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Carol Bush, BS, RN, is a nurse consultant, blogger and social media Community Manager at The Social Nurse. An oncology nurse activist, she has a passion for helping nurses advance clinical practice by mastering digital tools. At home, Carol loves gardening, cooking, watching college basketball and playing with her granddaughter. Connect with Carol via Twitter @cbushrn or @TheSocialNurse

Two Key Resources for Community Health Projects

Ready access to collaboration and project management tools is essential for oncology nurses today.
Community NurseAs we reform our health system and more actively use community-based health interventions, its essential that today’s oncology nurse develop skills to lead this collaborative work. 
While it can be challenging, this population focus is also rewarding because, as a nurse, you are developing an understanding of an entire group of people or community in order to effectively carry out your nursing duties. This is very different from the individual relationships we have historically experienced as oncology nurses.

Especially now with hospital systems’ focus on health care transitions, patient education, and patient care management/coordination, having ready access to project management tools is a huge advantage. Here are two of my favorite go-to resources:

The Community Tool Box – University of Kansas

The Community Tool Box
is the most robust one-stop, go-to, high-quality resource for tools and skills to build healthier communities that I know of. Under continuous development since 1994, the tool box is widely used in teaching, training, and technical support. Currently available in English, Spanish, and Arabic and with millions of user sessions annually, it has reached folks working in over 230 countries around the world.

The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change.  Want to learn about community assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, advocacy, and other aspects of community practice? Then help yourself to over 300 educational modules and other free tools.

My favorite CTB resources
Project Management Toolkit - American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing

The Project Management Toolkit  is provided to serve as a guide to assist project teams in identifying essential tasks necessary to accomplish the work, manage timelines and deliverables of any project.  I have found it useful not only in community work, but also when facilitating multi-disciplinary QI initiatives within a single healthcare system.

What I like best about the toolkit? 
  • Downloadable forms
  • A great article describing the process management cycle
One of the key reasons I enjoy collaborative projects is the chance to witness transformation as a result of the collective impact of people working together.

I cannot think of another aspect of oncology nursing where there is so much personal opportunity for growth and leadership development. I hope these tools are helpful and would love to hear about your community-based projects!

Talk about this article with nurses and others in the oncology community in the General Discussions Oncology Nursing News discussion group.
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