Nursing Network: 5 Expert Networking Tips For RNs
Do you have a nursing network? Can you call on mentors, other nurses and experts in the healthcare industry for help with a job hunt or ethical dilemma?
A solid professional network is important to success as an RN.
Check out our expert tips for building and utilizing your nursing network from healthcare recruiter Jessica Miller.
How to Build Your Nursing Network: 5 Expert Networking Tips for RNs
Here are five steps to making the most of your professional nursing network.
1. Start Out on the Local Level
Jessica Miller, a recruiter in the healthcare space, says it's important for nurses to get involved with nurse organizations in the field, but that you don't have to go national right away.
Offering your time — and nursing skills — to a local charity with a health clinic or immunization day may be one way to build your nursing network.
"Getting involved and helping lets you meet other professionals, do something good and even add to your resume," says Miller.
You can also join state nursing organizations. The American Nurses Association has chapters in every state.
2. Practice your Professional Networking Elevator Pitch
The Ameritech College of Healthcare encourages students to practice a professional networking elevator pitch, but it's a good idea for nurses at any level.
If you run into someone while networking (or even during your everyday life), you can miss a potential career opportunity if you aren't able to explain quickly:
- What your most relevant skills are
- What your primary nursing goals are
- Whether you're in the market for a new job and what type of positions you're looking for
It is called an elevator pitch, so don't make it all about you. It should be a quick narrative that tells a story, illustrating exactly what you can do as a nurse to help patients or an employer.
3. Don't Forget About Social Media
Professional network sites like LinkedIn can be invaluable when you're trying to build or utilize your nursing network.
"LinkedIn is important," says Miller. "Most recruiters use it to some degree. Nurses looking for jobs need to have profiles that include the right keywords. They should make sure their specialties, skills, education are all in there."
Even if you're not currently on the job hunt, American Nurse Today says social media tools help you build a supportive nursing network. Facebook groups are ideal for connecting with professionals in your own specialty or finding specialty support.
4. Use Nurse Networking to Prepare for Job Interviews
Nurses and others in your professional network may be able to support you through the nursing job interview process. According to Miller, some ways people in your nursing network may be helpful during the job hunt and interview process include:
- Ensuring you learn about open positions quickly
- Providing a research source so you can learn more about the employer
- Providing someone who can give feedback as you practice answering nurse interview questions
5. Be Helpful to Others
Professional networking doesn't work if you don't also contribute to the benefits. Step up to help other nurses by offering your ear and support, teaching things you know or being willing to pass on job tips.
Your nursing network shouldn't be a helpline you call on a PRN basis; it should be a community you take part in regularly.