The current issue of the Journal of Family Nursing (JFN) has a special emphasis on social media in family nursing. I first learned of this special issue at the 12th International Family Nursing Conference in Odense, Denmark, when the IFNA Communications Committee presented a session on social media. The issue features an editorial by Janice M. Bell, the editor of JFN, as well as four articles on social media in family nursing.
Janice’s editorial takes a deep dive into the technological advances that have occurred over the past decade, and how these advances, and the speed at which they have arrived, have had an impact on scholarship and family nursing. The editorial is followed by an article by Tracie Risling and colleagues on the creation of an assessment tool of social media use for family nurses to implement in practice to understand better the influence of social media on family health.
The second article reports the findings of a study examining the use blogs by family caregivers of persons with dementia by my colleagues and me. Our article describes the themes identified when examining the blog posts of family caregivers during the caregiving experience and how the blogs played a role in the experience. The third article is by Wilma Schroeder, co-chair of the IFNA Communications Committee. Wilma’s article outlines strategies for the use of social media by family nurses themselves, and how social media can advance family nursing practice.
The fourth and final article in the special emphasis on social media is by Wendy Looman and Kris Isaacson, members of the IFNA Communications Committee. Wendy and Kris write about building communities of practice via social media using the strategies of curating, connecting, collaborating, and contributing.
So what’s next? Janice, Wilma, Wendy, and I are presenting a pre-conference workshop at the 13th International Family Nursing Conference in Pamplona, Spain, in June focusing on the ins and outs of using social media for family nursing scholars. If you are coming to IFNC13, we hope that you will join us!
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, is an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee College of Nursing and a member of the IFNA Communications Committee. His research focuses on support of family caregivers and persons with dementia. He uses social media as one way of examining the family caregiving experience. You can follow him on Twitter at @JoelAndersonPhD or read his blog.