This was written and sent in by Joe, who is a nursing teacher and Nursing Science student. I have already made an account with the Nursing Wiki, but have not really contributed anything yet. I think it’s a great idea and could be a great asset to the online nursing community. If you want to add your nursing blog to the list on the wiki, go to the blog page.
On May 1st, 2006 a new Internet project for nursing was started. Since then, a community-driven free database with nursing-specific content is being developed at http://en.nursingwiki.org. Anybody is welcome to contribute. The articles, which are written, extended and edited by volunteers, are freely accessible by anyone, and the contents may be used by anyone without charge.
Thanks to the free encyclopedia Wikipedia, this principle of “free information” has been a well-known phenomenon among Internet surfers for a while. Wikipedia’s English version has more than 1 Million entries and is being supported by more than 200,000 volunteers. Since not only the contents but also the software that runs Wikipedia (MediaWiki) are available for free, anyone who is interested can start his or her own Wiki project. The “NursingWiki” was started because Wikipedia articles are limited to encyclopedic entries. For this reason articles containing specific instructions (for example for setting up a nursing plan) are not appropriate for Wikipedia entries.
“Wiki wiki” is the Hawaiian expression for “fast – quick” and illustrates the principle of the projects to quickly and easily create new articles and link them to existing articles. No computer programming background is necessary. Anyone who has ever written an online email before should be able to find their way around the way Wikis work. With the offering of the NursingWiki a development is making its debut in nursing that has been established in other areas for a long time. In software development, the free exchange of information has been common for a long time and has turned out to be a great success. Volunteers collaborate on projects and constantly extend and optimize their work. The NursingWiki works in a similar way. Volunteers create new articles, extend or correct existing articles to keep them current, all without any commercial interest. Since articles in the NursingWiki cannot only be read but also edited, there is a certain kind of “self-cleaning effect” inherent in the
Wiki way: only things that gain the approval of the large critical readership will be able to survive in the Wiki. All changes – corrections of simple typos as well as complete re-writings – are being logged in the version history of each article. This offers an overview of the history of each page and makes it possible to undo any potential vandalism through the restoration of previous versions.
At this time there are innumerable discussion forums, blogs and web pages offering nursing-specific information on the Internet. NursingWiki’s advantage is that visitors can correct mistakes in the articles right away in an easy manner, and they can also add more information from their own expertise. The NursingWiki site is not meant as competition to other nursing sites, but rather a central place for nursing-related information and tutorials.
The NursingWiki volunteers collaborate on this project for different reasons:
* Nursing students put their class notes and papers on the wiki. For their exams they know where to find all the necessary information to prepare for each exam. Chances are high that the entries have already been edited and extended by other users.
* Many nurses and nursing teachers enrich the wiki with their specific expertise and experience, which are often missing from common nursing textbooks.
* Patients and their family members can find information about diseases, therapies and medicine, and can share their experiences with others.
After about one and a half years (March 2006) the German language sister project “PflegeWiki”, which started in August 2004, has more than 2900 articles about different nursing topics. For example there are entries with concrete instructions (“How to put on sterile gloves”), special procedures (“Replacing a tracheal cannula”), profiles of well-known nurses (“Patricia Benner”), information about diseases (“Morbus Parkinson”), and anatomy (“Heart”) as well as nursing theories (“Self-nursing deficit”), nursing models (“ATL/AEDL”) and articles about nursing science (“nursing research”). Many articles contain photographs or other visual aids, which can also be freely used on home pages as well as for lectures as long as credit is given to PflegeWiki.
The English version NursingWiki has been started to give an international touch to the freely available nursing information. These projects are sponsored by the German organization “Verein zur F?rderung freier Informationen f?r die Pflege e.V.”, which is officially hosting the web sites and coordinates user activities and does the necessary PR work.
Since NursingWiki has not been around for a long time, many fundamental articles still have to be written. Therefore we need your help:
Be brave. Contribute and make your knowledge available to everyone.