Social media - connecting school nursing services to improve outcomes for children & young people

Social media - connecting school nursing services to improve outcomes for children & young people featured image
The school nurse workforce is relatively small, but the impact they can have on the health and being of children and young people is tremendous.2015-03-15_5505e1f2eec18_image.jpg

When we started working with the profession it became apparent they were so busy getting on with the job they didn't often get the opportunity to shout about their achievements and creative ways of working. We wanted the profession to connect, share, learn and support each other but given the small numbers and where.

Slowly school nurses were beginning to tap into twitter and connect, to support the profession we explored how we might improve networking. After a few conversations with @agencynurse we decided to be bold and invite a small number of school nurses to a workshop to explore social media.

At the workshop the energy and passion turned into actions and #snsome was 'born' - almost as a test or trial to see if school nurses would be comfortable with twitter. The response was overwhelming, school nurses soon out grew the hashtag. Behind the scenes there were frequent discussions with @agencynurse and we agreed to developing a platform for school nurses. Volunteers were quickly identified and @agencynurse coached the team, soon they were ready to launch @weschoolnurses.

The first chat was held on 3rd June 2014 and the fortnightly chats have continued, covering wide ranging topics which reflect the complexity of the school nursing team role including; young carers, sleep, mental health and vulnerabilities. @weschoolnurses now have over 3000 followers, and have over 4,000 Twitter interactions each month, with an average Tweet chat reaching over a million people.

The reach of WeSchoolNurses is phenomenal and is not restricted to the UK with followers from all over the world. The tweets and chats provide an opportunity to share good practice, learn from other areas, disseminate new policy, advise on dates of conferences and generally to connect school nurses and others with an interest in the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

However WeSchoolNurses have become so much more than the sum of their parts – yes they have connected school nurses, yes they have over 3000 followers, yes they have shared good practice but also they have done this in such an open, inclusive and friendly way that many different types of people feel welcome at their discussions.

Other heath care professionals, parents, education professionals and young people have all taken part in WeSchoolNurses conversations and have all felt valued. This is testament to the volunteers that run the group and their underlying principle that everyone is welcome and has a perspective to share and learn form.

WeSchoolNurses are showing the world what school nurses do and they are doing it in a way that inspires others to share too.

The bottom line is WeSchoolNurses IS FAB and we hope that you will join us in celebrating this fab community.

Submitted by [email protected] & @agencynurse @weschoolnurses Special thanks to @jo_france @heidiferrier @maggieclarklpt @michellesobande @mrdaniellucy the amazing volunteers - passionate, professional and positive about young peoples health
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