Many nurses use social media every day to connect with friends and family. And while many will click like on posts they see about “Being a nurse” or nurse memes they aren’t using social media to improve their nursing career. Quite on the contrary, actually, many nurses avoid discussions of all things nursing when they are online.
Some nurses avoid getting involved in social media as a nurse because they simply do not want to take their work home with them. Nursing is a job, nothing more, and once they’ve clocked out they wish to leave their proverbial nurse hat and the thoughts that go with it at work. Other nurses, however, use social media often to interact with other nurses online. Really smart and forward-thinking nurses are even using social media for career success.
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 our 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 effort to avoid hurting your feelings or damaging your relationship. If you every 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. Nurses are consistently ranked as the most honest profession, so you’re gonna get the truth!
5. Motivation and Support
Need to stay motivated and on track to achieved a goal? Social Media has got your back! Even if your goal isn’t related to your nursing career, most nurses you connect with online will happily cheer you own and provide the moral support you need to help you achieve your personal and professional goals.
If you have a bad day and need social support then social media can really be helpful. This is especially the case if you are a travel nurse and are aware of your family for weeks at a time. You can always call your friends or family on the phone of course, but social media groups offer something a little different.
6. Stress Relief and Fun
If you’ve ever had a shift that you thought would never end (and I think we’ve all had those) you want to come home and blow off some steam! Some may do this with a nice hot bath, a run around a track, or playing with kids. But you might also try browsing social media for funny pictures and reading articles that your friends have shared with you online.
Upfront this may not seem like a way that social media can help you with your career success, but just try to maintain employment when you’re too stressed out to function!
7. Becoming a Nurse Entrepreneur
If you’re tired of working on the bedside and looking for a way to use your nursing skills and experience to help others than you might want to consider becoming a nurse entrepreneur. Social media can do so many things for nurses who go into business for themselves. You can use it to connect with clients, network with other nurse entrepreneurs, or even make social media your very own bread and butter!
Are you a nurse that is using social media? Are you using it for career success? Do you plan to now? Sound off in the comments below!