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Top Nursing Sites on the Web: An evaluation of rank, traffic, and content.

August 1, 2009

This blog post needed to be more functional than the last few posts I have written. Staying on course and true to nursing, this post needed to provide information to myself and other nurses. Looking at teaching a nursing informatics class in the fall, I had begun looking at teaching my students about evaluating web pages for reliability and value. In the process, I began to wonder if there were some nursing websites out there that are worth mentioning to others? If so, how should I choose those sites?

Evaluation of web pages for academic use has generally been based on good and rigorous criteria set by UC Berkeley and Cornell Libraies1, 2. However, educational evaluation of web pages lacks one important aspect that the rest of the technology world deems important in websites, traffic; therefore I developed my own rubric for evaluating the following websites. I wanted to make sure that information relevant to nursing was present, whether the site was focused on those who are interested in nursing or are already nurses. I then set out to search over the internet for the most popular and user-friendly sites and what I found was quite interesting…. So interesting that I choose to add my own additional list of recommended sites (noted below) that did not come first in my searches.

METHODS: To suggest the following websites I did a search of the terms “nurse” and “nursing” on the following search engines: Google, Yahoo, Bing, Dogpile, and Altavista. Compiling a list of the top 40 sites that came up and then divided them based on who would utilize them, either nurses or non-nurses. Using the UC Berkeley and Cornell guides I graded the sites on a point system with 10 points for content, 5 for ease of use, and 5 for ‘traffic’ (which included legitimate links to the website, mentions in other posts and average traffic). The total possible points were 20. Traffic was evaluated using a great new tool my hubby introduced me to www.quarkbase.com (Seriously, check them out).

Good Sites for Those Interested In Nursing

Here only 4 sites emerged from the 40 top websites as practical places for non-nurses to get information on nursing… Each of the sites has its own drawbacks and merits, as you will read.

#1: www.discovernursing.com – SCORE – 18.  This site, sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson Company, is an excellent site for those interested in nursing. It has excellent ease of use, scoring a 5, good content for those interested in nursing with even a link to search nursing schools and programs. However, because a corporate company sponsors the site (a no-no for UC Berkeley) it scored only a 9 on content. Traffic, somewhat lower than other sites, was the biggest downfall and a score of 4. Overall, I would highly recommend this site!

#2: www.bls.gov (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm) – SCORE – 16. This site by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers an overview of nursing and its job forecast without the vast amount of information that the discovernursing.com site does. Likewise, it has more traffic overall, but this was difficult to discern using quarkbase. Score breakdown: Ease of use – 4.5, traffic – 4.5, and content- 7.

#3: www.bhpr.hrsa.gov/nursing/ – SCORE – 15.5. This site is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It outlines the nursing shortage and the critical need for nurses with some good links, but has limited information. Score breakdown: Ease of use – 4.5, traffic – 4, and content – 7.

#4: www.wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nurse) – SCORE – 14.5. Yes, good old Wikipedia made the cut…. O.K. I can hear many of you groaning now and honestly I was too. However, the dig for this site is… it gets lots of traffic and comes up almost first in every search engine. The information provided about both nurses and nursing is good and historical, providing a good overview of nursing for the non-nurse. However, we are so much more than the page. Good first place to start with some decent links, but again not as good as http://www.discovernursing .com. Score breakdown: ease of use – 4, Traffic – 4.5, Content – 6.

GOOD Sites for Nurses

This list proved somewhat difficult to build. Not all of sites that appeared in search engines did I believe to be legitimate, and those I expected did not come up in search engines for the terms ‘nurse’ or ‘nursing’.

#1: www.nursingcenter.com (Lippincott’s Nursing Center.com) – Score-19.5. Yes, it’s a company sponsored site, but the company happens to print many peer reviewed nursing journals and text. The site beat out the others based on content. It had more information important to nursing practice than all of the others. It is easy to use and has good traffic, giving it the top spot. Score Breakdown: Ease of use – 5, traffic – 4.5, content – 10.

#2: www.nursingworld.org (American Nurses Association) – Score – 19. Second place isn’t so bad. This site is critical to nurses due to the amount of legislative information here. Likewise, the site has information on grant funding, scholarships, and clinical nursing information. All nurses should keep it bookmarked in my opinion. You have more access to the site if you are a member, which is quite costly for the average nurse, and some of the pages are dead end links. Score Breakdown: Ease of use – 4, traffic – 5, content – 10.

