Using LinkedIn to Accelerate Your Nursing Career

Using LinkedIn to Accelerate Your Nursing Career

If you want to be a badass nurse who confidently uses LinkedIn to accelerate your nursing career, here are ten spicy tips for success from international nurse coach Farah Laurent, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CPXP, NPD-BC, TCRN, CPEN, CEN.

Do your research

I have been a LinkedIn member for many years; however, It was only in 2021 that I truly realized the power of LinkedIn and all that it has to offer.

First, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with over 875 million international members from around the globe. Second, LinkedIn has been voted the most trusted social media platform! If you are not currently on LinkedIn, please sign up right now!

Build And Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Build your profile by adding valuable content that lets readers understand what you are looking for professionally. What opportunities would you like to be considered for? Be clear and concise. Keep it bold and sweet. Yes, I said it, be bold. Be straightforward.

Many people are scrolling and only have a little time. A recruiter or other professional should look at your profile header and, in about five seconds, be able to tell what you want or do. For example, if you are looking for a new job, click the green “open to” tab and fill it out!! Put something interesting in your header about yourself that stands out or people can relate to.

Use Creator Mode

Please make it easy for other professionals to connect with you by turning on the creator mode option under that Resources section. People will be able to hit a green follow button instead of having to wait until you approve a connection request. LinkedIn has added many features over the years, including live streaming events, audio events, newsletters, articles, and tracking post performance metrics.

LinkedIn has truly evolved; it is more than just a place to go when looking for a job. If you take your time to network and build a community, it can be life-changing, not only professionally, but about on a personal level.

Build Your Own Personal Brand

Whether you believe it or not, you are a brand! Personal branding is for more than just business owners. A brand also goes far beyond a logo or brand colors. It is a reflection of you. So it would be best if you carried yourself in a manner that reflects a positive image.

Social media is public, and people can learn quite a bit about a person with a simple click. What do you want people to associate you with when they think of you? How do you want people to feel when they think about you? Think about how you would like to be described or known. Now go ahead and makes sure that is what is being portrayed. Again, you will only be appreciated by some, but please be intentional about the impression you leave on LinkedIn.

Share your Story

Everyone loves to hear a great story. Whether it is a failure, triumph, or journey towards a particular destination, it is worth sharing.

Share your story because other people can relate and feel a connection to you. Be tasteful, but do not be afraid to be vulnerable. Your story may serve as inspiration to someone else reading it. Again, you have to master the art of storytelling here. However, sometimes simplicity wins.

Start Posting Content

Only about 1% of LinkedIn users share posts. So imagine if you posted content on LinkedIn. This would make you part of the 1% and shine more brightly.

It can be a text post, an inspirational quote, a photo, a simple thought, or your perspective on nursing and healthcare. You can write articles on Linkedln, host audio events or live video streaming events.

Be Visible

“Money Flows where attention goes” is one of my favorite quotes from Steven Aitchison. It makes perfect sense. If you are not seen, you are invisible to the world. So be visible on the platform by having professional photos and videos and being seen.

Also, make your profile visible to the public under settings. Trust and believe that 99.9% of recruiters search for you on LinkedIn before they call you or book an interview. Next, have a smiling profile photo that is professional and forward-facing. Yes, you need to smile. No one wants to hire or work with a grumpy person

Stand Out From The Crowd

Put something interesting in your header about yourself that stands out or people can relate to. Use bold colors to attract readers. For example, share a video about yourself, why you chose to be a nurse, or why you would make a great “fill in the blank” nurse. Be you. Have some enthusiasm. Have fun.

Show Off A Little

Please brag about yourself. It’s your page, so you’re allowed to shine bright like a diamond. I promise it’s ok. Show off your educational background, certifications, awards, or accomplishments.

If you are part of an organization such as sigma theta tau or the American Nurses Association or volunteer, please add it to your profile! Brag and bring out that swagger.

