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It's time for nurses to get connected

Tagged In:  Nursing

Networking with colleagues, customers and suppliers has always come naturally to lawyers, accountants and other professionals, including doctors and allied health professionals. However, for some reason it has not traditionally been common practice in the nursing profession.

Networking and revalidation

Many nurses may dismiss the concept of networking as one of the less attractive customs of the corporate world. But as the nursing role evolves within the NHS, developing a network of professional contacts is not only useful for career progression. It can also help you meet revalidation requirements. As part of the revalidation process, you need to provide five pieces of practice-related feedback, as well as showing you've had a reflective discussion with another NMC registrant and been involved in at least 20 hours of participatory learning.

In the past, most nurses lived in hospital accommodation, so naturally engaged closely with colleagues outside work. In today's digital world, while there may be less personal interaction, social media have broadened the networking horizons, offering the opportunity for experiences and information to be shared not just locally, but across the UK.

So what are the top tips for networking successfully? Here are three golden rules...

Collaborate don't preach

Remember, professional networking is a two-way street. It's not just about selling yourself or your ideas. You should try to make a real connection with the other person by listening and asking questions. You should also help others to gain from the networking experience.

Stay in touch

Make sure you keep in regular contact with your network. Follow their social media feeds and keep yourself 'in the loop'. You may be surprised at the useful information you pick up from other followers, simply by responding to a topic.

Go to networking events

Don't rely entirely on social media. There's no substitute for meeting with colleagues face-to-face. You're much more likely to establish meaningful relationships.
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