Elaine S. DeMeyer, MSN, RN, AOCN®, BMTCN®, explains why learning to write for the web can benefit oncology nurses and how nurses teach online writing skills through mentorship. Elaine is a nurse entrepreneur and the owner of Beyond Oncology Education, LLC.
Online writing is a great format that gives nurses an opportunity to write about an aspect of their role, a best practice, or a topic that they’re just passionate about. Oncology nurses can share their stories through writing for the web to help improve recruitment and retention of other nurses and to improve the cancer care that patients receive.
You may write an article or produce a video or commentary that helps recruit new nurses to consider becoming an oncology nurse or nurses in another field transitioning to oncology, or inspire other nurses to think about their career opportunities to transition to a new role or even opportunities to write themselves. Online writing is a good skill for all nurses as it improves your overall communication, not only by writing, but in your everyday practice
Web content is a great way to share information exponentially to a number of readers. If you think about a journal, you often have to have a subscription or a library service, or you have to belong to the organization to review that content. Online content is often free and easy to access.
There are numerous resources for website content: news platforms, blogs, social media newsletters, and short education pieces. Even YouTube has content for nurses.
The key is to look for credible content that reflects current practice and what is the voice of nursing. Whenever possible, look for content written for nurses by nurses or other oncology professionals part of the interdisciplinary team.
This is why beyond Oncology is so excited to partner with Cancer Nursing Today to provide a platform for web-based content through a writing mentorship program where both mentees and mentors can participate.
Some of the ways to keep current in oncology are to look at different websites like fda.gov, where you can subscribe to drug alerts for oncology and hematology.
Another one of my favorites is the Oncology Nursing Society, which has standards of care for oncology nursing practice, as well as a robust platform for advocacy and health policy.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network provides evidence-based practice information about treatment and supportive care. If you’re new to oncology, be sure to look at the patient guidelines. That’s often written in easier to understand patient education level.
Finally, I love to look at drug websites because they’re often current and they give me the mechanism of action. They will also point to patient resources like the American Cancer Society, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Cure, or CancerCare, where there’s information for both professionals, as well as patients to help support them along their cancer journey.
Online writing is a skill just like learning to drive or public speaking. Typically, it takes practice over several months, writing numerous articles to really fine tune those skills. It’s a process that doesn’t happen in just publishing once or writing once, but that just takes time to build that. Working with a mentor is a great way to fine tune your writing skills.
A mentor can help you brainstorm on a topic, which is often the hardest for nurses to start, and then help you all the way through that process to where you have your article online.
It is difficult to find a mentor that has experience in online writing because few nurses have experience in that format. That’s why we’re really excited to partner with Cancer Nursing Today to provide an easy platform for nurses to start writing or convert from academic writing to online writing.
We are actively recruiting both mentees and mentors for our writing mentorship program, and we would love to have you join our team to focus on your communication skills and to build your writing expertise. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the writing mentorship program and learn how you might be able to be a mentor or a mentee.
Learn more about beyond Oncology and its partnership with Cancer Nursing Today.