Network and Engage

Finally, let me see you network. It is all about networking, community-building, and connecting with others. Be authentic but be strategic as well. To advance in your career and accelerate to new heights, you must be willing to network and engage with the right people. So get out of your cage and engage. I had to crack a silly joke, but sometimes you must show up and be present, and others may find you

Finding a mentor or coach can help accelerate your career success and save you time. LinkedIn is a fantastic vehicle for success, but you must get in the driver’s seat, take action, hit the pedal, and accelerate to your career destination. Your next connection could change your life.

Side Hustles to Try as a Nurse

Side Hustles to Try as a Nurse

As a highly specialized skill set, nursing is in high demand. As such, nurses can make a lucrative career by their full-time work alone, and by supplementing it with a variety of nursing side hustles. For those entrepreneurial spirits, there is seemingly no limit to the possibilities.

Home Health Care

There are certain areas of nursing where per diem work is more abundant. Many specialties within the hospital, such as critical care, emergency, surgery, and telemetry, require specific skill sets that the only nurses who fill in are already trained in that specialty. This is because per diem work comes with the expectation that minimal training is required.

There are however, some areas where skills do translate from one area of nursing to another.  This is especially true outside the hospital. For example, adult inpatient nurses can work as a home infusion nurse, or in other home health care work, such as overseeing ancillary nursing staff, doing intensive assessments, and advocating for patients with their providers and insurance carriers.

Home health care is a growing field of opportunity as it benefits the patient by allowing them to maintain quality of life in their home; it can also help reduce the logistical strains on the health care system to provide inpatient care.

Aesthetic Nursing

For nurses with an eye for beauty, aesthetic nursing offers a wealth of opportunities. As technology advances, there are more and more non-surgical procedures with anti-aging and aesthetic benefits. Nurses are increasingly able to perform or assist physicians with such procedures in medical spas and dermatology clinics.  Furthermore, often this work is available as part-time or per diem. This allows nurses to build up a clientele through a side hustle that works with their schedule and is generally high-paying. Qualifications and credentialing for work as an aesthetic nurse vary by location, but frequently nurses go through certification programs in order to attract employers for this type of work.


Working as adjunct faculty is the side hustle of the teaching world. Many nursing schools offer opportunities to instruct a limited number of courses per semester on a part-time basis. This allows nurses with specialized knowledge or skills to disseminate what they know to the next generation of nurses. There are opportunities for both online and classroom teaching today.  Requisites for teaching vary by state, school, and specific courses. For example, many nursing schools require five years of experience in a given specialty or an advanced degree in nursing, in order to teach.


Coaching is another growing field for nurses. For coaches who are nurses, they mostly function as health coaches or career coaches to other nurses. In the former role, nurses work with clients to mobilize them in the direction of their own personal and health goals. This is done through motivational interviewing, establishing accountability, goal-setting, and most of all-empowering the client to be experts on their own lives and bodies.

This role does not involve medical oversight and instead draws on the nursing skill of patient education combined with the holistic approach to patients that is fundamental to nursing. Nurse career coaches are often experienced and successful nurses who have built lucrative and fulfilling careers in nursing and coach other nurses or aspiring nurses to do the same.

Legal Nurse Consultants

Legal nurse consultants (LNCs) serve as expert nurses that work in medical-legal matters. LNCs are usually experienced nurses that can address technical matters specific to nursing, which a layperson may not know. They may work in law offices, HMOs, hospitals, risk management, workers’ compensation, and so on.

The legal nurse consultant utilizes their clinical and logistical expertise to extrapolate or clarify matters related to medical-legal cases. There are many full-time legal nurse consultants but it is incredibly valuable as a side hustle because it allows the nurse the opportunity to simultaneously work clinically, honing expertise and skills, while contributing the value of such real-time experience to their work in legal matters.

Nursing is a growing field for many reasons, not the least of which is that it offers a multitude of avenues by which to obtain a high income and a fulfilling career. For the nurse who wants to branch out beyond what they specialize in full time, there is certainly no lack of side hustles in nursing for them to explore.

Nurse Coaching: What Can a Coach Do for You?

Nurse Coaching: What Can a Coach Do for You?

