Whether you’ve been working as a nurse for years or are new to the field, there’s something that applies to just about every professional — networking is key to career advancement! Sure, you aren’t always thinking about your next, great position (or maybe you are) but nonetheless, this requires a significant amount of momentum to reach your career goals. While working as a travel nurse can be a great job for those who prefer a high-level of self-reliance in order to be successful, think about how much farther you might get with a little professional synergy… Networking for nurses is something that’s easier than ever with social media, but that’s not the entire equation!
Traveling around for work means you’ll find all sorts of new opportunities to build new skills, see great locations, and of course, meet other professionals in your field. While the medical field is pretty standardized, you’ll almost always learn something new from one assignment to the next. Even still, one thing you can’t download off the internet (yet) is good, ol’ fashioned human teamwork — something happening right there during your shift.
Building real, working relationships with other professionals means you’re amassing a wealth of potential recommendation letters, industry-conference invitations, collaborators, and dare I say, friends! Really, you never know where efficient networking for nurses will take you, but that’s all the more reason to give it your best shot.
Quick Networking For Nurses Tips
1. Join National Organizations
Traveling from one state to the next ensures you’ll always have a fresh group of coworkers to interact and grow with, yet having some consistency through the form of joining national organizations can be a good move. Along with receiving information about the latest in nursing, you’ll be able to connect with others on a national scale. This can really help to gain traction in a location you’ve always wanted to work or even at a specific facility!
2. Be Social When Possible
We know that nursing can be a very time consuming and stressful job, however, making time to bond with some of your coworkers in non-work related settings can make the entire travel experience much better. In the context of networking for nurses, grabbing lunch or drinks locally is a great way to get to know the overall culture of your latest assignment’s location. Not only will this make the whole thing more enjoyable, but you might gain insight into what things are needed in terms of health care and how people respond to certain things.
Ultimately though, getting to know as many people as you can during your travel assignments can broaden your professional network exponentially, ensuring you’ve got a foundation should you return for a future assignment!
3. Keep a Database of Professional Contacts
Although it’s tempting to keep your whole life contained on your smartphone, we strongly recommend using a cloud service to maintain your professional contacts and other information. Traveling across the country is sure to bring unexpected circumstances in one way or another, so having valuable information you’ve spent years compiling backed up is key. Honestly, you never know when you might need to reach out with a specific phone call or email. Even if you never use the majority of these contacts you have the peace of mind knowing they’re available!
4. Be Open to Giving Back
Networking for nurses is most definitely a two-way street! Sure, it’s reasonable to look out for your own professional aspirations, but it’s also important to know when to help someone else catch a break. Just consider professional requests as if you were asking them yourself — just stay open to whatever positive possibilities come your way! When connecting on platforms like LinkedIn or even just Facebook and Twitter, try to maintain a good response rate and interactions. Having these types of things statically available can help you stay approachable professionally, and open new doors along the way.
In the end, networking for nurses won’t happen overnight even though opportunities arise every day! What are some ways you keep your professional network going strong? Let us know in the comments below!