Jane Cummings, NHS England’s Chief Nursing Officer, has reached a milestone number of followers to her Twitter account. Here she talks about why social media is so important:
Everywhere we look in the healthcare system there are numbers.
It seems we are always measuring data and figures to ascertain the worth, the value or the efficiency. Some of the numbers we collate are valuable and some we attribute more importance than they are worth.
I recently reached 10,000 Twitter followers which is a significant number, although it’s important to remember that this isn’t about numbers but about individuals. Each and every follower creates the opportunity for positive and valuable engagement that enables me to communicate, listen, learn and share within an energetic community of nurses, other professions and a much wider community.
To be a nurse in such a visible and open forum such as Twitter takes not only courage but also a high degree of professionalism. We are using Twitter to connect and support each other in so many ways; the exchange of nursing experience, ideas and expertise is commonplace but it is the celebration of nursing that makes our Twitter community so very special.
I see tweets daily that tell of student nurses qualifying, nurses celebrating the day they qualified, nurses talking about how they made a difference that day and nurses and midwives sharing their passion for our profession.
Twitter has given us the opportunity to communicate beyond hierarchies and geographical locations. It is the tweeting community that has actually made this happen, each and every individual and their commitment has created this space for sharing.
The 6Cs Live! discussions hosted by WeNurses is a great example of this. Nurses coming together to share their experiences and knowledge around the 6 Action Areas of Compassion in Practice. It’s wonderful to hear about the action that nurses, midwives and others are taking to embed the 6Cs into practice and how they are using the 6 Action Areas to achieve this.
Twitter allows me to communicate and engage with so many different people, to understand their perspectives and to be a part of the community. 10,000 is a number but it’s the 10,000 individuals that matter, the 10,000 opportunities to connect, the 10,000 opportunities to share and the 10,000 opportunities to learn.
I will do my best to engage more and contribute more to such a wide and wonderful community.
- Jane Cummings will be talking with Dr Kate Granger, specialist registrar, cancer patient and campaigner, about compassion and care at the Innovation Expo at Manchester central on March 4. For more information go to: www.expo.nhs.uk and follow all the news as it happens on Twitter @NHSExpo and #Expo14NHS.
- Follow Jane Cummings on Twitter at: @JaneMCummings