As a nurse, there’s so much changing and evolving information to keep track of. Research and clinical practice are always in flux, and the sands may feel like they’re constantly shifting beneath your feet. And if you’re also a nursing student, there’s even more to stay abreast of. How do you stay informed, organized, and up to date?
Apps Are Your Friends
In the 21st century, there are plenty of ways to keep up to date on information, and also keep it organized. Most of us receive very few nursing journals in the mail anymore, and we’re probably subscribed to many email lists that bring us news about science, nursing, healthcare, technology, and other issues of interest.
If you use a mobile device, apps are likely going to be your best friends in terms of keeping up with the constant flow of information out there. Here are some I like:
Feedly: Feedly is an app that you can download on your mobile device. It allows you to follow the RSS feeds of various journals and information sources, and those will be sent into folders or feeds that you can check out when you feel like it. It’s a great way to collate and aggregate information, articles, blog posts, etc.
Flipboard: Flipboard is similar to Feedly, and allows you to follow particular feeds and bookmark the articles you want to review in more depth.
Evernote: Evernote is an app you can use on your mobile device or desktop computer to save articles from the Internet to self-designed folders. You might have folders for clinical articles, personal stuff, travel, tech, etc. These are self-selected articles that come across your desktop or device and you want to save them somewhere that you can access from any device. You can even share specific folders with a colleague, friend, or family member.
Subscriptions Help Too
If you work for a facility or organization with subscriptions that all employees can access, all the better. Some facilities allow employees access to their subscriptions to UpToDate, ePocrates, PubMed, RefWorks, and other reliable sources of high-quality and evidence-based clinical information.
If these types of information services and platforms are available for your use, take advantage of such access. If not, you may choose to pay for the one or two that are most salient to your career.
It’s A Jungle Out There
It’s certainly an information jungle out there, but there are apps, platforms, and subscription and non-subscription services that will help you separate the wheat from the chaff and keep it all straight. Find out if your employer allows you access to their subscriptions, and find the free apps and platforms that work for your lifestyle/workstyle.
The flow of information won’t slow down any time soon, so you might as well learn how to use, control, and access it for the benefit of your nursing career.