The End of a Blogging Era?

By Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

EmerblogScreenshotFrom August 2005 until August 2013, Kim McCallister ran a blog called Emergiblog, one of the first nursing blogs to gain a certain prominence among nurses on the Web. She told it like it was in her corner of the nursing world, and you didn’t have to always agree with her opinions to embrace her honesty and directness.

If I recall correctly, Emergiblog was one of the three exemplary nursing blogs mentioned in a lunchtime presentation given at our office by health care journalist and social media wizard Scott Hensley. (Hensley is now the writer and editor of the National Public Radio health care blog, Shots.) His excellent presentation, itself given I believe in the form of a newly created blog, gave me just enough know-how to be able to create and launch this blog from scratch on WordPress.

Aside from inspiring nurses and other health care bloggers of every sort to realize that their experiences were worth writing about, their ideas worth exploring, Kim also did a lot to help other bloggers learn about each other, and promoted a regular roundup of links to nursing blogs, called “Change of Shift,” which was guest-hosted by a number of blogs over the years.

At the time we started our own blog at AJN in 2009, “Change of Shift,” which ended in 2011, was required reading for anyone wanting to learn about new nurse blogs and new posts of particular note. This was before Twitter had become quite such a force. In the past couple of years, new posts on Emergiblog have been rarer and rarer, and now McCallister has written a post explaining that she’s closing the blog (actually, it will remain on the Web, though won’t be updated).

Yesterday, as it happens, we ran a thoughtful post by Julianna Paradisi that explored a possible confusion that can occur between nurse burnout and nurse boredom; now here’s an excerpt from Kim’s goodbye post, which describes a particular kind of burnout—nurse theorists and “thought leaders” may want to take note, at conferences far from the bedside; such concerns as Kim expresses, while not universal, appear to have a fairly high incidence in some segments of the nursing community. Or maybe what Kim’s talking about is simply the rearranging of priorities that many of us experience as we get a little older and little wiser. At any rate, we wish her the best of luck.

There are still topics I could write about: the metamorphosis of my hospital into a corporate appendage, the uselessness of electronic medical records (very sad realization, that), the feeling that as nurses advance their education, basic nursing care is being forgotten (oh, the stories!).

Topics like this used to rev me up, make me head for the keyboard and blow out a rant.

Now, all I want to do is reach for the Prilosec.

Even if I still had the urge to write, I wouldn’t want to sound like a bitter, sarcastic nurse who is angry all the time. And I would sound like that (I wrote the paragraph above four times before it stopped sounding like I was ready to punch the wall.)

That isn’t fun to read, and it certainly does nothing to help the profession.

These days, frankly, I’d rather spend my time off in Portland with my grandson, catching up on Doctor Who episodes from the last 50 years and cheering my head off for NASCAR every weekend.

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Senior editor/social media strategy, American Journal of Nursing, and editor of AJN Off the Charts.


  1. jm September 3, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Thanks for the tip. Suppose it makes sense that a nursing lifestyle magazine would sponsor nurse bloggers, as long as there’s no conflict of interest involved about product endorsements, etc. Will certainly check it out!

  2. Brittney @ The Nerdy Nurse August 31, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    While it may be the end of blogging for Kim, her legacy will live on in nurse bloggers everywhere. There are over 20 nurse bloggers participating in a nurse blog carnival, you should join us to continue sharing our nursing knowledge, options, and passion with the web.

  3. RehabRN August 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Life’s too short not to have fun and enjoy what you have. As a blogger, I’ve found the vent is a nice part of the blog, but that’s not really why people want to come over to read what you have.

    Some people want windows: they really want a behind the scenes tour of what is to be a nurse.

    Alas, some days are better than others. We perservere and hopefully folks will follow along.

  4. Kim McAllister August 24, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Jacob, thank you so much for the kind words and the support for Emergiblog. 🙂

Comments are moderated before approval, but always welcome.

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