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8 Reasons Nurses Need a LinkedIn Profile

Why is  LinkedIn so important to nurses? Because, dear friends, relationships lead to success!
No matter how technical the world gets, opportunities still happen through people.   As my Dad always told me, “It’s not always what you know, its who you know.”
We have so many ways to stay in touch with people we would have never connected with 20 or even 10 years ago. A robust online network via LinkedIn can connect us with others who can promote our research or healthcare projects and consumers who can buy our products or services.

I’m online a lot, but am very picky about where I spend my time. I have a marrvy 3 year old granddaughter to play with! I am a business owner that loves what I do and could be online all the time. I love my community and could volunteer in many areas. I am blessed with many options and with those options come decisions.

In my opinion, for online connection and professional branding, LinkedIn is near the top. It is a great place to find and be found.

I tell all my colleagues and clients if they are not on LinkedIn, they need to be and now. I often work with early to advanced career nurses who are establishing their professional brand or in a career transition.  I coach them to get started and begin a profile today! I am happy to work with them & fine tune that profile. I give the same advice to nurse researchers or entrepreneurs….or really anyone who provides a product or service.  And what product is more important than Brand You?!

Ready?  Let’s explore the 8 reasons I believe nurses should have a presence on LinkedIn.


1. Dig your well before you’re thirsty.

I remember reading Harvey Mackay’s book back in the early days of my career.  Mackay suggests in the book, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty”  that you should always have options lined up in the event that things don’t work out. Let’s face it, the healthcare climate is always changing. Different practice environments and models of care may favor those with an unusual element to their background. The evolution of the healthcare environment may force you to change what you do. Think about your skill sets and what you’ve accomplished – how does that define you? LinkedIn is a good place to showcase that part of you.

2. LinkedIn is one element of your digital footprint that you control.

Too many healthcare folks are not concerned with their professional digital footprint. That is, the record of stuff that appears when you conduct a vanity search on Google or Bing. In fact, it’s been suggested that Google has replaced the CV. When I search myself I find interviews  long  forgotten that never made my CV. And unlike other searchable sources, the information on LinkedIn is in your control. Think about LinkedIn as home plate for your personal brand. If you don’t think of yourself as a personal brand, perhaps you should. LinkedIn will force the issue for you.

3. It’s a place to park your CV.

Even if you’re not planning to go anywhere, hospital administrators, colleagues and other members of your world should have a place to go to learn a little bit about you. Even if you’re not a career climber, others need to see what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or what you’re into. If you don’t maintain any kind of digital property (blog, Twitter feed), think of LinkedIn as your professional anchor online.

4. Remember, it’s a tool, not a game.

While there are some who look to amass as many connections as possible….I use it as a place to collect and track the relationships I’ve developed or want to develop further. I want to be able to point to everyone in my network and tell you how I have engaged with them. If a person randomly wants to connect with me and we have not worked together, met at a meeting, served on a panel together or connected in a meaningful way in the social space, I probably won’t reciprocate. It’s just how I use LinkedIn.

5. Keep up with your professional world.

As the numbers of people in your real network grow, LinkedIn provides a great way to keep tabs on career moves. Social channels give us the opportunity to grow our network of connections, meet new people, and reconnect with past associates. Because LinkedIn is targeted to professionals, it is the perfect opportunity to make online connections that can extend your network of peers and colleagues. By connecting with those you have worked with, you can keep up to date on the latest industry information posted by others, keep in touch with peers who could send you referrals, and position yourself as a prime contact in your industry.

6. Are You Credible?

It is fair to say that nowadays no credible job seeker can afford to be without a decent LinkedIn profile. A good LinkedIn profile adds credibility to your professional reputation, whereas a poor LinkedIn profile can mean that a recruiter, or possible new business contact, overlooks you, in turn for somebody who stands out more.

7. Sharing Your Expertise

As a health care professional, your expert reputation is extremely important. With a LinkedIn profile you can put your expertise on display. Profiles are designed to resemble resumes, so you can highlight your entire educational and professional background, including any training, certifications, industry memberships, or awards you have received.

Joining LinkedIn Groups is also an avenue to share and obtain information. Groups provide a forum to share information, tips, and news with groups of professionals who have similar specialties and interests. Joining and actively participating in these groups is an excellent way to contribute your knowledge and learn from others.

8. Give & Get Recommendations!

In the world of social media—and in the world in general— there is sometimes a lingering sense of doubt as to whether people really are who they say they are and if they are reputable and professional. Recommendations on your LinkedIn profile not only add proof to your credentials and social identity but can speak volumes about your reputation.