#3: www.nurse.com (Nursing Spectrum/Nurse Week) – Score – 16.5. The site is geared for bedside nurses and thank you for that! So many of the more prestigious nursing organizations keep websites with information that can either only be accessed by members or is beyond the focus of the bedside nurse. Although sites like this are profit driven and ‘basic’ to some, they are vital web information for practicing nurses including jobs, clinical information, and social networking. You can sign up for a free account, but look out for them trying to sell you CE. Score breakdown: Ease of use – 4, traffic – 4, content – 8.5.

#4: www.allnurses.com – Score – 15. Along the same lines as the http://www.nurse.com site, it does not have the co-joining publications to tout. It also is a little more difficult to navigate, but also provides social networking, discussion boards and some clinical information. Score breakdown: Ease of use – 3.5, traffic – 3.5, content – 8.

#5: www.nln.org (National League for Nursing) – Score – 14.5. This organization is a pillar for nursing education and all affairs related to it; however this is its sole focus. This is a great website for all nurses to be familiar with and keep tabs on the NLN’s activity, as nursing education affects all of us, however if you are looking for clinical information, job links, etc. you won’t find it here. Score breakdown: ease of use – 3.5, traffic – 3.5, content – 7.5.

Websites I think Nurses Should Visit

This list is in constant change for me, but several of these organizations are a big and important presence for nursing. However, their rank in search engines leads me to believe they need to be tagging themselves better, increases their keywords, and their page title tags (oh well… ).

#1: www.nursingsociety.org (Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society) – Score – 18.5. They are the only nursing honor society and they not only value nursing education, but clinical practice, research, and the profession. Their site offers free CE, organizational information and lots of links, however the drawback is you have to be a member. Score breakdown: Ease of use – 4, traffic – 4.5, content – 10.

#2: http://nursing.alltop.com/ (Alltop Nursing page) – Score – 18. A great website that is aptly named by its creator Guy Kawasaki an “online magazine rack” of topics. The nursing page links to the top nursing sites including the AANP smart brief and the ANA. It is an EXCELLENT resource for all nurses. The specific nursing traffic at Alltop for the site could not be surmised using Quarkbase Score breakdown: Ease of use – 5, traffic – 4.5, content – 9.5.

#3: www.ncsbn.org (National Council of State Boards of Nursing) – Score – 16.5. This website is pertinent to those preparing to take the NCLEX exam, but also contains little known information on nursing initiatives in legislation, the nurse licensure compact and some good relative links. Score breakdown: Ease of use – 4.5, traffic – 4, content – 8.

#4: www.aacn.nche.edu (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) – Score – 16.5. The AACN’s focus is purely academic, like the NLN’s, but they also offer some nursing information, student information and government policy information. The website has some drawbacks as some links are not always active, aesthetically it is lacking, and searching for specific topics is difficult at times, but all in all this is a website that nurses should be aware of. Score breakdown: Ease of use – 4, traffic – 4, content – 8.5.

#5: www.aanp.org (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners) – Score – 15. Although this site is geared toward Nurse Practitioners and it is almost entirely membership driven, the AANP is a force for nursing and patients that should not be ignored. Their website is the only internet based tool with good information into the group and their pursuits. Score breakdown: Ease of use – 3.5, traffic – 4.4, content – 7.

Other Nursing Websites I like (you should be watching these): www.nursingideas.ca (interviews, video, and nursing ideas!), http://www.asrn.org/(American society of registered nurses, new in 2003…), www.topix.com/nursing (nursing news at topix), www.americannursetoday.com (American Nurse Today online).

If you have websites that you would like to recommend, feel free to post a comment and tell why you like the website you do. The more, the merrier. Information for us nurses and patients is always good.

References

  1. University of California Berkeley (2009). Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask. Finding Information on the Internet: A tutorial. Found at: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html
  2. University of Cornell Library (1998). Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages. Olin and Uris Libraries. Found at: http://www.library.cornell.edu/olinuris/ref/webcrit.html.
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2009 9:25 pm

    I have put together a collection of Nursing School Graduation Pins on flickr (added to almost daily). Not only are they enjoyable to look at, they are a nice reference tool. Take a look, it is free and the pictures can be downloaded.

    Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing Graduation Pin 1929
  2. johnny permalink
    August 7, 2009 6:10 am

    Hello. Thank you for this great info! Keep up the good job!

  3. August 10, 2009 6:52 am

    thank you! I really liked this post!

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  1. A list of important websites all nurses should know. | Travel Nursing Blog

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