When you think about LinkedIn, nursing might not be the first profession that comes to mind. Once upon a time, this popular social media network had more of a connection to professional businesspeople than those working in healthcare.
Today, though, every sector can benefit in some way from maintaining a LinkedIn account, including nursing. The nursing industry is brimming with career possibilities and poised for rapid expansion. Because of this abundance, nurses may be able to forego things like a LinkedIn page or other networking tools and still get work, but that doesn’t mean they should.
Every nurse should develop and maintain an active LinkedIn profile to reap benefits well beyond the thousands of LinkedIn nursing jobs available. How can nurses benefit from LinkedIn?
I’m a Nurse. Should I Make a LinkedIn Profile?
LinkedIn may help nurses advance their careers, and developing a good profile is a wonderful way to expand your nursing and healthcare network.
With over 810 million members, there is a strong chance of developing meaningful contacts with like-minded professionals. LinkedIn communities are excellent places to get answers to your questions and to meet other nurses with similar interests.
Benefits for Nurses to Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a social network that helps people develop their professional careers. It can help nurses build contacts and showcase their accomplishments. What are the exact benefits for nurses who choose to develop a LinkedIn presence?
1. Highlight Your Experience
A LinkedIn profile is a digital resume to highlight your experience and background. When creating a profile, include employment experience and list nursing practicums and any volunteer work you might do.
You will also want to list your accomplishments and any post-graduation education you complete. Your credentials should include:
- Highest degree
- National certifications
- Special honors
This is one of the best ways to showcase your skills and professional knowledge.
2. Gain Exposure
The more complete your LinkedIn profile, the better your exposure within the professional healthcare community. Also, when completing the profile, look for professional groups to join. This gives you a networking opportunity, and the groups show up on your profile.
Since LinkedIn is first and foremost a social media site, you’ll want to focus on keywords to make your profile pop up in searches, too. Include keywords that highlight your professional experience and skillset in your profile text. For example, if you are a pediatric nurse, use that term to describe yourself.
Some other keywords that can beef up your profile include:
- Travel nursing
- Clinical research
Just make sure the keywords you incorporate into your profile fit you. If you describe yourself as a cardiology nurse, your listed experience and training should back that up.
3. Research Companies
You can use LinkedIn to find out more about a prospective employer, too. You’ll find most healthcare enterprises have a LinkedIn profile, so that would be the place to start.
Make a list of companies you want to learn more about and follow them on LinkedIn. This provides you with some much needed current information about the business.
You can also use LinkedIn to find people associated with the company. This might help you get your foot in the door of a very competitive job. If you see someone on their connection list that you know, ask them to introduce you.
4. Showcase Your Talents
LinkedIn offers a few tools beyond the profile that allow you to showcase your talents, including your nursing experience and beyond. For example, skill assessments allow you to demonstrate you are proficient in a particular technology.
You can also post continued education success on LinkedIn. After you complete a new course or attend a seminar, create a post about it. Perhaps you took a bridge program from RN to BSN; that would be something to celebrate as a post. Discuss what you liked most and how you might apply the new skills to your nursing.
Keep your profile up to date, too. After you complete a class or get a new certification, add it right away.
Ultimately, one of the most significant benefits of being active on LinkedIn is networking opportunities. Make connections with leaders in the nursing industry and professional organizations. This will ensure you are kept abreast of anything new.
Also, join groups in everything that interests you. If you are a nurse who loves to write, there is a group perfect for you. Groups allow you to meet with others online and expand your network.
How To Connect on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is all about building connections. There are several effective ways to build them.
1. Engage With Posts
By following different industry influencers, healthcare professionals and companies, and nursing organizations, you access posts people put out. You can engage with others on these posts and make connections that way.
If you notice someone you’d want to connect with, click Connect. You may also search for someone and connect with them by clicking Connect on their profile.
2. Reach Out to People Directly
You can also reach out to people you know or who you think would be helpful for you. Select My Network at the top of the page to add connections on LinkedIn.
A list of persons you might know will show any connection invites sent to you. If you notice someone you’d want to connect with, click Connect. You may also search for someone and connect with them by clicking Connect on their profile.
3. Follow Companies
The best way to stay in tune with LinkedIn nursing jobs is to connect with healthcare companies that interest you or who are top in your nursing field. This way, when a job becomes available, you may be one of the first to know.
This also helps you know what a company is looking for when posting a nursing job. It can help you direct your future studies. Maybe the companies you want to connect with are looking for an MSN. This tells you that enrolling in an MSN program would be worth your time.
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