April 13, 2007

New Web site to serve as ‘ambassador’ for nursing

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New Web site to serve as ‘ambassador’ for nursing

Vanderbilt University Medical Center recently launched a new Web site designed to connect its more than 3,000 current nurses and to help address the growing demand for additional nurses.

“We want to provide one-stop shopping for our nursing staff so they can find out all the information they need about services, upcoming programs and other things which in the past required them to go to different sites,” said Debianne Peterman, Ph.D., M.S.N., director of Nursing Education and Development for VUMC.

The redesigned site is the first new nursing-focused site in six years and features more content with user-friendly organization that includes information about VUMC's philosophy on nursing, Magnet Recognition and nursing initiatives as well as spotlights on members of the nursing staff.

Stock photography of nurse models was scrapped and replaced with actual pictures of VUMC nurses working with colleagues and with patients in their real environments.

The new site will serve as the main hub of information for VUMC nursing and various programs and events, including activities for the 2007 Nurses Week in May. In addition to helping internal audiences, the Web is a powerful nurse recruitment tool, since as many as 80 percent of VUMC's nursing candidates apply for a position online.

Outside candidates can research information about VUMC's philosophy, career development opportunities and read biographies of nurse leaders.

Future plans include having unit-specific information for prospective employees.

“Externally, we hope that we are attracting nurses, or future nurses, who want to work in a Magnet-designated organization” said Peterman. “Our new Web site will serve as an 'ambassador' for nursing at Vanderbilt.”

So far, the new site has averaged 1,300 hits each week, with interest from users within the United States as well as from countries in Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East and India.

The new site is the result of more than a year of planning and dvelopment by a group headed by Sherri Stringfellow, art director, and Chris Wilson, M.S.N., R.N., director of Nursing Education and Professional Development for Vanderbilt University Hospital.

Representatives from VUMC nursing, the School of Nursing's informatics department and VUMC marketing made significant contributions to the project.