With more than 500 million users, the professional networking site LinkedIn has helped scores of job seekers, including nurses, land their dream jobs.
LinkedIn allows professionals strategically connect online in more than 200 countries, with executives from all major healthcare organizations.
Nurses have used the site to connect with prospective jobs across the country and around the world. The site’s search function allows users to search by employer or facility and locate hiring managers and decision makers. The forums are useful for getting questions answered and connecting with other nurses.
“Whatever the reasons may be, nurses and other healthcare professionals who haven’t yet embraced the power of LinkedIn should seriously consider building a professional presence on this powerful networking site,” the travel nurse staffing agency Healthcare Providers Choice said.
Experts say all nurses—from registered nurses (RNs) to the highest levels of nursing practice (doctors of nursing practice (DNPs) and doctors of philosophy (PhDs)—benefit from using the professional networking site. Gone are the days when networking was for business professionals alone. Clinicians are now encouraged to use social media and build mutually beneficial relationships to further career goals and gain professional support.
Carole Bush, of The Social Nurse blog, said LinkedIn provides new avenues to relationships, and “relationships lead to success.”
“We have so many ways to stay in touch with people we would have never connected with 20 or even ten years ago,” she said. “A robust online network via LinkedIn can connect us with others who can promote our research or healthcare projects and consumers who can buy our products or services.”
Why Nurses Need LinkedIn
For years, business professionals have praised the professional networking site as a way to stay connected. More recently, the nursing profession has recognized the advantages of such connections. Nurses are connecting, collaborating, networking, and job searching on the site. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is not intended to be a way to chat with friends and show off family pictures. Instead, the site focuses on building relationships based on business connections.
Experts say there are several reasons why nurses need LinkedIn:
Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn puts nurses in direct contact with industry professionals through colleagues and new connections. It allows nurses to watch the changes that happen in the industry and their workplaces. Nurses can grow business networks of current colleagues and past associates.
LinkedIn groups bring together like-minded nursing professionals to swap stories and ideas. Several groups that are helpful for nurses include:
- American Nurses Association (ANA) – The ANA group allows professional and student nurses to exchange ideas and talk about healthcare topics.
- The R.N. Center – The group contains job listings, salary information based on specialty, and topical information about the profession.
- Nursing Network – Along with listing nursing jobs, events, and industry news, Nursing Network also allows users to connect via nursing associations.
2. Highlighting credentials
Recruiters from major hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and educational institutions frequently scan LinkedIn to fill open positions. The site provides the perfect online presence to display a resume and talents.
The site should be used to highlight professional credentials by detailing strengths, experiences, and professional achievements. Nurses are encouraged to detail work experiences, areas of expertise, and showcase information about work involvements such as committee seats and board chairs.
3. Keeping pace with technology
Nursing is increasingly becoming focused on technology and technological advances that help save lives, from electronic record keeping to artificial intelligence (AI). In demonstrating the ability to keep pace with these changes, nurses can use their profiles to build their professional reputation and show they understand the importance technology plays in healthcare. Nurses can also highlight their proficiencies in new technology.
4. Career advancement
There was a time when the best nursing jobs came as a result of blanketing community healthcare organizations with resumes and hoping for the best. Today, career advancements in nursing, as well as other fields, come as result of who you know and how you promote yourself.
LinkedIn allows nurses to solicit professional recommendations, search for job opportunities, and prepare for job interviews. The site can also be used to investigate potential employers and gain insight into companies, their hiring practices, employees, and culture.
The key to building a strong LinkedIn presence is to sidestep pitfalls that are common to other social media sites. Foremost a professional tool, the site provides a venue to showcase work skills. For that, it is important to understand the etiquette.
Dos and Don’ts for Nurses On LinkedIn
While some of the most basic requirements for success on LinkedIn are common to professional demeanor (don’t post inappropriate photos or use foul language), other skills can be more difficult to remember. The following protocol should be followed:
- Have a completed profile
- Join professional and industry groups
- Highlight diverse skills
- Use correct grammar
- Treat LinkedIn like Twitter or Facebook
- Complain about current or past employers
- Post controversial content, particularly about politics and religion
- Violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) by posting private information about patients.
Experts also suggest nurses who are seeking new opportunities visit LinkedIn regularly to stay active online and build professional connections. For nursing students and newly graduated nurses, staying connected is vital to academic and career success.
About Duquesne University’s Online Bachelor Of Science In Nursing (RN-BSN) Program
Students, faculty, and staff at Duquesne University’s online RN-BSN program stay connected through various forms of online engagement. The RN-BSN online format allows RNs to complete their coursework while continuing their careers and home responsibilities. Faculty members and academic advisors work to enable student success. For more information, visit DU’s online RN-BSN program website.