I am pleased to initiate this blog as another mechanism with which I can update you on the exciting events at the College of Nursing. I will be posting a new issue at least once a month. Today I want to talk about our convocation. Every semester, the CON will host an all-College program, and the convocation on 28 August was the first one. It was an exciting time for our new students and continuing students, with opportunities to network with one another and the faculty. Thank you to our sponsors: Key Bank NA, Upstate College of Nursing Alumni Association, SACON and the Omicron Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. Special thanks to President Smith, who always finds the time to deliver gracious remarks.
I want to take a few moments of your time to help you with your studies. I am a very technologically oriented person, addict actually, and I have found some of the following apps to be particularly helpful.
Evernote. This is a digital filing cabinet where you can store your notes, webpages, articles and pictures. You can create a notebook for each project or course. and Evernote will keep everything you need in one place across all your devices. An essential app!
Convert your personal email account to gmail, where you will have the ability to search for emails (instead of creating a never-ending series of folders), where you can link to Google drive to save your documents and collaborate with others, and which has sophisticated options for chat. It’s a good thing!
Avoid disaster and store your documents in the cloud, not on your local computer. It is too easy to lose all of your files and data by misplacing a jump drive or having a hard drive or computer failure. There are any number of options out there for backing up and storing your files. I like Sugar Sync which syncs my files across my work and home computers, my laptops and my smartphone. Google Drive and Dropbox are also very good, but the important thing is to pick one and use it. It will save you many headaches!
Organize your to-do lists. There are apps that can help you – Gtasks, Trello, Toodledo, all of which can help you to manage projects. I also like using the Livescribe pen, which, when using the special notebooks, stores all your notes for upload into your computer. It is very nice to be able to know that all of the countless notes I take are in one searchable location on my devices. The pen can also audio record. I love it.
Other things you may want to begin using include Twitter, which can really keep you up to date on professional and social news as they happen. The CON will be starting a twitter feed shortly, and you are welcome to follow my Tweets @griffsob. Download an app called Silence on your smartphone. It will silence your phone on a schedule that you determine so your phone is not vibrating or beeping during your sleep time, class or important meetings.
The CON is acquiring two important software licenses, thanks to the generous support of President Smith. One is Nursing Central. This app hosts a number of reference books, diagnostic manuals, medication manuals and journals, which are all accessible on your smart phone. We will also be instituting Typhon this semester, which will help in tracking your placements, activities during your clinical time, and allow you the creation of an e portfolio which will be useful in your future job-hunting.
One theme you may have noticed throughout this blog is Smartphones. Yes, they are an essential tool for today’s nurse. Your patients have them, and many track their health status using a variety of apps available to them. We will be using smartphones for many activities during class and clinical, so if you do not have one yet, it is time to upgrade!
I will close for now, but more to come. I look forward to meeting all of you and hearing your ideas. Come visit!
Dr. Griffin-Sobel, Dean, College of Nursing