Many nurses will click “like” on posts they see about “being a nurse” or nurse memes, but they aren’t using social media to improve their nursing career. Many nurses avoid discussions of all things nursing when they are online.
If you’re a nurse who uses social media but avoids talking about nursing topics, then you may be missing out on some really valuable ways to broaden your career horizons. If you enjoy social media but don’t understand how or why it can improve your nursing career, then the following 7 ways nurses can use social media for career success are for you!
1. Finding a Community
At it’s very core social media is about connecting with a community. There are nurses using social media to connect with nurses in a specialty they are interested in pursuing, get advice on dealing with a difficult job situation, or just to laugh at funny nursing memes and jokes. Social media eliminates geographic barriers from friendships and colleagues, and lets you find a tribe that can help you grow as a person and as a nurse.
2. Referrals and Introductions
Are you working the same job or nursing speciality today that you started in? Chances are the answer is no. Nursing is amazing because there are so many flavors of nursing that you can taste. But sometimes you need a way to get your foot in the door and what if you don’t know anyone who has a foot in those doors? You go online and you find someone! LinkedIn is a great tool to connect with nurses who are already working in the speciality you are interested in. Most are more than willing to take time to answer questions about the specialty and may even have suggestions for ways to make an easier transition into that area.
Social media is also a great way to connect with recruiters who can help find openings and interviews. Many of these recruiters will also help to condition you for a job interview in a new specialty and help you spruce up your résumé.
3. Higher Education and Continual Learning
Education doesn’t just mean going back to school. It can also be continual learning. You may have no want or need to go back to school, but social media can still help you learn by helping you to stay connected with you relevant articles on the current state of nursing, advances in nursing care and evidence-based practice, or maybe even a great tip to keep your scrubs stain-free. The bottom line is, it’s all about learning something new.
You can also use social media to explore nursing programs if you are interested in getting a higher degree. Or after you are in a nursing program, to connect with other nurses to get feedback or advice on a project or assignment you are completing.
4. Unbiased Feedback
While you may use social media to connect with a nursing community or tribe, sometimes you can step out of your online comfort zone to find something different. Your friends, both online and off, may not tell you the full truth in an effort to avoid hurting your feelings or damaging your relationship. If you ever need honest feedback, tough criticism or words of wisdom, social media can be your friend. You can find forums or online groups you have never been a part of to field your questions to nurses that don’t know you. Nursing is consistently ranked as the most honest profession, so you’re gonna get the truth!
To read the last three tips, head on over to The Nerdy Nurse.
Article by: Brittney Wilson, RN, BSN, also known as The Nerdy Nurse, is a Clinical Informatics Specialist practicing in Georgia.