Guest Author: Beth Anderson
Here is PartÂ 3 of Bethâ€™s series on Social Networking for travel nurses. Beth maintains a fantastic blog at PixelRN.com where she writes about her experiences in nursing as well as social networking and website design/development.
Â Use Twitter to connect with other nurses.
Twitter is another social networking technology and it has often been referred to as “microblogging.” You make friends with people by following them, and if they are interested they will follow you back. When you update your Twitter page, it goes into a public timeline, and you can see what everyone else is “tweeting” about. People think of twitter as microblogging because you update your twitter page just as you would update a blog, but you are limited to 140 characters. Many people use it to share details about their day. Others use it to share links to promote their blogs or websites.
Lately Twitter has been jumping into the political arena. During the last presidential and vice-presidential debates, many participated on Twitter while watching the debate, which resulted in some very lively political discussion. Twitter also keeps track of trending topics so you can see what others are saying about each of the candidates.
There is an emerging community of nurses who use Twitter and you can find a list of them here. I can say first hand that the nurses who use Twitter are a welcoming and friendly community so I urge you to join in.
What is the benefit from using Twitter? For me it’s one more way of connecting to interesting people online. Nurses sometimes keep strange hours so it’s nice to be able to come home from night shift or evening shift and have people to chat with.
Use LinkedIn to maintain your resume and professional contacts.
LinkedIn is great site for maintaining your professional contacts. It also gives you a space to post your resume online, and it’s easy to keep it updated. One of my favorite things about LinkedIn is that you can automatically attach your resume as a PDF file when applying for jobs. You can also use LinkedIn to maintain professional relationships with people at other hospitals that you’ve worked for.
LinkedIn also provides a way to connect with former classmates. You can do a search of the school you attended, and then invite people to become your connections. (It’s funny how each social networking site has a different name for your contacts. Facebook has “friends,” Twitter has “followers,” and LinkedIn has “connections.”) They also feature professional groups you can join. Overall, it’s a great way to network with people in your chosen field.
A final word on social networking for nurses: Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet. Start out small if you wish. Leave a comment on a blog, or search Flickr for some subjects you might be interested. I’ve come to find that there are many interesting people online and the only way to find this out is to start participating.