Nursing Research via Digital Storytelling Workshop


What are some of the most effective strategies in communicating nursing research on digital platforms? Research!America facilitated a half-day workshop titled “Maximizing Nursing Research and Digital Storytelling” at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHU SON) on April 26 with faculty and students to enhance their outreach to different audiences.

Research!America Vice President of Communications Suzanne Ffolkes shared key findings from surveys commissioned by the alliance which revealed that while Americans consider scientists the most trusted spokespersons for the profession, less than a quarter can name an actual living scientist and only a third can name an institution where research is conducted. The invisibility of science, she said, is one of the reasons why nurse researchers should leverage social media and digital platforms to communicate the health, economic and societal benefits of their work to the public and decision-makers.

Social media messaging must be compelling to engage a broad audience, noted Anna Briseño, Director of Communications who offered specific tips on tailoring messages for specific audiences and integrating multi-media in tweets and Facebook posts. The interactive workshop featured a Twitter Chat about the opioid crisis and the ways in which nursing/public health researchers play a role in preventing and treating opioid misuse and addiction facilitated by JHU SON Dean Patricia Davidson. Workshop participants worked individually and in groups to respond to #opioidcaretalk questions about the severity of the crisis across the U.S. and evidence-based practices that are effective in treating the opioid epidemic. Research!America members, including the American Public Health Association, joined the chat.  

Workshop participant Safiyyah Okoye, JHU SON Ph.D. student, said the Twitter chat was very informative and provided valuable insights on public engagement. “The Twitter chat was cool because you can actually see what happens [in real time]….and ask questions about what was going on and help organize my Twitter feed.”

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana