It’s easy to believe our nursing world exists only within our workplaces. Each speciality has their own dialect, cultures and traditions. Our colleagues become our community, and venturing to another ward seems like going to a foreign land. However, as you travel from ward to ward, or even country to country, you realise, nursing has its own language, allowing us to connect with a truly global nursing community.
I first experienced this community as an undergraduate student. I travelled to Thailand and met with other nursing students from Bangkok and Chiang Mai, as well as Japan and South Korea. Despite the cultural differences and language barriers, we found a common bond in nursing. We connected by sharing our experiences and individual perspectives on the profession we were about to join.
At the 2013 International Council of Nursing Congress in Melbourne, I experienced this on a larger scale. With over 4000 nurses from around the world attending, forming friendships was easy, as everyone spoke a collective nursing language. Despite which country we came from, we were all still part of the same nursing tribe.
I continue to connect with nurses from all over the world through social media. Social media has allowed me to join an international nursing community. We compare protocols, collaborate and share resources. We give advice, virtual high fives and pep talks when needed. We see time and time again how inspirational, supportive, and intelligent nurses are.
Our nursing worlds are only as small as we choose them to be, so start exploring what exists beyond your boarders and engage with the global nursing tribe.