LI recommendations

Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from those you have worked with. In the world of LinkedIn, this is not considered a schmarmy practice.  🙂

And don’t forget leave recommendations for others! Not only is it courteous; it places your name and a link to your page on other users’ profiles, extending your visibility.

There you have it, eight quick reasons to use LinkedIn as a reputation building or job attraction tool. Make it a regular practice to get on LinkedIn at least once a week for 15-30 minutes. Stay active and continue to build your network. You will be glad you put in the time.   Now….Head on over to LinkedIn and let’s get connected!

Learn More online!

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Carol Bush
Carol Bush

I am a Coach & Mentor to High Performing Health Writers. I co-host The Savvy Scribe Podcast and champion #PlainLanguageWriting.

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  1. Excellent article Carol. I love Social Media. It is a way for me to share ideas, ask questions and keep connected to colleagues (new and old). As an editor of a national publication, I found many ideas for articles that shared best practices and helped others to learn. I dedicate about an hour or two a day to social media and come away with useful information that allows me to stay current with todays healthcare system.

    • Anne- Thank you so much for the feedback! I love your point about using social media tools as a great resource for ‘real time’ effective practice! I think its fascinating that many peer reviewed articles are actually posted via Twitter BEFORE they are available in print!!! 🙂

  2. Great article. Nurses are missing out if they don’t utilize the tools that are out there and Linkedin is so powerful.

    • The Social Nurse The Social Nurse

      You are so right, Lorie! I have made so many great connections via LinkedIn. Its one of my favorite tools for professional networking and connecting with potential collaborators!

  3. Holy Cow. This is one of the best posts I have ever read! I am not saying that, just to say it. Not only do you have great content here, you make it easy for us to share it with the one liner Tweetables. I love LinkedIn, myself, for connecting professionally. I’d have to say that I wouldn’t be where I am at now without it. You are rocking it, Carol!!!!! Keep up the amazing work. Boy, I cannot wait to have you on my podcast. Nurses have so much to learn from you and your great information. Thank you for doing what you do.

    • The Social Nurse The Social Nurse

      Totally blushing here. 🙂 My goal is to bring valuable content…and I definitely have some pretty marrvy nurse blogging colleagues (like you!) who have paved the way! I have so much to learn…just taking one day at a time. 🙂

  4. What an excellent article pinpointing the power LinkedIn provides for professionals, such as nurses. It’s a frequently missed opportunity by our colleagues. I’ve met many nursing colleagues via LinkedIn that have had an impact on my professional life. I’m golng to share this post via social media to highlight the benefits of LinkedIn for other nurses.

    • The Social Nurse The Social Nurse

      Rachel- I really appreciate you taking the time to share the post!

  5. Carol, you hit it out of the park again!

    “Dig your well before you are thirsty”…love it.
    In my work, I continually encourage nurses to cast a wide net…and stay connected with everyone throughout their career. You never know when a disability may occur or a condition (physical or otherwise) takes an unexpected turn.

    • The Social Nurse The Social Nurse

      Donna- thanks so much for the compliment. You are so very correct…we never know what life might bring our way, so it’s important to be prepared.

  6. Great post. I joined Linked-In many years ago and never used it. Recently, I’ve (intermittently) posted my blog here. Your article has me not only excited, but more knowledgeable about why I should be more linked-in. Many thanks, Jackie

    • Carol Bush Carol Bush

      Jackie- thanks for stopping by and I am happy to know the blog post re-kindled your enthusiasm for LinkedIn!

  7. OH gosh this is one of the cutest outfits I've ever laid eyes on! I love the neutral colors…and dress is sooo adorable! LOVE the hat too…just love it all!

  8. Great pics!!! I also remember the day she was born and Kevin’s big smile when he brought her out to show us—she was beautiful then and even more beautiful today. She’s a real sweetheart and a joy to be around—she’s smart, talented and a real beauty inside and out!!!Happy 13th Birthday Bre!

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  10. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  11. Carol, this is such a great post, I can’t help but comment. Every nurse should read this :), and I’ll be quoting you

  12. George Dibble George Dibble

    I am pleased to see Nursing evolve from working as a nurse to working at being a nurse. In spite of being retired for the past 11 years, I have maintained my credentials and license. I have no intent on working as an R.N. again.
    I just can’t see myself saying “I used to be an R.N.” It also helps keep current on many new developments I would otherwise loose contact with and with advancing age I may be in need of them!

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I help health brands create authoritative, well-written and well-aligned content. That’s it. Health writing changes lives.