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Nursing Standard is the official periodical of RCN publishing, and is published on a weekly basis. I can't remember what the prices are, but as a student I found it to be fairly affordable and is delivered to your door. Although I suspect most institutions will have Shibboleth/ Athens access to it which you wouldnt have to pay for but would only be readable online or in the uni library. And I like to read things like this in my own time and at my leisure, so the subscription was initially worth it for me. I continued my subscription through 1st and 2nd year of my degree, and cancelled in my 3rd; as I didn't have enough time to read them and they just piled up.
The magazine contains sections on news/ current issues in nursing, features on people/ roles etc, book and website reviews, jobs. and a learning section (Art & Science) which usually contains two or three long articles on a nursing topic either from a practical or theoretical educational aspect. My first criticism of the publication is that it tends not to contain any original research (apart from the summary section), and the focus was a much more educational/ review one. That being said, the topics in the Art & Science section were almost always relevant to me and it massively improved my knowledge and skills as I was building up my foundation knowledge. Its also really important as a nurse to keep knowledge up to date, and it is this at which NS excels due to the practical focus.
The other criticism is that when pressed for time, as most nursing students are, the only must-reads in it are the educational features which account for about 10 pages in the whole magazine- and this is one reason I cancelled my subscription as I found I wasn't reading about 60% of the publication. The current issues are interesting, but nothing you don't already know if you keep your ear to the proverbial nursing ground through news and online resources! There are a lot of adverts, and probably about 20% of it is jobs at the back, which apart from inspiration was pretty much irrelevant to me.
In short, I would recommend this in order to build knowledge and keep up to date, but beyond that it may be worth investing in a subscription to a more focussed publication or original research journal.
As a professional nurse it is imperative to keep up to date with all the latest changes in an extremely fast-paced and constantly changing clinical setting (ward environment). With advances in research, technology and new practice techniques implemented regularly. A nursing journal can be a vital source of up-to-date topical information, that can serve as a useful reference aid. While undergoing my training I was unsure of which of the many nursing publications to choose from. I was however highly recommended the Nursing Standard by both registered nurses and course tutors and have continued my subscription to this day.
Who Is It For
Owned by nurses and run by nurses. Nursing Standard is the best selling journal in the United Kingdom. Its primary readers are Student Nurses, Registered Nurses and Healthcare Assistants who practice in the field of general adult nursing. It would however also be of interest to anyone who has an interest in this field.
What's In It
Packed with a variety of features it allows nurses to keep up to speed with the latest clinical advances in their specialist chosen fields. This facilitates the development of best practice and ensures that they are up to speed with current clinical guidelines and protocols. A necessity highlighted by the Nursing and midwifery council (NMC) code of conduct. There are a variety of sections within this publication which are always informative and interesting. (forgive me I love being a nurse so am probably very biased in my opinions). There is always something new to learn and you are guaranteed to read what that is first hand in the Nursing Standard.
The news and analysis section keeps readers up-to-date with all the latest political goings on and any specific articles relating to the debates and life issues of the day. The reflection and letters features examine various topics and opinions where readers can write in and have their say on subjects that really matter to them or provide their own views on current issues. ( a bit like a problem page although I don't think I would be thanked for calling it such).This is particularly interesting as a practicing nurse as several of the issues identified are highlighted or discussed daily in the clinical setting. What's interesting here is that letters are often published from the families of patients who praise or are enraged by the care that they have received while in hospital. This is a potent reminder to all of us that it is a vocation and not just a job. As the patients advocates it is important to provide the best standard of care at all times!!!!
The art and science essays within are academic articles or published research findings on various topics and studies aimed at increasing knowledge base, and providing evidence for best practice. The learning zone focuses on professional development and portfolio management. This incorporates updated information relevant to practice which concerns things like the recent changes to the NMC code of professional conduct and updated protocols for administering Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to name but a few. There is also useful input here from student nurses relating to their practice placements and how they have turned their experiences into positive learning tools providing a focus for reflection for future practice.
