The In/Visibility of Nurses in Cyberculture

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Web design and nursing are not often thought of in the same context. Very few nurses have applied their carefully honed ingenuity, knowledge, professional expertise to the task of creating content for the web. Which, in my humble opinion, is a shame. Nurses on the whole, possess great insight and ability to hone into the critical aspects of health information, to create learning tools and models for explaining care concerns with their patients, and use both sides of their brains routinely in their day to day work. All of these characteristics are "gold" when it comes to designing and writing web site content.

Now that the general population is more or less comfortable with the web, most designers realize that we are entering a new wave of website standards and evaluation. Viewers demand that website content, especially on sites that promote self-directed information, is reliable and valid. Designers need to be aware of these emerging standards of web evaluation. They need to incorporate standards in their design scheme right from the beginning. When nurses take the time to learn effective and aesthetic web design skills and combine these with their existing nursing expertise, amazing things can happen. A whole new sector could emerge onto the cyber landscape. A few nurses have taken up the torch. But many more are needed!

Nurses Help Figure Skating Champion Scott Hamilton Launch - To get the project off the ground, Hamilton joined forces with Ruth Fritskey, RN, MSN, and Josette Snyder, RN, MSN, clinical nurse specialists at The Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center, where Hamilton was treated, to establish "It was our vision that would address real patient needs and be a resource that newly diagnosed cancer patients could turn to for support," said Fritskey, who is also the director of the Patient and Public Cancer Education Program at The Cleveland Clinic. "We worked with cancer survivors in designing the site—finding out what was important and valuable to them in terms of information—so we could make a comprehensive resource."

Hathawaypage - Paul Hathaway, is a Nurse Practitioner, NP, by profession, with a penchant for designing web pages. He received his Masters as an NP at the University of California, San Francisco. Nurse Practitioners, as you likely know, practice medicine but also ensure that their patients are knowledgeable regarding their treatment. People should be active participants in their care and knowledge is key.

Matschca Designs - Sue Veldkamp has designed and now maintains over 100 websites for businesses and non-profit organizations, and prides herself on "hand coding" HTML in any editor you can throw her way. In addition to owning her own business, Sue is a Registered Nurse with over 28 years experience in delivering babies in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. In spite of her busy Internet work schedule, she still works part time as an R.N. and brings her medical knowledge to the websites she designs for related businesses.

WebO.N.E. - an interactive, online, Internet-based education program designed specifically for oncology nurses. The University of Central Florida School of Nursing, with an educational grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb International Oncology, developed WebO.N.E. in an ongoing effort to enhance oncology nurse education and improve care of cancer patients. WebO.N.E. has been endorsed by the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC). Large team of nurse educators, project coordinators and technology support staff.

Real Nurse. - Andrew Heenan presents an Open Resource for Nurses, Midwives and associated professionals of viable and trustworthy news, links and resources on the internet. Includes speciality, educational, international, nursing humour, tools for site builders, nursing journals, health care job listing resources, and so on. All resources are double checked according to a standardized honour code before inclusion on the site.

Anna Story - An Assistant Professor at Mercy College, New York, Anna has an impressively long list of web design and technology based projects in her portfolio. She mixes her nursing educational background with her Masters in Internet Management in an academic and professional way. Recently, designed and created web sites for graduate business programs- Internet Business Systems, Direct Marketing, Banking, MBA, Human Resources, Securities, and Leadership.

Nursing Net - Nurse Mark Calloway's site: "For 8 1/2 years we have been one of the most accessed and trusted websites on the World Wide Web dedicated to the Nursing Profession. Our reasons have in no way been influenced by usage, or accesses, or "hits", in fact, NursingNet is actually enjoying more than 20% more usage than at any time in our long history. - a professional development initiative © 2000 - 2003