If you’re looking for ways to connect with other nurses in order to learn, share, and grow as a nurse, nursing groups on LinkedIn is a great way to do just that.
LinkedIn is a powerful social media platform for nurses, as well as a search engine that helps you get found by others interested in you; simultaneously, you can also find other like-minded professionals. You may be contacted by recruiters, but other nurses and healthcare professionals may also reach out to you.
In terms of groups on LinkedIn, there are many robust healthcare- and nursing-related groups that can bring you considerable traction in terms of learning what’s new in nursing and medicine.
Find Your Tribe
The “Nursing Network” group on LinkedIn has more than 19,000 members, and the “Nursing Beyond the Bedside” group has more than 21,000 members.
Some groups on LinkedIn may be more active than others; you can poke around and find the groups where your nursing tribe is hanging out together.
When you join a group, scroll through the recent conversations and note how recently members have been interacting, and whether there seems to be a fair amount of back and forth. If the group seems unresponsive or stale, move on to another that seems more lively and engaged.
Being in a group gives you a great place for starting a conversation with another nurse, and also allows you to access all of the members of that group quite easily since you have membership in common.
Ask, Connect, and Respond
Interacting on any social media platform involves connecting, asking questions, responding to others, and taking part in conversations, whether they’re between groups of people or just you and someone else.
If you have a specific question that you’d like responses to, find a group on LinkedIn that seems appropriate, and post your question there. Some groups will be more responsive than others, so be patient and persistent.
In terms of connection, if someone in a group is very forthcoming and responds to you actively, click on that person’s name and review their profile. From that point, click on the blue “connect” button and write them a personalized invitation to connect with you. When the dialogue box that asks how you know this person appears, click “group” and select the group you have in common. (Insider secret: you can always just click “friend”; they’ll never know, and LinkedIn will then not bother asking you for the person’s email address. This is LinkedIn’s attempt to keep spammers off of the platform, but clicking “friend” gets around this particular function.)
Once you’re connected with another LinkedIn group member and developed a rapport, ask to switch your “conversation” to normal email (it’s easier to keep track of) or to phone or Skype. I’ve made some great friends and colleagues on LinkedIn, so lean in, dig in, reach out, connect, and enjoy!