Wow what a day! Today I’ve attended the Vice Chancellor Awards at The University of Salford with my social media buddy, colleague and friend Moira McLoughlin. Our social media team (Me, Moira McLoughlin and Neil Withnell) were shortlisted for a Vice Chancellor Distinguished Teacher Award at The University of Salford. The award ceremony is to celebrate the good work done by university staff and to give awards to those who have been particularly outstanding. Today, we were lucky enough to be chosen for a coveted Vice Chancellors Distinguished Teacher Award for our work using social media in nurse education. In building our social media portfolio, we have developed a successful school twitter account which we run in partnership with students, a school wordpress account, and the recent addition of Facebook pages for each of the fields of practice. Each platform provides students with an opportunity to learn and develop from a huge online nurse community that also embraces other professions and service users and carers.
Competition was tough, with many academics and professional services staff there to celebrate their achievements. We sat with baited breath and were utterly shocked and surprised as our names were read out! There are many reasons why we were utterly shocked and surprised and why this award is so important to me but one reason is that earlier this week Teresa Chinn wrote a blog about her disappointment that the leader of The Royal College of Nursing, Peter Carter was not interested in using Twitter. So, to receive an award such as this from the Vice Chancellor of our University says to me that although some leaders haven’t yet seen the value of social media in nurse education, our academic leader certainly has. To have academic recognition for the work we’ve been doing to increase student nurse engagement with social media is indeed a huge accolade. It says that our work is valuable and worthwhile. It says that our work is important in the world of academia. It says that engaging student nurses and registered nurses on a local, regional, national and international scale to develop, learn and make connections is hugely important. It says that what we are doing matters.
I am proud to be part of our small but perfectly formed team and the work that we’ve done so far and I’m looking forward to our future developments. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us including Teresa Chinn and WeNurses, our fabulous student nurses, our supportive colleagues and of course our Head of School Tony Warne for supporting and encouraging us to continually create and develop.
Our work using social media, means that in the future, our student nurses will become staff nurses who are ready for a professional nursing career in a digital landscape and that’s important – our Vice Chancellor certainly thinks so!
Onwards and upwards!