Oct. 7, 2020

New online forum for nurses and students invites conversation and connection

Community group from UCalgary Nursing brings health-care peers together to share information and find practical support

Nurses and nursing students now have a new place to meet (virtually). And to swap strategies, and to network.

“Life gets really busy, and sometimes nurses work in isolation from each other or just focus in on their particular specialty and workplace,” says Lorraine Venturato, associate professor and director, International and Global Health in the Faculty of Nursing and an adviser with the new UCalgary NurseNetwork.

To meet a need for enhanced community networks and added supports for nurses and health-care professionals, UCalgary Nursing is pleased to announce the launch of an online resource and support hub called UCalgary NurseNetwork. RNs, nursing students and health-care practitioners from all areas of specialty and various university affiliations are invited to join the private group; registration is not limited to UCalgary students and alumni.

NurseNetwork is ultimately a private and informal hub for health-care professionals and students to connect with one another during a critical time and to come together as a community. Once they are registered — a simple process that includes signing a code of conduct — members will be able to share ideas and research related to their practice, as well as general tips and resources. The platform will be managed and monitored by UCalgary staff administrators, who also will oversee resources shared. A team of five advisers — experienced RNs, students and nursing leaders — will offer guidance and direction as the forum grows and conversations develop.

UCalgary NurseNetwork Advisory

Members of the UCalgary NurseNetwork Advisory, from left: Lorraine Venturato, Cathy Le, Megan Keszler, Dave Patterson and Harneek Kapoor.

The online venture was originally suggested by Venturato and conceived as a forum where all nurses and nursing students could share experiences, tips, fears, and resources related to COVID-19 and other health topics. Venturato belongs to a similar group in Australia and saw it as an important central place for health-care workers to share information, knowledge and practical support.

“I think the online nursing network is really useful to hear about what is happening in other areas of practice,” says Venturato, “and to share thoughts and ideas about practice issues, professional issues, and personal coping strategies.

UCalgary students and alumni are a vibrant community and this online network provides a place to meet and share and network.

Through the hub, which is housed by the same provider as UCalgary Nursing’s mentoring program (NurseMentor), members will be able to connect online via chat or video. They also can participate in a larger group discussion via an idea hub visible to all members of the group. Resources such as relevant materials, studies, links to groups and associations, news and events, are provided by administrators and shared amongst the group. The program’s co-ordinator and advisory group will help provide resources and answers to questions while engaging membership and addressing needs as requested.

The goal of this venture is to help unify the health-care community during a critical time, to share clinical tips and strategies and to allow for a central place to collaborate and find support.

Any health-care provider, especially nurses and nursing students, are invited to join the NurseNetwork community and to contribute to the conversation.

More information on the UCalgary NurseNetwork

To join now, please visit the NurseNetwork Hub or contact the co-ordinator Aimee Mains.