For years, business leaders have relied on the guidance and support of career coaches to help them advance in their professions and to achieve clear personal goals as well. But nurses traditionally haven’t used coaches in the same way. All that is changing as nurse coaches are becoming more common and helping nurses achieve success.

As with other types of coaching, nurse coaching appeals to and works for nurses who are looking for vastly different things. Some nurses feel stagnant in their jobs and want someone to help them get unstuck. Other nurses are unhappy with their current situation and might even be questioning an entire career change. Still, others are nearing retirement and want to stay involved in nursing, just without the demanding physical tasks and long hours—they wonder if a new career as a nurse coach might suit them.

Career coaching is nothing new in the larger world of business, but nursing lags behind, says Linda Yoder, PhD, MBA, RN, AOCN, FAAN, president of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses and an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.

However, the nursing profession is gaining a better understanding of coaching, adds Yoder. In some organizations, coaching takes on a negative connotation because they view it as something to help only poor performers. Coaching is for everyone and serves to enhance personal as well as team performance.

Nurses have particular difficulty reaching out to coaches, says Phyllis Quinlan, PhD, RN-BC, who sees many nurses in her nurse coaching and consulting practice, MFW Consulting.

“Professional caregivers are very reluctant to receive help,” says Quinlan. So by the time some of them arrive at a coaching session, they feel like their backs are up against a wall and they need some stability. They might be experiencing compassion fatigue or have been on the receiving end of bullying. They think a coach can help, but they aren’t sure how.

So, how can a coach help you? Nurse coaches are especially valuable because they understand the complex industry of nursing. They get the professional side of what a nurse trains for and a nurse’s myriad responsibilities. But nurse coaches also understand how the nursing profession is also a way of life. They get that there’s no punching the clock and leaving your job behind when your shift is over.

Is It Coaching or Mentoring?

When Margaret Erickson, PhD, RN, CNS, APHN-BC, executive director of the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC), thinks of coaching, she thinks of the whole profession. “The role of coaching allows nurses to reconnect with each other and it has value in society,” she says.

Nurses find they have resources to help themselves, but coaching just helps reveal those resources and show nurses how to use them. Often, Quinlan says, nurses are able to reignite their initial passion for becoming a nurse in the first place. They can remember why they took this on as a career and are invigorated by the boost.

Coaches guide, but never tell someone what to do. “Part of coaching is asking powerful questions,” says nurse coach Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, also known as Nurse Keith. “Coaches are there to offer guidance and objectivity and to inspire people.”

Not everyone understands what coaching is, what it does, and what role each person plays in a coaching relationship. “People lump it into mentoring, and that’s a huge mistake,” argues Yoder, who presents nationally about nurse coaching. Nurse coaching helps nurses with their growth and development, which serves to increase their confidence.

How are coaching and mentoring different? Although coaching and mentoring both aim for a similar goal—to make the nurse the best nurse he or she can be—there are differences in the approach. “Managerial coaching, technically, is really a boss/employee relationship,” explains Yoder. “Mentoring is an exclusive relationship that plays a role in succession planning.”

Does that mean your boss will always be a great career coach? No. But a good boss will motivate you, show you how to do a good job, and let you know the educational, professional, and personal steps that will help you advance.

So while your boss should coach you on how to fill out a unit shift report, she might be less likely to take you under her wing and shape you into her replacement. Your coach can instruct and guide you on the subtle ways of your organization so you advance in your job, but coaches don’t share what Yoder refers to as “state secrets”—those nuggets of insider professional information that are often exchanged in the fundamentally different trust and power levels of a mentor/mentee.

And Carlson reminds nurses that coaching isn’t psychotherapy, either. There might be introspection and lots of questions to be answered, but a coach is going to rely on you to figure out some of the answers based on what your own motivations are.

Nurse Coaching Takes Hold

When Donna Cardillo, RN, CSP, known as The Inspiration Nurse, started coaching 20 years ago, hardly anyone else was in the field of coaching nurses. “Even personal coaches couldn’t effectively coach a nurse because they didn’t understand what nurses were capable of or the job market,” she says. With more nurses acting as coaches now, she says they are using a body of experience, skills, and knowledge to help other nurses with problem solving, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and following through on goal setting.

