Networking as a nurse is something you simply don’t learn during nursing school. Believe it or not, you are actually networking right now as you read this article. Networking is simply interacting with other people in order to gain information to better yourself. This is huge in nursing and there are a variety of ways you can do this. Like I said before you are already utilizing one method of networking, which is by searching and reading articles on the internet. The internet has a huge database of information that is just sitting there waiting for you to read.
Another way you can better fine tune your networking skills is by representing yourself as a nurse. You can do this by joining some of the many professional websites that are out there. By representing yourself in a positive way, it can help you build outside relationships with people and could help you find new opportunities to grow as a nurse. Before I applied for my current job I utilized the internet in researching the position and company. I talked to several key contacts I have made over the years by networking and I was able to check on the company I was applying for. These skills help me land a great job as a Medical Administrator with a fantastic company.
Some of the credible websites I have used in the past are LinkedIn, American Nurses Association, and the American Association of Critical Care Nursing. These websites can help you do research on current evidence based practices, discuss topics, and learn about other companies and jobs out there for nurses. Some sites require a membership fee or a monthly due, but in return you get a ton of articles and current research to read from, as well as current events that are going on. Some companies will even mail you a monthly magazine.
There is also a vast amount of social media blogs you can join. Within these websites you can also discuss trending topics while connecting with other nurses. This connection will allow you to build a solid bridge of networking and develop a good business relationship with others. By building these relationships with people you will start seeing your networking profile grow, and it will allow you to build a more professional image to co-workers and future hiring managers. Another way to network is by simply reaching out to co-workers, job shadowing and meeting new people within your current organization. You will eventually develop a relationship with that person that could open a door of opportunity for you in the future.
If you are a Travel nurse then you already know the importance of networking. The power of networking allows you to reach out and find those much desired contracts. The reason networking is so important for a travel nurse is because she/he represents themselves 24/7. They are not working with a permanent hospital which allows them to move through the ranks. They also do not have a boss who will watch you grow and recommend you for a promotion. Travel nurses only have themselves to rely on in order to grow. By networking with other nurses or your recruiter, it will keep your professional image buffed to perfection in which by doing so could land you a permanent job at a hospital after your contract expires.
So as you travel it is important to keep in contact with your new friends. You could try utilizing social media sites such as Facebook and twitter. Just be careful what you post and what you say because it could reflect your professional imagine in a negative way. If you are a travel nurse and want to grow your networking skills within the company you work with, simply pick up the phone and reach out to your recruiter who can help you get started and build a new professional profile for you to use.
Whether you use internet, social media, or by simply looking up travel nursing videos on youtube.com, networking will allow you to grow professionally and personally. I learned this skill early as a nurse and have met and worked with some of the most amazing people around. By utilizing the skills listed above I went from a typical floor nurse, to a travel nurse, to blogger on YouTube about travel nursing, which brought me to writing articles online, all the way to finding my current position. Where will your networking take you? I hope it’s as rewarding to you as it has been for me. Look me up on LinkedIn or YouTube and start networking!
By Kyle Leffel, RN
Kyle Leffel has spent much of his travel nursing career by working up and down the west coast. He has spent the majority of his nursing career in cardiac critical/progressive care. Kyle Is currently working in his home state of Indianapolis, IN as a medical administrator with Medcor. When Kyle is not working, he is enjoying the trails and wilderness by backpacking and kayaking with his friends and family. You can follow Kyle on LinkedIn.