March 7, 2018
Posted by: David Sands
Strong networking abilities will increase your chance of landing your dream job by opening career advancement opportunities and building relationships with other professionals who could help you along the way. It’s important to note networking doesn’t just occur when you’re fresh out of college. Rather, it should be a constant process that allows you to tap into the connections of other industry professionals at any time throughout your career.
Networking in nursing is just as beneficial as any other profession. Nursing is a versatile career that includes many different specializations and management opportunities. Developing relationships and opening doors though networking helps young and longtime nursing professionals navigate those avenues. Not to mention, nursing is known as a competitive and fast-paced career. Having those connections to lean on could prove beneficial in many instances.
Building your nursing network can be easier than you may realize. Here are some networking tips for nursing professionals.
Attending professional conferences is a great opportunity to meet a variety of people in nursing, such as directors, professional nursing association leaders and many different veteran nursing professionals. They also provide some of the best opportunities for valuable one-on-one time with local industry leaders so you can ask questions and receive valuable career advice from those with more experience or who are in a position you would like to be in at some point. Plus, possessing up-to-date knowledge of industry trends or issues in nursing makes you a valuable network connection for others and potentially a better future job candidate.
One of the best things you can do to network is to join a professional nursing association or organization. There are many nursing organizations to choose from across the country, but locally, the American Nurses Association of Maine and Maine State Nurses Association are both excellent networking resources that provide industry updates pertaining to the community and a list of upcoming networking events.
Networking is a great chance for you to share your skills, experiences and goals with others, but remember that it’s a two-way street. Ask questions and inquire about others and their careers when you’re at conferences, in school, communicating with other professionals online and at your job. Making the conversation about whomever you’re speaking with often helps you stand out from the crowd, creates a stronger connection and could reveal some useful information or advice.
Websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook are excellent modern networking tools. Young nursing professionals can join online groups, follow professional organizations and meet nurses from around the globe, in addition to remaining in close contact with old students, teachers and co-workers. Be sure to keep your online profiles up-to-date with your most current certifications and job title, and avoid having anything on your profile you wouldn’t want a future employer to see. Another benefit to social media is that it allows you to network on your schedule – a career in nursing often includes long, abnormal hours, making in-person networking difficult at times.
It’s just as important to cultivate a network with the people you interact with daily as it is with potential mentors and association leaders you won’t see often. From the moment you begin nursing school, you should be building connections with fellow students and teachers every day. Even after you start your career, continue making new relationships with peers and those above you by asking questions, introducing yourself and exchanging contact information. Having a strong personal network of people who have seen you in action over the years will come in handy if you’re looking to move to a new organization or department.
Networking is a necessary step in just about every profession. But before you begin handing out business cards and rubbing elbows with nursing industry leaders, take the first step toward a rewarding career in nursing by earning your bachelor of science in nursing at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. The faculty at UMFK provides the quality education and supportive community necessary for kickstarting a rewarding career. Contact UMFK for information by calling (888) 879-7500 or by visiting us online today!