With nurses under increasing job stress and the pressure to earn higher degrees, burnout is rampant. If your job is causing you so much stress as to affect your physical and emotional well-being, start thinking of ways to make it better, says Erickson.

“Coaches know the game,” says Yoder, comparing nurse coaching to the job of a sports coach. “They know the big picture, how the game is played, every single player, and what position each player plays best in. The coach has to understand the game better than anyone else.” Coaches get to know their players and know how each works so they are able to best motivate them and make the entire nursing unit operate more effectively.

Coaches also are focused on the present. Erickson’s work is guided by the  Modeling and Role Modeling holistic nursing theory, which was developed by Helen C. Erickson, Evelyn M. Tomlin, and Mary Ann P. Swain. According to Erickson, using theory rather than policies and procedures to assist others helps coaches become intentional and thoughtful in their approach to each nurse or client.

Sorting It All Out

A nurse coach helps you tweak the complex intertwined aspects of your personal and professional life to bring you more career satisfaction and help you set and reach your goals. “A coach focuses on what are your goals and what are you going to accomplish this year,” says Yoder.

For instance, coaches will get you thinking about if you want to go back to school this year or if you want to take a certification exam. Should you join a professional nursing organization, and how can you make the best out of that experience?

Kamron Keep, RN, BSN, NC-BC, says coaching helped her focus on what she really wanted. “I felt like there was a missing piece, personally and professionally,” says the Idaho-based Keep, who is now a nurse coach herself. With her coach, Keep says she uncovered her motivations and identified what was holding her back. “Working with a coach held me more accountable,” she says. “Coaching helps someone take the step forward. It helped me live the life I wanted.”

Linda Bark, PhD, RN, MCC, NC-BC, Keep’s coach and the founder of Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy, says she asks clients to think about their options and will even have them assess how they feel physically when thinking about each option. It’s that kind of holistic approach that shows nurses how the corners of a career, personal life, and spiritual life are all connected. “The wisdom of the whole is about taking in all that information,” says Bark.

When’s the Time to See a Coach?

Carlson says he sees several categories of nurses who come to him for coaching advice. Most of the nurses he sees want something else, but they just don’t know how to define or identify what they want or how to take the steps to get it.

Novice nurses, he says, are trying to find out what makes them tick as a nurse. Maybe they went into nursing with a specific path in mind but now want to branch out, but have no idea where to start. With so many opportunities and choices, they are bewildered.

Then, he says, mid-career nurses come with very different ideas. They have years of experience, but nursing has lost its luster. Or now they want to do something different, but stay within the nursing industry. These nurses typically want to find out about nurse entrepreneurship.

Older nurses are looking for someone who understands the profession, says Carlson, and who can help the nurse figure out the next step. They often want to stay in nursing but are looking to shed the long hours or the physically demanding tasks. “For seasoned nurses, it’s often trying to find the heart of why they became a nurse in the first place,” he says. “Sometimes they need redirection, and sometimes they need a major change.”

Is One Coach Enough?

Throughout your life, you’ll have several coaches. Some coaching relationships will be less involved—one might simply be a unit educator who coaches bedside nurses. A charge nurse might be the coach for practice kinds of issues, says Yoder, to let nurses know how they can most effectively work with different families.

If you aren’t getting the feedback you need at work or if your boss is unwilling to act in a coaching role, there are other options. A growing industry is, of course, nurse coaches you hire. These nurse coaches are certified after passing the AHNCC’s certification exam and aim to give nurses a sounding board and guide them to the best choices for their own specific lives and goals.

And although coaches won’t be holding your hand and guiding you on a specific path, says Carlson, they are listening closely to everything you say and probably seeing patterns or wishes you may not even see. You’ll likely have homework to do, something that helps you feel empowered about the choices and decisions on the horizon.

“Sometimes, it’s just about the act of being truly heard and having those experiences reflected back toward them,” says Carlson. “Being listened to is incredibly powerful.”

