Poster proposal accepted!

acrl_2015_4colorI just learned last night that a poster proposal I put together with a couple of colleagues, Information Literacy Instruction in BlueJeans, was accepted for presentation at ACRL 2015. This poster grew out of the “Nursing Journal Club Live!” continuing education course I am involved in with Charlotte Sortedahl (nursing faculty), Stephanie Wical (library colleague), and Jennifer Benike (UWEC Continuing Education). BlueJeans is a new web conferencing software package that UWEC has subscribed to, and this poster will focus on the benefits and challenges of using this tool to provide instruction to nurses currently in practice. The course is designed as a journal club for nurses, and will discuss four research articles with the researchers who published them. In addition, my library colleague and I will teach a one-hour session on how to find the best research to support evidence-based practice.

If you will be attending ACRL 2015, be sure to stop by and say “Hi!”

Nursing Journal Club Live!

logoNursingCETogether with a nursing colleague and a fellow librarian, we will be offering “Nursing Journal Club Live!“, a 5-week online continuing education (CE) course for nurses offered through the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Participants will read emerging research in a variety of areas — reducing hospital admissions, patient safety, motivational interviewing and compassion fatigue — then discuss each article with its author(s), as well as fellow nurses from across the U.S. In addition, participants will learn how to effectively find evidence-based research to improve outcomes in their everyday practice. Nurses can earn 10 continuing education contact hours, and the course is approved by two highly-recognized certification organizations!*

The course costs $75, and the first session will be held on Feb. 3, 2015, at 3:30 pm Central time. Remaining sessions will be held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. For more detailed information, download our JCL course flyer.

To register for this course, please call UWEC’s Continuing Education Department at 866-893-2423 (715-836-3636). The University’s web site is being updated this week, so you can get more information or register online starting next week, January 12, 2015.

This is my first time teaching online and with my two wonderful colleagues, and it promises to be a great experience for all involved!


* = CE approvals:

This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the Wisconsin Nurses Association, an accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

This program has been pre-approved by the Commission for Case Manager Certification to provide continuing education credit to CCM® board certified case managers. The course is approved for 10 CE contact hours. Activity code: S000121938, Approval Number 140002958. To claim these CEs, log into your CE Center account at

Health literacy at the beginning of life

square icon with "health literacy" in centerAs noted here  previously, health literacy is a key determinant of health, and parents’ health literacy can be an important factor in their children’s health literacy, and their lives as a whole.  A recent study noted that midwives and other antenatal staff tailor their communications to their patients, using a range of strategies to meet them where they are. However, the study notes that funding in this area to verify the effectiveness of these strategies is lacking (Wilmore et al, 2015).

Reading the literature, it is clear that many new approaches are being considered for increasing the health literacy levels of the patient population. And, generally speaking, parents have better health literacy (only 26% have low health literacy) compared to nonparents (36% with low health literacy) (Morrison, Schapira, Hoffmann & Brousseau, 2014). Yet here is a resource that is already in place — antenatal care professionals — which is capable of adapting to meet the needs of individual patients now, at the beginning of life.

Our country needs to rethink its approach to healthcare, and expand its emphasis on care for individuals at the point of need. And we need to learn from those health care professionals what does and does not work for patients, and then provide training for others to help them embrace innovative and effective approaches to health promotion. Every new life depends on it.


Wilmore, M., Rodger, D., Humphreys, S., Clifton, V. L., Dalton, J., Flabouris, M., & Skuse, A. (2015). How midwives tailor health information used in antenatal care. Midwifery, 31(1), 74-79. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2014.06.004

Morrison, A. K., Schapira, M. M., Hoffmann, R. G., & Brousseau, D. C. (2014). Measuring health literacy in caregivers of children: a comparison of the newest vital sign and S-TOFHLA. Clinical Pediatrics, 53(13), 1264-1270. doi: 10.1177/0009922814541674

Prompting nursing students to study using Twitter

To help their students prepare for end-of-course exams followed by board certification exams, faculty in a nurse-midwifery course used Twitter to help their students study and prepare all semester long. The faculty set up an account, @MidwifeSnackLearning, and required all students in the course to subscribe to it. Faculty then posted “brief questions or challenging statements” every 3-7 days, which students could receive as texts on their phones, or view via the Twitter page.


Students were expected to read these posts and know the answers right away. If not, they were expected to find and learn the answers themselves, verifying their findings with classmates. Answers were not posted by student or faculty. Examples of the tweeted study questions include:

  • How do infections change your AP, IP, NB management? HSV, HIV, Chlamydia, Hep B
  • What are your differentials for first trimester bleeding? Second trimester? What tests would perform and/or order?
  • What is the recommended pregnancy weight gain for a woman with a BMI of 22? Of 30?

Response to the tweeted study prompts was positive across-the-board, with one student suggesting they be sent more often. Nudging students in this way to study during the semester required little faculty time. And all students in this cohort passed the American Midwifery Certification Board examination on the first try!


Phillippi, J. C., & Buxton, M. (2014). Twitter() as a study prompt: engaging adult learners on the go. Journal of Nursing Education 53(6), 363. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20140521-11

One view of the future of medicine

A nursing colleague shared this video link with me. It’s about 10 minutes long, and is about a cardiologist who foresees mobile technology allowing patients to access medical care remotely.

At first blush, I would agree that this would save our system a lot of money and time. Patients could talk with their doctors from the comfort of their homes, and not have to fight inclement weather. This would be especially helpful for homebound seniors and others like them.

But this assumes all patients are able to afford, and tech-savvy enough to use mobile technology. With a shrinking middle-class, this is not so certain. I’ve written previously about how the esteem we hold doctors in can prevent patients from speaking up in appointments. If we put a device between patients and physicians, will that make it harder or easier for patients to speak up and ask questions when needed? As for me, I will work with such tech changes as needed, but I much prefer live, in-person interactions with the people I seek medical care from.

If we are going to put such technological “improvements” in place, all of us — patients, caregivers and healthcare providers — must insist that the savings be used to hire more nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals. Too many places in our country have too little or no access to healthcare, and people are suffering the consequences.