Out of the Box Nursing Career Growth Strategies, The Nurse Keith Show, EPS 71

On episode 71 of The Nurse Keith Show, I’m taking a moment to throw some ideas at you that are a little bit….

out of the box!

Sometimes we need to jettison the old ways of doing things and adopt some new and potentially risky habits and attempts to subvert the dominant paradigm. Do you think outside the box?

Outside the boxWhile recording a recent episode of RNFM Radio, I had a few epiphanies, and that experience led to this episode. We can get stuck in old thinking and old habits, and a little new energy can sometimes be just what the nurse practitioner ordered.

A Career-Building Podcast

During that aforementioned episode of RNFM, we were talking about podcasting and how prudent it is for nurse entrepreneurs to use podcasting as a means to reach potential customers; and then it hit me: a nurse who’s seeking her spot in the employment marketplace could use a podcast to showcase her skills and knowledge, and use that as a selling point for her own career advancement!

Let’s say you’re a CCU nurse with a lot of experience, and you feel pretty confident about your knowledge and skills. You’ve decided that you want to move into areas of nursing leadership in the world of cardiac care, and you have some creative ideas for how to make such nursing care much more efficient. And let’s say you have ideas about team-building in the CCU, how to liaison with doctors, and ways in which patient outcomes can be greatly improved. This is great fodder for a podcast.

If you want to become a leader in your field, a targeted podcast could be just the ticket to demonstrate to others than you’re a nursing thought leader and nurse innovator. Moreover, your podcast could lead to being recognized in ways that lead to being published in a journal, being invited to speak or present at a conference, or being asked to apply for an amazing position that’s opening up at your dream facility.

In a world saturated with applicants for various positions, your podcast is something that you can point potential employers to as a means for them to get to know you, learn about you, and assess your expertise; it’s like an audio resume!

Out of the Box Outreach

Aside from the out of the box idea of launching a podcast to move your clinical nursing career forward, there are plenty of other ways to go about it. Most of you know I’m really a big proponent of professional networking, and I’ve encouraged my readers and listeners to join LinkedIn, connect with like-minded colleagues, attend conferences, join nursing organizations, and reach out to those with whom you feel an alignment or connection.

I’ve heard of nurses who basically stalk the people they want to meet, forsaking cover letters and emails for standing outside the target person’s office with a resume, a small gift, and a smile at the ready. I met a nurse who wanted a certain type of position so bad, he really did hang out in the facilities where there were people of influence he wanted to meet, and he accosted them when they came into the hallway. You know what? He was kicked out of a few places, but one nurse manager was so taken with his bravado, she interviewed him the next day and ended up hiring him. She was shocked at his tactics for meeting her, but he certainly made an impression.

Another example I can offer is this: let’s say you want to learn all you can about the movers and shakers in corporate nurse leadership. You want to meet nurse CEOs and CNOs, interview them, and create profiles of each of the on a new blog you’re creating for that purpose. In doing these interviews, you let each nurse leader you interview know that you are looking for an opportunity to work under a visionary nurse leader, and use this chance to get to know them and for them to become acquainted with you. Rather than just doing informational interviews with these nurses, you would be offering to showcase them in a very positive light, and perhaps pitch the entire series of interviews and blog posts to a book company or nursing journal; a win-win for all involved.

Think Big. Think Different. Go Crazy. 

What I’m trying to say is that you don’t need to take the tried and true route to career success and professional development. For every 5,000 people who do it the same way every time just like everyone else does, there’s perhaps one person who does it in a way no one has ever seen before.

Friends, sometimes we have to buck the trends, think way outside of the box, and do something crazy, even something that scares the feces out of us. What could you do that’s out of the ordinary? Did I give you any ideas?


The episode of the Nurse Keith Show sponsored by StaffGarden, staffgarden.com/nursekeithThis episode of The Nurse Keith Show is brought to you by my friends at StaffGarden, a unique digital healthcare company allowing nurses to create a private online ePortfolio that StaffGarden shares with high-quality employers (with your permission, of course) in order to connect you with the best facilities and positions.

StaffGarden partners with fantastic employers seeking the best candidates in the nursing profession; through powerful partnerships with the recruiters and talent acquisition professionals employed by these healthcare leaders, they deliver your ePortfolio directly to the people who are looking for nurses just like you.

Having a StaffGarden ePortfolio and landing a job with a partnering employer costs you nothing. However, your ePortfolio will get you noticed for positions that you would likely not have access to through traditional ads or job postings.

As a nurse, partnering with StaffGarden adds depth and breadth to your job search process, as well as your exposure to some of the most progressive healthcare employers in the country. Allow SG to work for you and connect you with some of the greatest job opportunities in 21st-century healthcare.


The NNBA and Networking Nurses

In the fall of 2015, I recorded episode 29 of the Nurse Keith Show from Las Vegas, Nevada, where I was glowing from a glorious time at the annual conference of the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA). Well, from October 14th to 16th of this year, I’ll be back at the 2016 NNBA conference with bells on, and I’m super psyched that Kevin Ross and Elizabeth Scala—my partners in crime at RNFM Radio—will also be with me.

The National Nurses in Business Association 2016 annual conferenceJust as a heads up, the three of us from RNFM Radio will be putting on a pre-conference workshop where attendees will be able to learn the basics of podcasting, and actually go home with all of the information they need to actually launch a podcast on a shoestring. There are other great pre-conferences on the schedule, as well, but we obviously want you to come to ours because it’s going to be fantastic. Check it all out here.


The Nurse Keith Show is adroitly edited and produced by Tim Hallowell of The PodcastingGuy.com; social media and promotion are expertly handled by Mark Capispisan.

Please consider leaving a review of The Nurse Keith Show over on iTunes; this helps more nurses and healthcare professionals find the show and benefit from the information being shared. Just visit iTunes, click on the iTunes store, search for The Nurse Keith Show under podcasts, and leave a review, and voila. Thanks!

Be well, dig deep, and keep in touch!

Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BCKeith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind NurseKeith.com and the well-known blog, Digital Doorway.

Keith is co-host of RNFMRadio.com, a wildly popular nursing podcast; he also hosts The Nurse Keith Show, his own podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses. Keith is also the resident nursing career expert at Nurse.com.

A widely published nurse writer, Keith is the author of “Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century.” He has also contributed chapters to a number of books related to the nursing profession, and currently writes for MultiViews News Service, LPNtoBSNOnline.com, StaffGarden, and Working Nurse Magazine.

Mr. Carlson brings a plethora of experience as a nurse thought leader, online nurse personality, holistic career coach, writer, and well-known successful nurse entrepreneur. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his lovely and talented wife, Mary Rives.

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