Many nurses find that being heard by a coach is so empowering they turn the table at work and use the same method with their patients. “Coaching enhanced my nursing practice,” says Keep. “A lot of that is a listening presence and reflecting back to the patient to validate what they say.”

Quinlan agrees. “Coaching very gently raises the ability of a client to reach out and touch their own innate knowing,” she says. Successful coaching helps clients understand their true feelings and motivations so they can peel away the layers of confusion and help remove some of the barriers for nurses to move ahead. Coaches offer a toolbox of skills nurses can use to move forward in the direction that’s best for them.

As nurses become more comfortable with coaching, Quinlan says coaches are becoming more prevalent and many older nurses are considering a career shift to become certified coaches. In particular, she says, nurses approaching retirement who have decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge are perfectly positioned to take on nurse coaching roles, either on their own or within their workplace as a designated coach on staff.

“Coaching can help you if in your head you know what you need, but in your heart you don’t know how to get there,” says Quinlan. “Coaching helps you untie the knot.”

How to Find a Career Coach

How to Find a Career Coach

You’ve been stuck in a rut at work and now you are ready to move on with the help of a career coach. So how do you find an expert?


Begin your search by asking people in your network for references. Word-of-mouth is a good starting point, as no licensing agency exists for career coaches. Just remember that a particular coach’s personality may work well for your colleague, friend or neighbor, but leave you cold. Chemistry is personal.


A RN career coach or nurse coach is best-equipped to understand the opportunities available to nurses if you want to continue working in the field. Get a referral from your state chapter of the ANA or do an Internet search. If you want to switch careers, consider looking for an expert in that industry.


Coaching is not regulated and certifications are not guarantees. That means you will have to do some homework to find the right coach. Check out their websites and LinkedIn information. Do some Internet sleuthing to see what you can find, from published books and articles to blogs and testimonials.  Develop a list of potential coaches and jot down questions for them.


Face-to-face meetings are not necessary. Most coaching is done by phone, which provides you with more options to choose a coach from anywhere. Avoid coaches who won’t offer an initial free consultation.


The only way to know if you will connect with a prospective coach is to talk to him or her. Call the coaches you are thinking about hiring. Ask about the coach’s own career path and expertise. Get information about fees, as rates vary widely per hour. Some coaches require a minimum number of hours or months. Ask to talk to some clients.

It’s your career. Invest the time needed to find the right coach to help propel it.

Robin Farmer is a freelance writer focusing on health, education and business to engage, educate and empower readers. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, but you can visit her at  

Move Forward With a Career Coach

Move Forward With a Career Coach

 As a nurse, you spend a third of your life on the job.  Shouldn’t you feel fulfilled? If you constantly struggle to find meaning in your career or value as an employee, listen to that voice in your head. You know, the one you tune out when it says, “It’s really time to find another job or switch careers.” 

If the mere thought of where to start saps your motivation, consider working with a career or nurse coach. One way to find a nurse coach is to get a referral from your state chapter of the American Nurses Association. 

Professional coaches can help align your goals and actions so you can make changes, get the job you covet and maintain a better quality of life.  

Here is what a career coach can help you do:

Develop new habits.  Replace the negative ones with positive routines. Coaching can help you break the bad habits that create or add to your unhappiness.

Meet new goals. Sometimes you need an accountability partner, someone to check in with on a regular basis to discuss your progress.

Learn new strategies. A coach can provide tools for action steps you may not have considered.

Open up. It’s not easy being honest about your fears or saying what you really want. A coach needs to know this information. 

Strengthen relationships. Coaching can help you learn how to build a better relationship with your boss and co-workers.  Think about this: coaching is considered so essential for senior managers in the Fortune 500 that their companies pay for it.

Find balance. Working long hours and feel out of whack? The unhappiness you feel at work most likely comes home with you. Learn how to create boundaries so you can invest time in your health, family, friends and interests.

Learn the truth. As an advocate for change, a coach may not always tell you what you want to hear.  But a coach will say what is necessary to help you find greater satisfaction. 

Working with a coach can move you to where you want to be. Are you ready to explore more opportunities? The voice in your head knows.