While I do love all things that are bird related (must be from my name), there is something special about Twitter that captivates me. It could be that Twitter is unfolding in real time. There is simultaneous space for both anonymity and intimacy through the magic of tweets. I also feel like I am always learning on Twitter.
My Twitter focus is primarily school nurse related. I use Facebook for fun and family news and Twitter is my go-to social media space for professional use. Most recently I have used Twitter to share my passion for #NursingActivism, especially around the issue of violence as a public health crisis.
Twitter is a tool for social activism through social media. Activism, advocacy, and connectedness are all essential to being effective school health leaders. I launched my newly minted website: www.relentlessschoolnurse.com on Twitter and immediately started to see it being shared and accessed. The connectivity of Twitter amazes me daily. I have met creative and passionate colleagues through the magic of responding to a Tweet. There is a sense of community out there in the Twittersphere for which I am very grateful.
Twitter is what I imagine morse code or getting a telegram was like in the last century! It is fast, abbreviated, but powerful. You can share your nursing perspective to a wider audience than I ever imagined. I have connected with nurses across the pond in England, where they have a @WeNurses and @WeSchoolNurses. My Twitter friends in Scotland have a goal to become the very first @ACEAwareNation and I applauded their efforts by sharing their successes in Tweets. I have met the brilliant nurses from @centerHMP, who introduced me to the Woodhull Study Revisited.
In the world of school nursing, Twitter friends helped coordinate a #SchoolNurseChat that created a wonderful opportunity for collegiality and conversation around the challenges and opportunities we face every day. The most important work I have done on Twitter though is around activism and advocacy to #PreventGunViolence. #SchoolNursesDemandAction is a grassroots movement to bring awareness to the contagion of violence. This has grown to a broader group of #NursesDemandAction, which involves nurses from all specialties and parts of the country who are leveraging our position as the most trusted profession to be a force for change.
I encourage my colleagues to explore the benefits of Twitter as a platform for advocacy and use your expertise as a health thought leader whether in your own school community or on a national level. Voices of nurses are needed now more than ever! Be part of the conversation, educate by sharing a helpful article, talk about your focus, crowdsource ideas for a project, tell your school nursing story! Write a blog post and then Tweet about it!
Here is an example of a recent Tweet I posted to share a blog post:
Please reach out to me if you have any questions about Twitter! A very special shout out to @BethMattey, immediate Past President of NASN for her relentless efforts to encourage school nurses to Tweet with the #TASNTTT – Teach a School Nurse to Tweet Tuesday. @SheilaCaldwell is the original Twitter mentor to so many school nurses. A very special #Tweet of appreciation to you Sheila!