The next step toward mastery. Reading plan management

It’s been a bit since I’ve updated this. I’ve been busy and I guess I”m not really a blogger.

So the next step in becoming a Master/Expert in nursing is getting in the habit of reading and updating your knowledge base.

As an emergency department nurse I have to be current in a wide range of subjects and they aren’t covered completely in a single journal. I counted them up this afternoon and I read 94 different journals. Now I don’t read every single one of them from cover to cover. There are a number of tools that can be used to sort through them.

Currently I’m using a program called Read by QXmd ( that gives me the abstract and table of contents of each of those journals, I can pic and choose the ones I want to read. I supplement that with suggestions from people I respect and listen to on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. I then use an academic login to the school library to actually read the articles. There journals I actually read from cover to cover I actually subscribe to. I subscribe using a combination of professional organizations. ENA and AACN as well as a few others. I subscribe to generic nursing journals using journal subscription service. That way I don’t have to worry about it.

Choosing journals. As I said earlier as an ED nurse I need to be knowledgable in a wide range of topics. I start with the Journal of Emergency Nursing, Critical Care Nurse and American Journal of Critical Care. I get these from my professional organizations. I then read a couple of the Emergency Med MD Journals. That way I know what the Docs are reading and can predict what they are going to be doing, expecting of me. I then branch out to specialty area’s like Pediatrics, Ortho, Cardio, and pre-hospital medicine. From there it branches down to more specialized care and things I”m interested in. The farther down the list I go, the less I actually read. I book mark and store for reference. It’s amazing how many times we’ve heard a zebra in the ED and I’ve been able to grab my iPad and find a reference for some infectious disease or medication no one has ever heard about.

I now schedule myself 8 hours a month for nothing but journal reading. Since I’m a Mac Fan, I’ve got iPhone and iPad so I’ve always got the stuff close at hand when I’ve got a down time or spare moment.

Besides knowing things, you eventually start to get some respect because you start to speak the same language. When calling report to specialty floors, I can speak their language. They start to recognize it. And eventually you get to a point were the docs start asking my opinion on things.

About craigb.rn

An aging health care provider thoughts on life, love and 30 years of wiping butts. I have a passion for both critical care and education, and my co-workers think I fall into lecture mode way to often.
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1 Response to The next step toward mastery. Reading plan management

  1. Warm Southern Breeze says:

    Good thoughts, Craig. It’s good to read about the method to your “madness.” 😉
    Keep up the good work!

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