Sunday, December 15, 2013

Does Storytelling Really Have a Place in Nursing?

Stories are fine for kids when they’re growing up, but does storytelling have a place in a professional occupation like nursing?  Well, I would argue that stories not only have a place, but can be a very powerful tool if used correctly.

A little while ago, I wrote an article about this very topic called The Power of Storytelling in Nursing.  So as not to beat a dead horse, here’s a little excerpt from that post: 

“Stories can be more than just entertainment.  How many of us have learned courage from a little hobbit, love from Shakespeare or friendship from The Secret Garden?  Stories are powerful and they can play an important role in teaching medical concepts.

That’s what inspired the creation of Nurseables.  Amidst the daunting onslaught of information that nursing school throws your way, it’s sometimes hard to stay afloat.  Experiencing the moment, learning from other’s experiences, learning from your own mistakes and teaching others what you have learned all make information easier to remember and comprehend.  The idea with Nurseables is to give tired nursing brains a break by illustrating medical concepts in a story format.  Sure, the tales can be entertaining, but they also help remind, teach and describe some of the amazing phenomenon that occur in the body.  Some in the nursing education community are even adopting the idea of storytelling by encouraging their students to write blogs or keep journals about their experiences.”

But I’m not alone.  Here are some others that think storytelling is an essential tool in our profession.

Coach Scala at Living Sublime Wellness argues that stories are an incredible means of motivation and emotional engagement.  

Jo, RN of the Head Nurse blog talks about how she made the decision to share her personal struggles with cancer when connecting with her patients.

And Brittney Wilson of The Nurdy Nurse brings this topic to a whole new level by encouraging the use of blogging and storytelling as a means to improve the nursing profession as a whole.

Now, if you’re saying to yourself - Ok, I get it, storytelling can be a wonderful tool, but…. I’m really, really, REALLY not very good at that whole storytelling thing… Well then, never fear!  Joyce over at International Nurse Support has just the article for you.  She provides some valuable advice to help you learn how to conquer that skill and become a better nurse because of it.

Want to see these concepts in action? 

Zach G at threw together some inspiring videos from various motivational leaders for your enjoyment. 

Or you can check out the story that was the inspiration behind starting the Nurseables blog:

And that’s all for now folks!  What do you think?  Can stories really help people?  Does storytelling have a place in the realm of nursing?  Look forward to hearing from you!

This post is a collective effort of nurse bloggers as part of the Scrubs Mag Blog Carnival. If you are interested in participating find out more details and sign up here.


  1. Great post, Adrienne! I love the backstory behind the story of your blog. And I totally agree that storytelling has a place in nursing. How else do we learn? Through story! Spit me a bunch of facts and statistics and I may hear you but my behavior may not be changed. Tell me a story of how your family member lost their limb, the challenges they face, and how their life was impacted- and I might be more inclined to make healthier choices. Thanks for hosting this round! Elizabeth

  2. Great Article! I think all nurses love story-telling. Sorry I missed out on contributing to this weeks Carnival.

  3. Fantastic post! As Elizabeth has already stated, and your blog conveys quite well, storytelling definitely has a place in nursing! Really enjoy creating the post for this carnival and seeing what others had to say.


Thank you for your comment! Please consider following Nurseables on Facebook or Twitter so that you don't miss any of the tales!