5 Steps for Nurses to Stay Updated with Health Care Changes

By American Sentinel on Wed, Oct 17, 2012

health care changes, nursing specialtyKeeping up with changes in health care is a daunting task. Some may say it is impossible to do so. It seems as though we are constantly bombarded with the “new” - new medical discoveries, new treatments, new technology, new rules and regulations, new equipment, new policies and procedures, new expectations, new forms, and a lot more. These can require some sort of change on our part.

So how do we stay on top of it all? Let me offer an approach:


Step 1: What Do You Really Need to Know?


While it might sound radical, I believe a nurse does not need to be on top of it all. Identify the areas of the health care sector that are relevant and of interest to you. You would want to be on top of changes in your particular nursing specialty as well as policy, technology and regulatory issues.

Step 2: Who Are the Experts?

Once the areas are selected, identify authoritative sources of information. Professional associations, foundations, and F
health care changes, nursing specialtyederal agencies are generally credible resources as are researchers who investigate your selected areas.

Step 3: Where Do the Experts Share Their Knowledge?

Explore each authoritative source for the methods and vehicles it uses to disseminate new information. Websites, journals, newsletters, daily electronic feeds, and nursing degree programs are typical formats.

Step 4: How Can I Access the Experts’ Knowledge?

Join appropriate professional groups, attend relevant nursing conferences, and subscribe to the information sources you’ve identified as important to you. Most foundations provide their information free of charge as does the Federal government.

Step 5: How Do I Manage the Information Influx?

This is the most challenging step of all. I recommend starting by developing a strategy that fits your schedule and lifestyle. One idea is to set aside a certain amount of time each day or determine a certain day of the week where you dedicate yourself to reading and brushing up.

If you commit to the idea that being on top of the latest changes in your selected areas of interest is integral to your nursing practice, and if you follow the first four steps, you’ll develop a mechanism to stay on top of the most important information to you. Also, many nursing degree programs health care changes, nursing specialtyoffer training on best-practices and the most current initiatives in their curriculum.

I’d like to hear from you. How do you keep current with all the changes in health care? Please share your methods or strategies with your fellow readers by leaving a comment below or sending them to me at healthcare@americansentinel.edu. I look forward to hearing from you!


Anonymous 3 years ago
via Linkedin: For me it is CEU classes and my daily updates from the ANA

Anonymous 3 years ago
via Linkedin: This is a great question! I am most interested in what the various answers might be since the best way to stay up to date is through an accumulation of everyone's responses.

So far, I have had the best luck through social media. Primarily, I follow research hospitals, some respected geriatric facilities, Nursing groups and Nursing eJournals as well as a collection of individual nurses and MDs that I have found on Twitter, Facebook and various Medical or Nursing blogs. I set aside time at least three times a week just for reading up on these things, otherwise, I tend to lose track of time. To help my brain make the new information "stick," I either retweet, take notes and question or comment on what I have read.

Although, I find that I am beginning to lean away from tangible reading materials, there are various Nursing magazines (I still subscribe to two hard-copy ones - although these have the online option as well) that offer articles leading to other links and resources.

To make a long post short, I am going to say through social media.

Anonymous 3 years ago
via Linkedin: I did a post at my blog of my 10 favorite, most useful sources of healthcare info http://www.pharmareform.com/?p=290

Anonymous 3 years ago
via Linkedin: Look at the technology as driving the care, politics driving the payment and the media driving the scrutiny. Change the management style a from results hopeful to process driven