Increasing rural nurses’ awareness of a statewide health information resource: an educational outreach initiative
Keywords:Outreach, Rural, Health Professionals, Webinars, Workshops, Continuing Education
Background: HEALWA is an online library of evidence-based health information resources that are available to Washington state health practitioners. To increase awareness and use of HEALWA among health practitioners in rural areas, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Northwest Region and Washington State University Spokane co-funded an outreach librarian position to provide instruction on using HEALWA.
Case Presentation: After attempts at frequent in-person workshops failed due to lack of attendance, a one-hour-long webinar targeted at rural nurses was developed to be delivered once a month. These webinars introduced participating health professionals to HEALWA, including how to set up their access and how to navigate the resource. To accommodate the busy schedules and different learning styles of the target audience, the workshops occurred both as monthly webinars and in-person, when available, in addition to an online self-guided tutorial. Continuing education credit was obtained through the Washington State Nurses Association, and a partnership with the Washington State Nursing Commission improved promotion of the webinars. Evaluations for both the webinars and workshops have been largely positive.Conclusions: The webinar series, coupled with in-person workshops and an online tutorial, reached nurses in rural areas of Washington state to increase awareness of HEALWA. To further facilitate access to HEALWA instruction, a recorded version of the live webinar is in development.
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