Free Online Nursing Resources: Benefits And Types
Today’s nursing students are poised to play an extremely important role in tomorrow’s healthcare system. The United States is still very much in the grip of a nursing shortage. Hospitals all over the country are struggling to staff their floors with enough people to keep up with demand. Not so long ago, a charge nurse in Washington State had to call 911 to get extra support to take care of people in their ER. That’s a bad situation, but not an uncommon one. Few and far between are the hospitals that aren’t trying to find creative solutions to their staffing problems. It’s more important than ever to support nurses of the present and the future. In this article, we look at online resources that might be beneficial for today’s nursing students.
Why Giving Free Nursing Resources To Students Is Worth It
Nursing is a hard gig, and the most difficult part for many people starts right at the beginning. As a student, everything in the world of medicine is new; the information, sure, but also the stakes. You go from being a high-school student to a person in a nursing program, learning daily about what your role in life and death situations will be. That’s a lot of weight to put on the shoulders of someone who, not so long ago, was shopping for their prom outfit.
And, of course, the work itself is hard as well. The classes are challenging, and they involve in-person work, which makes the program even more challenging. On the one hand, this challenge barrier serves an important function, helping to weed out people who probably weren’t a good fit for the healthcare industry to begin with. On the other hand, the hardships of being a nursing student may lead to early fatigue and even disenchantment among people who could be well-suited for the job. Nursing candidates need all of the resources they can get to help them not only thrive professionally but also personally.
Keep in mind that many nursing resources aren’t just about training and preparation. They are about communication and self-care—assets that can improve nurses’ mental health and keep them on the job for longer.
Examples Of Resources Institutions Can Provide
Nursing has been in a state of crisis since well before COVID-19. The reason is simple: the job is hard, and there aren’t enough resources out there to make it easier. Below, we highlight several free online nursing resources that might prove beneficial to students.
Podcasts are so ubiquitous that they aren’t always taken seriously. After all, anyone can start one, and there are no gatekeepers, which means quality hasn’t really been standardized yet. Still, good nursing podcasts can serve several key functions:
- Provide nurses with information
Prospective nurses have one million questions about what the job will be like. While they learn about medical facts from their books, they may not get a great sense of what the job is actually like while they are still in school. A good nursing podcast may offer a window into the nursing lifestyle—for better and for worse.
- Validate their feelings
Even nursing school can come laden with lots of difficult emotions. It’s sad seeing people at their worst. Over time, those feelings will begin to wear on a person. Hearing full-fledged nurses discuss their feelings may help prepare students for some of the more difficult aspects of the job.
Podcasts can’t replace face-to-face peer contact, but they can be a good, safe place for students to explore aspects of the job that they may not come into contact with until after they are licensed.
2. Educational Resources
Many nursing applications are designed to make it easier for students to get information instantly. For example, some apps may supply quick diagnosis information simply by entering a few key symptoms. Others effectively behave like textbooks that fit neatly in your pocket. Digital educational tools are a constant factor in modern school life. Making these tools available for free to students may help aid in their education and better prepare them for the job.
3. Self-Care Support
It’s also important to help equip nursing students with the skills that they need to stick around with the job for the long haul. Currently, almost thirty percent of nurses leave the job within the first year of their employment. More than half are out by year number two. This is a disastrous, unsustainable situation that is already having a big impact on the American healthcare system. Preparing nurses for how hard the job is will help, but schools also need to equip their graduates with the skills to cope with their feelings on the job.
Self-care resources are a good way to supplement mental health practices. A meditation application can’t replace professional support, but it can serve as one part of a multi-faceted strategy to ensure improved self-care in the healthcare industry. Mediation, diet, exercise, and other physical health concerns are all worthwhile territories to consider when looking for technology to support nursing students.
Some nurses also appreciate applications that allow them to communicate effectively with their peers. These programs make it easy to trade messages and just vent about the job. While this alone can’t be expected to reverse a nursing crisis, it may help contribute to a future class of newly minted nurses that are more likely to stick around for the long haul.