Kate B. Hubbard, MSN, RN, OCN®, NPD-BC®, explains why learning to write for the web can benefit oncology nurses and how nurses can start sharing their knowledge through writing. Kate is an oncology nurse educator with beyond Oncology living in Asheville, NC.
All oncology nurses have something to share with other nurses, and I believe that writing for the web or online writing is a great way to get started. Whether you’re new to writing or you haven’t written in a while, it’s really such a simple style of writing.
Writing is also an important skill set for nurses to have. First of all, it allows you to share your knowledge with not just your co-workers, but with a larger audience. Even if you’re not planning on becoming a writer, having great communication skills can really set you apart in the workplace and help you to open the door for new opportunities to take the next step in your career. Maybe you’re looking to start a committee in your organization or develop a quality improvement project or apply for a new position. These are all examples where excellent communication skills are needed, and writing is a great way to strengthen this skill.
Getting started with anything is often the hardest part, so I would encourage interested writers to start with online writing. It’s really an easy format to learn. It’s less time consuming than academic writing, and it’s also a great platform to move on to other types of nursing writing after you get the hang of it.
I would encourage new writers to write about what you know. What is it that you know a lot about, or what are you passionate about? Start with writing on those topics.
Lastly, find a writing mentor. A mentor is someone who is experienced in writing and can work with you, alongside you, in your writing journey.
I cannot say enough about what a valuable experience it is to have a writing mentor. I had no experience with writing when I started writing with my mentor, Elaine DeMeyer, about a year ago, and I have learned so much from her.
Mentors can really help you brainstorm on topic ideas. They can jump in if you get in a rut with your writing, and they can also give you feedback along the way to really help you as you write.
My mentor shared her experiences with me, both her highs and her lows, which really saved me valuable time by learning these tips from her.
A great place to start to find a good mentor is the beyond Oncology writing mentorship program. beyond Oncology pairs new writers or mentees with experienced writers or mentors, and the program really guides you through the process of writing for the first time.
Thanks to their partnership with Cancer Nursing Today, you will have an immediate platform for your article to get published rather than waiting for months, which is often common with academic writing. Your articles will get published almost immediately as soon as it’s submitted, and you’ll be able to take your article link and share it with friends, family, co-workers, or even on social media, if you want. It’s a fun way to to see your article and your hard work in place.
Cancer Nursing Today also allows nurses to experience other types of media formats, like short videos on certain topics or question and answer sessions, like this one. It’s really a great way to expand your communication skills outside of just writing.
beyond Oncology is actively recruiting mentees and mentors for our writing mentorship program. If you’re interested in taking the first step in your writing journey, we’d love to have you join us.