A useful section is concerned with career development which provides sound information around student grants and bursaries, information about student loans and further development and training courses for already trained staff. It also provides a useful section on student life. Finally there is a large general careers category which lists current vacancies.
Nursing Standard is so confident that subscribers will enjoy their journal that they offer a full money back guarantee if readers are not satisfied with the product within four weeks of receiving the first issue. (Trust me you will not consider this option). It is packed full of interesting and up-to-date articles. Written by nurses so reflects the opinions of the profession as a whole not just by some random who has interviewed a couple of people and thinks they speak for the profession as a whole. Every edition is produced in full-colour. Good value for money. (Particularly as a student editions are heavily discounted). An added bonus is that it has its own website where you can have the option of reading a digital version instead of receiving paper copies. There is also access to archive issues here if you have a subscription. Arrives every second Wednesday on the dot. The best bit the freebies that are supplied with it on occasion. Diaries etc. (Well we all love something for nothing).
Loads of adverts, More focus on the Scottish nursing system would be beneficial. Arrives every two weeks and if you are busy you could get a bit of a backlog (just being picky). As a reference tool not suitable for more advanced academic writing.
5 out of 5 would highly recommend this journal. Love it.
Nursing Standard is produced Weekly by the Royal College of Nursing Publishing company. It is a magazine that is intended to give a brief overview of the four main types of nursing - Adult, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Childrens. It also takes time to look at certain specialities within these groups in some depth each week. The aim of Nursing Standard is to keep all nurses up to date on what's happening within nursing circles - from pay rise campaigns to the latest research that will be of benefit to patients. News and Analysis ----------------- This section lets us know what's the latest - usually a little political - new announcements made by the governemnet, exciting new research findings or the latest campaign that the RCN is mounting. Features -------- The Features section always has a little development of a few things that have been mentioned in the news section, looking at an aspect from a certain type of nurses point of view - for example at the time when the government unveiled new plans to cut down the rate of teenage pregnancies, Nursing Standard looked at the issue from a school nurse point of view. It also looks at the new innovations that some in the nursing profession are discovering - pointing out nurses who are doing particularly well or who have made great achievements. This section also takes the opportunity to put across how the RCN views certain issues, for example the recent organ scandles. Perspectives ------------ This is a very varied section of the magazine. * "In my view..." - this is written by David Newnham, a freelance journalist. It is supposed to resemble theopinion of the average Joe Bloggs on the street, who has a limited knowledge of the medical profession. It is very laid back, amusing - yet thought provoking piece - to be honest, it's the first page that I turn to! *Reader's Panel - self explanitory really
- about a different issue each week. *Ask the experts *Reviews - on latest research articles, TV programmes, radio and book reviews. *Letters - this is usually quite an amusing section, full of laughs, gripes and moans, the odd campaign and sometimes a funny story or two. Art and Science --------------- This section contains a number of articles which are designed to help in Nursing development. The main part of this section is the Continuing Professional Development articles. As the name suggests, these articles are designed to help nurses in the development of their professional practice. Usually the articles will be about 6 pages long describing, for example, a medical condition. Then this will go through the anatomy and physiology behind it, the treatment of this condition, how it presents clinically and what the nurses role is in the provision of care. The section also contains a series of "Time Out"'s to encourage even further development. The final section includes a multiple choice test, to see how much you have learnt from reading the article. Advertisments make up a substantial amount of the magazine, but these are all nursing relevant - jobs, courses and uniforms. All in all, it is a pretty good magazine, if all you want is an overview of what is going on. It is not ideal for learning about one particular branch of nursing in any great depth - this is the only disadvantage to the magazine. In all, it does what it aims to do - keeps nurses up to date, so that they can hopefully provide safe practice. Nursing Standard has a web site, it is: http://www.nursing-standard.co.uk. This contains many archives of interesting articles from past issues.