There are many blog posts and articles touting the benefits of social media. However, there are few blog posts outlining the career benefits of social media for nurses. This is the post you that answers the question “Can nurses use social media for career success?”
Most nurses are using social media in their personal lives daily. They use social media to connect with friends and family. Nurses will click like on Facebook posts they see about “Being a nurse” and may even have a nurse pinterest board they pin cute scrubs. But are they using social media to improve their nursing career?
Unfortunately, not usually. Many nurses avoid discussions of all things nursing when they are online. Even worse, some make epic social media fails, HIPAA violations, and embarrassing professional errors.
Some nurses avoid getting involved in the nursing side of social media because they simply do not want to bring their work home with them. For those nurses, 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 to interact with other nurses online. Then there are those who understand the full value of social media and are using it to further their careers.
Social Media for Nurses
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 specialties areas they are interested in pursuing, get advice on dealing with a difficult job situation, or just to laugh at funny nursing memes and jokes. One of the best uses of social media I’ve see is in the travel nurse community. The Gypsy Nurse and her travel nurse facebook groups helps new and seasoned travel nurses alike connect with one another to share information and help each other. This is just one example of how 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. Most nurses are familiar with continuing education, but you can also just be in a constant state of learning. You may have no need or desire to go back to school, but social media can still help you learn by helping you to stay connected with you relevant news on the current state of nursing, advances in nursing care and evidence based practice, or maybe even help you decide on your next stethoscope purchase. 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 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 give you a fix. This is especially the case if you are a travel nurse and are away from your family and friends 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, driving in their convertible, or playing with their 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 it’s difficult 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!
Reasons Nurses Should Use Social Media
There are so many reasons why nurses should use social media that I could probably fill an entire book with them. For now take a look at some of the blog posts and resources we’ve created on the topic:
- The Ultimate List of Nurse Blogs and Social Media Accounts to Follow
- 6 Reasons Why Nurses Should Use Social Media
- Katie Duke Shows Nurses How to Not Use Social Media
- Why You Should Join a Nurses Group on Social Media
- 10 Tips For Blogging Success as a Healthcare Professional
- 9 Awesome Linkedin Groups to Follow for New Nurses
- 18 Patient Identifiers HIPAA Defines as Off Limits
Are you a nurse that uses social media? Are you using it for career success?