Amy Robbins, RN, BSN, started blogging in 2006 to document her experience as a travel nurse. "I grew up writing in a journal and decided to start keeping at least a portion of my journal in the form of a blog," Robbins said. "I had a ton of pictures from different nursing assignments on my computer and wanted to put them on the internet and give them some context."
Robbins, author of the blog "Travel Nurse Aim" (www.TravelNursingJob.BlogSpot.com), still writes about her adventures as a travel nurse, but makes sure to omit patient and hospital names to abide by HIPAA laws.
Nurses blog for many reasons, including to educate and connect with others and for business reasons, said Nurse.com’s Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, who blogs on her website www.Nurse-Power.com and is an expert blogger on www.DoctorOz.com.
Blogging is an important marketing and credibility tool for nurses who start businesses, offer services or hold political positions. It’s a communication tool to connect with others — whether they are nurses in general or in the same specialty, patients or others.
"For some nurses, it is strictly a pastime — a form of self-expression," Cardillo said.
To launch a blog, nurses first have to find or build a template. An easy approach is to use ready-to-go blogging platforms or templates. A few popular sites offering those are Nurse.com (www.Nurse.com/Blogs), Blogger (by Google, at www.Blogger.com) and the blogging option at www.WordPress.com. All are free.
Nurses who want to own their blogging domain names, or Web address, instead of having a space on an established blogger site, can buy their blogging homes. Robbins, who owns www.TravelNurseAim.com, said she pays about $8 a year for her domain.
To set up a domain name, bloggers must visit a domain registry site, such as www.GoDaddy.com. After purchasing a domain, they will have to decide where to host it and download a blogging platform, which is software to manage the blog such as www.WordPress.org.
Once you have a blogging home, the next step is to start writing.