Social media is ubiquitous, and many of us have a love-hate relationship with its permeation of our lives. For a nurse looking to move his or her career forward, social media is a career-building engine not to be ignored.
Twitter may occasionally be maligned as a purveyor of 140-character triteness, but those who can’t see its power are missing the point. Twitter has fueled revolutions (eg: the Arab Spring) and social movements (Black Lives Matter), and many healthcare organizations use it as a means of communication and branding.
For individual nurses, Twitter can be utilized to keep current on trends and news in healthcare, connect with like-minded professionals, follow salient organizations, and connect with nursing thought leaders.
Like other social media platforms, relationships created on Twitter can be transposed to LinkedIn, Facebook, email, phone, Skype, or “real life”, further cementing relationships sparked in that 140-character space.
It may seem that almost everyone is on Facebook, and that may be true. While you certainly don’t want to connect personally with every colleague, it can be used on a professional basis in specific ways that can positively impact your career. Nurses can choose to very carefully connect personally with a small number of professional colleagues (caution is advised here for many reasons, including being circumspect about how much of your personal life you truly want to share with colleagues). Nurses can also choose to follow pages related to nursing and healthcare, join public and private nursing groups, or start their own groups related to some aspect of professional development or nursing
Instagram may seem like small potatoes in the social media world, but the platform is growing and an increasing number of nurses are seeing its potential. While many individual nurses are using social media to post selfies and share with friends, some medical and nursing organizations are seeing Instagram as a way to reach the younger generation who may be ignoring Facebook and Twitter in favor of Instagram, Snapchat, and other newer platforms (some of them may not realize that Facebook bought Instagram some time ago). While Instagram may not be as informative for nurses as Twitter and Facebook, it is still worthy of your attention, especially as the quality and quantity of use grows over time, and the selfie-centric focus changes for some users.
StaffGarden isn’t a social media platform, but it offers many of the advantages of a professional network where you can connect with recruiters and employers in a powerful way.
On StaffGarden.com, you can create a robust professional e-portfolio that highlights your successes and skills, manage your certifications and licenses (even in terms of expiration dates and renewals), and share a customized link to your portfolio with colleagues, potential employers, recruiters, and others.
Many functions of the StaffGarden e-portfolio are not available on any other platform, so there are many reasons to create your portfolio and begin sharing it far and wide today.
Social Media + Career = More Success
While the use of social media will not change a nurse’s career overnight, it is an aspect of professional development, networking, and career advancement that should be embraced.
Social media offers the earnest nurse opportunities for deep networking, enhanced professional visibility, and the showcasing of one’s accomplishments, skills, and leadership. It is a powerful medium, and its potential impact on career management and professional development cannot be denied.
Keith Carlson RN, BSN, NC-BC
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