Nursing Book Club

The Nerdy Nurse’s Guide to Technology by Brittney Wilson

A cursory overview of the digital world

Even before half the country was forced into working remotely, I had decided that perhaps my IT skills could use some improvement. Even before half the country was forced into working remotely, I had decided that perhaps my IT skills could use some improvement.

With the help of my good friend Amazon, I located The Nerdy’s Nurse’s Guide to Technology by Brittney Wilson, RN, BSN, founder of The Nerdy Nurse blog (

This book was published by Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, an organization noted for its scholarship, and received the 2014 AJN Book of the Year Award in the information technology/social media category. To me, this pointed to the book’s being well-written. However, I was disappointed to see that Wilson has not updated it since it was first published. Even so, I found the information useful.

At Home and at Work

The book is divided into nine chapters, some more helpful than others. Wilson looks at technology from a few different viewpoints. First is what it can do for you personally. This might involve connecting you on social media to other nurses having similar problems (Wilson was bullied as a young nurse, which was the original inspiration for her blog) or asking an online group how you might solve a management problem such as scheduling or vacation requests.

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The author also points out how IT can help you professionally, such as through mastery of EMRs, the bedside use of computers or earning CEUs at work in states (like California) that mandate continuing education as a condition of licensure. The Internet can help you remotely post your resume or recruit help, conduct research or join online professional groups.

Outdated Hardware

After pointing out the many ways computers are useful, Wilson offers advice on many of the basic questions you might have before you purchase a new device, such as which type you need — Mac or PC, laptop or tablet — and how various tablets differ from each other.

This is a chapter that particularly suffers from having been written six years ago, but while some of the specific information could be updated, I found its treatment of broad topics quite helpful.

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Wilson is an obvious Google enthusiast. She recommends Google Docs; Google Drawing for diagrams; Google Presentation for slideshows; and Google Spreadsheet for, she tells us, “budgets, numbered lists or anything that requires any sort of calculation.”

I think I was hoping for a little more instruction on exactly how to use all of these apps, but perhaps she felt they were relatively self-explanatory or that detailed guides were beyond the scope of this book.

I noticed that in several instances, she turned to Wikipedia for definitions — I would expect something a little more scholarly in a book published by Sigma Theta Tau — but the book has great graphics, is well-organized and is easy to understand.

For someone new to nursing and all the technology it now involves, this is a great overview. I was able to readily see areas where I could improve my game and now have an understanding of why and how to do so. At $34.95, the book is a little pricey, and I would rate it more highly if it were updated to reflect the latest generations of devices and apps.

The Nerdy Nurse’s Guide to Technology by Brittney Wilson (Sigma Theta Tau, 2014).

CHRISTINE CONTILLO, RN, BSN, PHN, is a public health nurse with more than 40 years of experience, ranging from infants to geriatrics. She enjoys volunteering for medical missions.

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