Learning Nurse Newsletter - October 2010

Welcome to the October 2010 edition of the Learning Nurse Newsletter. We are enhancing and expanding our newsletters and will post all future editions on this website. We plan on publishing three to four times a year to keep nurses and other interested parties informed about developments and news at LearningNurse.com. (For more timely updates, follow us on Twitter.)

About Learning Nurse

The Learning Nurse Resource Network (LearningNurse.com) was created by Steppingstones Partnership, Inc. and went online in April 2008. The purpose of this nursing professional development resource is to make available informal, accessible and convenient learning opportunities for nurses. Because of the shortage of nurses in many facilities, it is often difficult for a nurse to get away for traditional courses and workshops. This is particularly true in smaller and rural areas where it nearly impossible for a nurse to get a leave and funding to attend professional development events.

In developing LearningNurse.com, our goal was to provide a user-friendly website. We accomplished this by:

  • Ensuring the learning resources are available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year from any computer or mobile device with Internet access.
  • Making the resources easy to access - there are no registrations or logins required.
  • Making the learning affordable - there is no cost to accessing and using our learning resources.
  • Offering confidentiality and privacy - no one except the participating nurse will ever know her quiz or e-Learning results.
  • Providing a site without any clutter or distractions - there are no advertising or other annoying popups allowed on the website.
  • Focusing on foundational nursing knowledge and competencies - we provide an opportunity to refresh the knowledge a nurse may have forgotten since graduating from nursing school.
  • Providing quality, relevant and current nursing content - resources have been developed from the latest university nursing textbooks.
  • Providing learning opportunities in small chunks - we try and keep our learning units less than 20 minutes in length so that learning can take place as time allows.
  • Using the latest instruction strategies to offer interactive learning opportunities that are interesting, engaging and effective.
  • Collecting anonymous data that can be used by us and others for research, analysis, feedback and evaluation.

Although the Learning Nurse was originally designed for all levels of practicing nurses, it has become popular with nursing students, graduate students and nurses returning from leaves. Many of the visiting nurses take time during breaks in their night shift to review and refresh using our quizzes and e-learning modules.

Learning Nurse Users

Analyzing the Learning Nurse website statistics from January 1 to September 15, 2010, showed the following:

  • 16,600 unique visitors (IPs), growing every month
  • 30,000 visits with 600,000 page views and 55 GB of traffic
  • 24 hour traffic (many from night shifts)
  • 15% spent 30 minutes or more per visit.

The geographical location of visitors was as follows:

  • 51% from the United States - 44 states with the highest traffic from Vermont, Georgia, Virginia, California, South Carolina, Illinois, Connecticut, Florida, and Texas
  • 20% from Canada - all 10 provinces with the highest traffic from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, and Alberta
  • 8% from the United Kingdom (Great Britain)
  • 7% from Australia with the highest traffic from Victoria, New South Wales, Southern Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania
  • 4% from Philippines, 2% from India, 1% from Saudi Arabia, 1% from New Zealand
  • 5% from 26 other countries - Malaysia, Jordan, Jamaica, Cyprus, Ireland, etc.

The Learning Nurse website has a loyal following with a high rate of repeat visits. This is demonstrated by:

  • Some 85% of visitors come directly from a bookmark or URL entry
  • 12% come to the website from a search engine - Google, Yahoo and Bing; "nursing quizzes" is the most common search term with Learning Nurse being listed first or second on these search engines
  • Only 3% of traffic comes from links on other websites
  • Over 134% of visitors bookmark the website.

Despite the fact that our visitors are increasing every month, we are still a long way away from reaching the approximately 5 million English speaking nurses on this planet.

New and Improved

Over the last six months we were fortunate to have time to develop more resources for the Learning Nurse website. These included:

1. Quizzes - This is by far the most popular component of our website. We now have 101 quizzes with 6,402 questions. All quiz results are anonymously captured and displayed on the website in real time. (We will discuss the analysis of the quiz results in the next section below).

2. Self-assessment tools - These 26 print and online forms enable nurses to evaluate themselves against 644 competencies in core / basic, advanced and specialized nursing areas. Nurses can use the results of their self assessments to create their professional development / learning plans.

3. Learning Nurse Nuggets - These consist of 50 common mistakes / errors made by nurses and offer suggestions on how to avoid / prevent them. Print versions are available for all 50 Nuggets. We experimented with different e-learning prototypes for these Nuggets and would like more feedback on which is the best approach to use.

4. Learning Nurse Diagnosis Simulations - So far we have only developed one prototype on the topic of Nasal and Sinus Problems. This sophisticated simulation uses animated patients / clients to answer questions to develop critical thinking skills in a nurse so she can determine a diagnosis based on the symptoms and physical assessment.

5. Nursing jobs - We updated our links to websites that have information on nursing vacancies and positions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.

6. Links - The Links section (top menu) has been updated to include nursing organizations and selected nursing schools in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.

The Learning Nurse website also has personality diagnostic tests, and many links to external medical videos and podcasts.

Quiz Results

As of this writing, some 33,705 Learning Nurse quizzes have been completed and recorded. Between 40 to 120 quizzes are completed every 24 hours! The quiz results are tracked on the website in real time, both in a searchable query table, and in a series of statistical reports for each quiz.

The ten most popular quizzes are:

  • Medical Terminology I (2,483)
  • Anatomy Terminology I (1,520)
  • Disease Terminology I (1,467)
  • High Blood Pressure (1,224)
  • Cardiology Terms (1,208)
  • Safe Medication Principles (1,195)
  • Medical Terminology II (1,119)
  • Medication Abbreviations (990)
  • Pediatric Nursing I (873)
  • Infection Prevention and Control (860).

The five least completed quizzes are:

  • Nasal and Sinus Disorders (9)
  • Herb-drug Interactions (11)
  • Ear Pain (14)
  • Dizziness (20)
  • Dangerous Drug Combinations (21)


Average scores are computed for all of the completed Learning Nurse quizzes. The ten highest scoring quizzes are:

  • Medication Abbreviations (93%)
  • Managing Patient Rage (91%)
  • Injection Dosage Calculations (90%)
  • Tablet Dosage Calculations (87%)
  • Fluid Dosage Calculations (86%)
  • Intravenous Flow Rates (82%)
  • Cardiology Terms (81%)
  • Anatomy Terminology II (77%)
  • Antidotes (77%)
  • Ecstasy / MDMA Facts (76%).

The five quizzes with the lowest average scores were:

  • Cancer Risks (34%)
  • Dangerous Drug Combinations (40%)
  • Nutritional Disorders (42%)
  • Diagnostic Tests I (45%)
  • Mental Status (46%).

Nurse Consultants Wanted

We are in the process of compiling a list of nurse advisors and consultants for the Learning Nurse Resource Network. The role of these advisors / consultants would be to review our quizzes, e-learning modules and other resources to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date. As our resources become available, we will be contracting nurses and nurse educators to assist us with developing scripts and content for our e-learning modules.

If you are interested in helping out, please send a brief description of your qualifications and experience, as well as your hourly consulting fees to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Ideally, we would like to have advisors / consultants from all the five major English speaking countries - Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States. As well as having expertise in nursing content, practical experience with adult education and online learning is desirable.


I will be presenting a session on the Learning Nurse at the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD) in Toronto, Canada in the afternoon of Thursday, November 18, 2010. For more information on this conference and/or to register, go to the CSTD website.

That's it for now. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know. Thanks for your continuing support and interest.

Best regards,

Russell Sawchuk
Editor and webmaster


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