Guest: Richard Williams
Guest Bio: He is a registered nurse and the editor and founder of a monthly digital magazine called, Nurses FYI Magazine. It’s a global nursing community and you can access it via an app in the Apple Newsstand. | www.nursesfyi.com
Health Professional Radio
Katherine: Thanks for listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Katherine and today, I am joined by Richard Williams. He is a registered nurse and the editor and founder of a monthly digital magazine called, Nurses FYI Magazine. It’s a global nursing community and you can access it via an app in the Apple Newsstand. Welcome to our show.
Richard Williams: Thanks, Katherine. Thanks for having me on.
Katherine: My pleasure. Richard to start off with, please tell us a bit about yourself and what led you to start a digital magazine?
Richard: Sure, Katherine. Look I’ve been nursing for 23 years now. I’m probably what you’d call maybe the old school because I actually graduated from the old apprenticeship system and training back in ’87 in a small town called Lithgow which is not far from where I live now, Bathurst. I’ve never actually been to a uni. I’ve just always felt I got enough information from my initial training and I’d make a go of it from there. I’ve done my midwifery training along the way and I really enjoyed that. I’ve set up an acute pain service at one of the regional hospitals.
I worked in accident and emergency at RPA which was really, really good. So the bulk of my nursing career, I’ve actually been working in patient transport and that’s been nearly 14 years now that I’ve been working in that area. I mean my nursing career has been fairly diverse but I’ve always enjoyed it. But I felt I had a bit of an entrepreneurial flair that nursing really wasn’t able to cater for. So I thought I’d try to see different things on the Internet and had some limited success with those. But then I just thought, well what do I know the most about in my life and the answer was nursing. So I thought, well that should be the area that I focus on.
I realised that there was this platform that was becoming available to everyone really, which was the digital platform for publishing, which probably would have been called desktop publishing not that long ago. But now that there’s been the major success of things like the iPads and Intel came along and developed this system that it was quite affordable really for a startup business that let me sort of access a ready-to-go, sort of way of being able to publish a monthly edition of a magazine that’s not actually a print magazine but it’s a digital magazine.
Katherine: Right. And people access it via their iPads and phones as well?
Richard: Yes. At this stage it’s just … I’ve just been able to focus so far on the Apple platform which is the Apple Newsstand so that’s now through … it initially started with the iPad and the iPad Mini. Now it’s the iPhone and the iPod Touch.
Katherine: All right, got you. You’re already in … you’ve made four editions, is that correct?
Richard: Yes. Four are already available and I’m working on the fifth one at the moment.
Katherine: Where do you get your story ideas from?
Richard: Really the bulk of them tend to come through LinkedIn, which I don’t know if you have used. [Inaudible 0:03:18] familiar with LinkedIn it’s quite an established sort of social platform for professionals to link up with other professionals in the same profession. I basically just post like a wanted ad for article submissions within the various nursing groups because there’s quite a diverse range of nursing groups in there already with tens of thousands of members already there and I have a very, very strong response from those groups. That’s been the bulk of it.
But there’s a few other ways. Social media has been good. Twitter has been a good source in finding out about differentprofessionals as well as YouTube. YouTube’s been another way and word of mouth, I’ve been under a few of my nursing colleagues. A regional tutor that taught me nursing, I got under her and she’s got an article coming up in the next edition. It’s [inaudible 0:04:16] as well as my friend Martin who went through midwifery together.
Katherine: Oh, great.
Richard: He’s been in midwifery; he stayed with it for 23 years now so he’s doing an article in the next edition as well. I’ve called in a few favours as well.
Katherine: Oh, great. That’s what I wanted to ask you as well. Can you tell us a bit about some of the articles that appear in the magazine?
Richard: Yes. Well I aim to have nine articles in each edition so we’ve had quite a diverse range of articles. I don’t actually … it’s because I suppose on the first one, to bring this out, the world is my oyster so to speak so I haven’t actually had to specialise in one area, like I haven’t [indecipehrable04:56] of magazine on patient transport. I’ve just looked at the whole cross section of nursing and haven’t specialised in or picked any one specialty.
I mean it’s been fascinating the research I’ve done. There’s such a diverse range of interesting things that nursing professionals are doing. Things like there’s Keith Carlson and Kevin Ross who’s got RN FM radio going. That’s a similar program to what you’re doing which is just for nurses in America. She’s the yoga nurse, so she specialises in just teaching nurses yoga.
Katherine: Yoga [inaudible 0:05:32] for nurses.
Richard: Just for nurses, yeah, just yoga for nurses. Who would have ever thought that would be even available? Jamie Davis has got his own podcasting show in America. He has something like 10,000 people tuning in to his show every week, so he’s well established. Jeremy Stein, he’s a meditation nurse. He just teaches, he’s a nurse too so he teaches nurses the value of nursing and what that can bring to their professional life. We’ve had Laurie who is a nurse who’s had many, many years as working in the correctional services, in the prison system.
She did an interesting article on like the first day of working in a correctional service. I’ve tried to just make it in Australia or UK or America. I’ve tried to reach sort of the far corners of the globe and I’ve even had Jason bring an article about transcultural nursing in Trinidad and Tobago [sp], which was good.
Katherine: That’s interesting.
Richard: And few other entrepreneurial nurses who’ve got apps going like Cathy [inaudible 0:06:46] got an app you can use to put your shifts in and have different tips and prompts of different medication rounds and things like that. So that was interesting.
Katherine: Oh, great.
Richard: And I don’t just necessarily have it exclusively for nurses. I talked to Dave Albert who developed the iPhone ECG. We actually interviewed him for an article which was very interesting.
Katherine: But still in the medical [inaudible 0:07:17]?
Richard: Yeah. It’s always related to medicine.
Katherine: Great and what have been some of the rewards or challenges of digital publishing? Because it is very different for nursing, isn’t it? You’re kind of more in front of the computer and …
Richard: Yes. Well it’s been challenging because I’ve really done it all myself. So from the ground up it’s been a big learning curve. The reward I suppose was initially getting the first edition out and then to be able to maintain that and keep the articles flowing which has been challenging. Now, I’ve sort of got some runs on the board. The articles are coming in a bit more freely, which is good. But I mean and my wife does help. She helps with the layout of the covers. My covers have improved quite a bit from my first one, the sort of more recent ones. I think it’s been challenging to work full time as a nurse. I work Monday to Friday which I’m lucky, and then I just tend to work, chip away at this at night from 9:00 until 11:30 at night.
Katherine: Hopefully you’ll be able to grow to a state where you can have some people that can help you with it.
Richard: This is really, in a way, in the sense, it’s my exit strategy for the things that … I’m 48 now so I’m thinking well I’d like to be [inaudible 08:39] and getting off the road at some stage in the near future. So this I thought, if this grows and becomes established and I get some regular subscribers, I’m hoping that I could be doing this full time from home.
Katherine: You’re always looking for new contributors, aren’t you? How can they get in touch with you?
Richard: If people want to contribute an article, the best way to get in contact with me is just through email which is at nursesfyiwhich is … for your information if you’re wondering what the FYI stands for, @gmail.com.
Katherine: There’s also the website as well isn’t there, nursesfyi.com?
Richard: That’s correct. If they did go to the app store and find the app, f they just search for nursesfyi, they should find it. The first edition is actually free so if they want to have a look and see what it’s about, they can do that at no cost.
Katherine: Great. Thank you so much for your time today. It’s been really enlightening to hear about starting a digital magazine from scratch. Thanks again for your time, Richard.
Richard: It’s my pleasure. Thank you. Thanks for the interest in what I’m trying to do.