Nurse educators have more responsibility today than ever before. The United States has reached a point where almost half of all nurses quit within two years on the job. While no one would blame educators for that jarring statistic, it is fair to say that it is more important than ever for teachers to make sure that they send future nurses out into the world prepared for what is ahead of them.
Digital resources are one way to help with this. These tools can help to improve the student’s understanding of healthcare concepts, but they can also help with other important job-related considerations, including mental health support.
In this article, we highlight a few digital resources to keep in mind.
The Learning Nurse Resources Network is kind of like a big hub filled with information that can help nursing students. While it is particularly geared toward people who are trying to get their degree online, it can be appropriately applied to nursing students everywhere.
The website is divided into several categories, including assessments, study aids, and a digital library where students can seek general information relevant to their studies.
The American Nurses Association provides materials that are primarily geared toward current nurses who are working on continuing their education. The Association is involved in the publication of several medical journals and provides free tips and assessments for nurses who are already on the job.
However, nursing students have also managed to find luck with this organization, taking advantage of the resources to get a better understanding of what their eventual on-job experiences might be like.
The Health Resources and Services Administration is all about widening access to healthcare. As such, they focus less on passing out information, and more on providing students with financial resources that make getting their education in a healthcare-related field more accessible.
The idea is to help good nursing candidates get through their education—a resource that is quite needed in a world where more people are leaving the profession than coming in.
For example, these journals may provide future nurses with bedside-nursing alternatives that they might not have even known existed before. The hospital setting is brutal, and not for everyone. Providing nursing students with alternatives may help to keep them in the profession for longer while also improving their overall chances of career satisfaction.
The Nursing and Allied Health Resources Section is a great resource for people who are new not just to nursing, but also to higher education in general. In addition to providing students with lots of nursing-specificresources, including ebooks, quizzes, and access to access to a variety of different medical journals, it also provides more general college-related information.
For example, do your students know how to write a college-level paper? At University, most teachers make basic assumptions about what their students are prepared to do. And while these assumptions may comfortably apply to students of a certain background, they can be prohibitive to (as an example) first-generation college students, or even people who did not take advanced classes in high school.
This resource lays out basic but essential university-level concepts that your students will need to find success in any of their classes. How do you interpret a style guide? What is the actual definition of plagiarism?
A student may understand that they can’t hand in someone else’s paper as their own, but do they know that they can also land in hot water simply by failing to properly cite their sources?
Having resources that lay out the basic rules of university life can help make nursing programs, and college in general, more accessible.
In this article, we have primarily highlighted resources provided by large organizations with mission statements, and sometimes even federal funding. These are great places to find both information and even financial forms of support.
However, as anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the internet knows, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Many less formal resources might be equally viable when it comes to supporting a nurse educator and their students.
For example, there are meditation/self-care applications that are geared specifically toward nurses. These tools are designed to help people work through the aspects of the job that contribute the most to nursing turnover. Stress. Anxiety. Burnout.
There are also dozens of nursing-related podcasts that provide an unfiltered look at life on the job. These podcasts don’t necessarily touch exclusively on the positive aspects of the job, but that is ok. To improve the nursing retention rate, it is important to get people ready for the realities of the job, warts and all.
In the many centuries of nursing and its evolution asa profession, professionals are now more connected than ever. Digital resources don’t have to be libraries that can fit in your pocket. Those are great, but they don’t necessarily address the real reason that people leave nursing behind.
The job is hard. Establishing connections with other nurses, and finding out how they deal with the stresses that are universal to the job can help reduce turnover and stabilize the profession.
Any resource that can help accomplish that will be worthwhile to you as an educator. Of course, you should always follow your instincts as a teacher, and acquaint yourself with a wide range of different resources. The tools described above, though helpful, are also elective. Sort through them at your own pace, and decide which ones might serve as a good opportunity for your students.