Supporting Nurse Education Beyond the Journal

Nursing | Matt Cianfarani| August 10, 2015

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Now that subscriptions to the Mark Allen Group’s collection of nursing, midwifery, medical and animal health titles are directly available via EBSCO Health, publisher Matt Cianfarani discusses how librarians can maximise value from their journal subscriptions by encouraging users to access initiatives such as CME, awards and live events.

The Mark Allen Group holds a privileged place in the training and education of healthcare professionals around the world. Titles such as the British Journal of Nursing and British Journal of Midwifery are widely used in pre- and post- qualification learning. Our contributors and editorial boards are thought leaders who help shape the agenda as well as ensuring our clinical content continually reflects best practice.

However, in order to make a difference to nurse training and build a relationship that will last throughout a nurses’ career, it’s important for publishers to contribute to education far beyond the journal page or article download.

The obvious starting point for many publishers is Continuing Professional Development, often referred to as CME for health professionals. Publishers curate exam-style content, either as new commissions or by adapting the existing editorial, to create distance-learning packages delivered online with tests and downloadable certificates of learning.

These modules have become ever more immersive and engaging with video and audio exams becoming commonplace, especially useful in medical education where pictures and diagrams can provide real-world examples to learners. Indeed, as Internet speeds and ease-of-access improve, video in all forms becomes ever more popular with readers. Webinars are now commonplace and provide a simple but highly-effective means of existing beyond the journal page.

Publishers like to obsess about reader ‘engagement’ — metrics such as ‘time-on-site’ are as important as volume of traffic. All authors, readers, libraries and publishers benefit from topical, engaging content. But leaving the journal page or computer screen behind altogether is often the best way to engage with readers. Journal publishers have an incredible network of experts, in our case healthcare professionals and educators, and putting them in front of live audiences is a great way of bringing everything to life — debate, ideas and imaginations.

Live events and conferences were once the only form of ‘networking.’ Whilst all that may have changed now, nothing beats bringing readers, opinion leaders and authors together, and library users should be encouraged to access events wherever possible. The Mark Allen Group runs dozens of national medical specialty events each year as well as whole programs of regional ‘roadshows’ for midwives and nurse practitioners, ensuring that we get as close as possible to our readers. Regional programs can be tailored to local audiences, such as obesity and diabetes in economically deprived areas or even the dangers of elective caesareans in more salubrious locations, ensuring relevant, targeted education.

Awards schemes also play an important part in sharing best practice, recognizing achievements and improving morale. Awards programs rely on attracting high-quality submissions or nominations, robust judging and a ceremony or celebration to make sure the winning work is properly acknowledged and disseminated throughout the nursing community. Most awards programs have a student category, which provides the winners a golden opportunity to promote their institution.

So once the latest article has been passed for publication, published online and in print and archived for all time in databases, library discovery systems and Google, is the work done? Most publishers today exist well beyond the journal page, so make sure you and your library users are familiar with everything they offer. Usually with a few clicks around a publisher website or a simple registration everything is easily accessible.

It can be an effective way to maximize value from your journal subscriptions.

About the publisher
The MAG Online Library hosts the collection of nursing journals along with other healthcare titles in midwifery, medicine, the allied health professions, health economics animal health. Direct subscriptions are now available via EBSCO Health.

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