1. Perry, William MA, RN

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The Internet has brought the spirit of global communication and collaboration to nurses and other healthcare professionals in ways never before believed possible. These resources are offered to expand your opportunities for discussion, reference, education, and research.


How do you find out what's happening on the Web? Do you randomly surf, pick up a new site here and there by word of mouth, or see it mentioned in a Web discussion group or list? Hopefully you've picked up a site or two from this column. I've been wandering the Internet for quite a while, yet some of the greatest finds have come from e-mail-based alerting services.


There are many sites with a "what's new" section that provides a treasure trove of new discoveries. The trouble is, with the demands of the day, I keep forgetting to check them. Here is an assortment of automatically generated newsletters that will help keep you in touch with what's happening on the net.




Medscape is a free resource with a variety of specialty areas. It offers weekly newsletters highlighting new information on its site.




BMJ offers both clinical and nonclinical areas that you can select and change as you desire.


American Nurse's Association


You can subscribe to NursingInsider at the American Nurse's Association Web site. I like the nursing related news, online CE offerings, and information on the current issue of the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.


The Ferguson Report


Dr Thomas Ferguson is one of the authors of the 1998 American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Guidelines for the Clinical Use of Electronic Mail with Patients. This periodic newsletter focuses on healthcare informatics and the interaction between consumers and providers.


Internet Scout Report


Although not a strictly healthcare newsletter, the Internet Scout Report has been in existence since 1994. It offers a potpourri of resources, many of them healthcare related. You can subscribe or read the archives.


Syllabus (






I'm very interested in computer-mediated education, and I have subscribed to newsletters from specialty publications, such as Syllabus and WebTools from the City University of Hong Kong. Don't focus only on nursing, medical education, or even post-secondary sites. There are many newsletters with rich resources for educators in the K through 12 environment.


One of our associate editors, Peter Murray, has started Quanta, the nursing informatics Web log. Although it does not offer a periodic newsletter of new content, it's well worth checking out. The Web site describes itself as "a frequently updated digest of nursing informatics news, views, events, and other miscellania."


For Web sites without e-mail newsletters, site monitoring services notify you when a Web site changes. There were several free services, which are fast following the way of the dinosaur. If you find a good one, let me know! In their place you might try one of the free e-mail reminder services such as ReminderWeb ( to recheck sites that you found fascinating. Use these free sites with caution, however. You might find your e-mail account filled with unwanted spam.


With just these few you'll spend hours browsing sites you've never seen before. I've spent way too much time in the wee hours of the night delighted with new net discoveries. Worth it? You bet.



Nancy Fagan, RN, is a systems administrator at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass. She has more than 14 years of obstetric nursing experience.


William Perry, MA, RN, is a clinical information specialist at Kettering Medical Center, Kettering, Ohio.


Elizabeth Wright, MSN, CNS, RN, C, has been an academic nursing educator for 12 years in both associate and bachelor of nursing programs. She also has served as a staff educator for 10 years for an acute care setting and currently is a staff educator for DACAS Nursing Support Systems in Youngstown, Ohio.