It looks like Spring is finally here! I am sitting in my sunny living room with the windows open, loving this beautiful weather. The semester is winding down, for both my school nurse job and my graduate program. Some exciting news to report- my article on School Nurses and social media is going to be published this May in the NASN School Nurse journal! I am very proud of this accomplishment, and can’t wait to see it both online and in the journal. There will be a podcast to go along with the article, so stay tuned for that. I am also going to present a poster on the same topic at the NASN Annual conference in Philadelphia this summer, which will be a great experience.
My family and I spent Spring Break in Washington, D.C. this year. My Houston born kids were over the moon when we landed and there was snow on the ground. We had a very busy week sightseeing at all of the popular places there- the National Mall and Monuments, the Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust museum, and Arlington cemetery. It was a fun week, and I am glad we got to spend some quality family time together.
This time next year I will be graduating from SBMI with my Healthcare Informatics Masters degree, so I am beginning my job search for an Informatics position. It’s time to start putting all those theories into practice! It’s always nerve wracking to shift gears and move in a different direction professionally, but that has always been the case with my nursing career. I’m still going to keep ties with my school nursing colleagues, as I think there are still some untapped opportunities there. I have been fortunate to be a member of several committees and workgroups at the regional, state and national level, and I am constantly learning new things from my colleagues. And just when I thought I was done completely with school, I learned of this. DNP, anyone? Maybe I’m not done after all!
In a really neat twist, my two worlds of School Nursing and Informatics have something in common this week. My school district recently updated their website, which I love, and today they added an interactive dashboard:
So how does this relate to my Healthcare Informatics studies at SBMI? This semester I am taking a class on data visualization, and we are going to learn how to design dashboards and other interactive displays. So far the classes have been very interesting. It’s great that I have a real world example that is personal to me to refer back to. This dashboard got me to thinking about my school clinic data, and how I could develop an interactive dashboard with Tableau once I get more comfortable with the program. More projects to work on!
It has been a great first week of school so far. It’s always hard to get back into the swing of things after being off since early June! But It is so nice to see my students again. Part of the fun of working in an Elementary school is that the kids are just so darn cute. My boys are both in middle school now, so I enjoy getting to still interact with the littles. Granted, this week has been busy- getting the clinic schedule organized is always a challenge, and the first week of school is a lot of late evenings getting medications, procedures, tube feedings, health plans and other MD orders put into the computer. But once all that busy work is done, I can start to feel a little more settled in the clinic. Until flu season begins, I suppose.
Another cool thing that happened is that I was asked by the Johnson & Johnson Nursing Notes Live podcast to give an interview about School Nursing. I’m a huge fan of podcasts, and I listen to several on a regular basis (Gallifrey Public Radio and StarTalk are my current favorites), but being the subject of the interview was a first for me. It was great to be able to share what School Nurses do, and how we help impact the health and wellness of our students. I really enjoyed the experience.
If all that wasn’t enough, I started the fall semester in my graduate program at SBMI. Three semesters down, four to go! I’m really excited to be taking a class about data visualization, and will be learning how to use Tableau. Apparently pie charts are really bad, and shouldn’t be used. Who knew?
No doubt you’ve heard of the IOM’s report The Future of Nursing. What I discovered recently is that you can download a free copy of the report from the National Academies Press here. I love this site, and have downloaded other articles and references for some of my Informatics classes at SBMI.
Equally cool is this great infographic, that you can either download or order in poster form.