nursing Education,Knowledge Development and Public Communication.

What Is Public Communication

    Public communication is the process of sharing words or images in a public venue. Traditionally, it has included television, radio, and print media while excluding Internet based social media. As the use and influence of social media have increased, public communication has evolved to include tools such as blogs, Facebook, and YouTube

Importance of Public Communication In Nursing Education

    Public communication is important to nursing education and practice in three major ways: as a process by which students and nurses define and describe the profession of nursing, as a strategy to enhance learning: and as a method for providing population-focused health education. One way that nurses use public communication is to define and describe their responsibilities and duties to the public. Even though providing nursing care is a private undertaking, clients, their families, health care providers, communities, journalists, and politicians are the public. 

    Students should be prepared to describe the critical nature of their work to these individuals and groups.Public communication strategies can be used to enhance more traditional methods of nursing education. Print media, television, and radio provide opportunities for students to analyze public messages about the profession, create health education campaigns, and examine professional and ethical dilemmas. Social media, including text messaging, blogs, Facebook, and YouTube, enable students to connect with peers, access “real time” information, process their experiences, and work with new concepts outside of the classroom setting. 

    Nurse educators are beginning to integrate these media into the learning experience.Both traditional and modern public communication strategies can be applied to the process of population-focused information sharing Students working in community and public health settings can be encouraged to develop public health messages to disseminate via newspaper articles, radio public service announcements, and infographics Students can be challenged to use social media in public information campaigns to improve health knowledge. By reviewing the scientific literature, students can identify the efficacy of public communication in changing health beliefs or behaviors.

Sources for Public Communication In Nursing Education

    There are three key ideas in understanding public communication. The first is that public communication strategies are not used effectively by nurses to define their work. Buresh and Gordon 2013) described the absence of nursing's voice and strategies for cultivating an effective public voice (Gordon, 2004). Kazis and Schwendimann (2009) documented a graduate-level elective in which students take on the roles of journalist, radio reporter, news producer, and conference organizer to learn public communication skills. 

    Two public communication campaigns, the American Academy of Nursing's Raise the Voice campaign and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's The Future of Nursing Campaign for Action, can be used to increase students' understanding of the importance of communicating the salient elements of professional nursing to the public .The second key idea is that social media is transforming public communication (Luzon, 2013). 

    results of this transformation are a blurring of the boundaries between students' public and private lives (Hoflich, 2006, VanDoorn & Eklund, 2013) and the blending of public and private audiences (Luzon, 2013). While the concepts of boundaries, access, and privacy are clear in television, radio, and the print media, they are not as easy to identify and understand in Internet-based communication. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (2011) issued a white paper discussing the key issues of confidentiality and privacy as they relate to the use of social media in the practice of nursing. These guidelines should be integrated at all levels of the nursing curriculum. 

    Use of public communication techniques also enhances nursing education. Traditional public communication strategies used to enhance learning include writing a health promotion newspaper column (McMillan & Raines, 2010); analyzing television shows (Weaver, Salamonson, Koch, & Jackson, 2013); and creating a school based wellness radio program (Morton, 2008). Social media. Strategies include using the chat feature of Facebook to facilitate interaction with students (VanDoor & Eklund, 2013) and using YouTube videos as the basis for NCLEX-style questions to increase learning in the affective domain (May, Wedgeworth, & Bigham, 2013). 

    In addition, Skiba (2008) describes uses of Twitter including promoting student collaboration, providing new information, and connecting to the larger world. Roland, Johnson, and Swain (2011) documented that students used blogs to structure newly acquired nursing knowledge and develop a support network.

Knowledge Development and Public Communication

    As the information age continues to develop, nurses will need a well developed knowledge. base that includes multiple public communication strategies. Many students are digital “natives” who have grown up with mass media, technology, and social media but are. not aware of the inherent dangers and are inexperienced in the use of these media in a public venue. Nurse educators are obliged to guide students to an understanding of the requirements for responsible use of public communication strategies.

    Nurse educators who are not well versed in public communication methodology should engage in professional development activities to build their understanding and expertise. Implementing innovative class room strategies that use public communication strategies will guide students in their application of these strategies in describing their work and informing consumers. The impact of many of these media has not been widely researched. Future research efforts might include a focus on the efficacy of public communication modalities on the quality of nursing education, the extent of professional advocacy, and change in public health outcomes.

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