On episode 85 of The Nurse Keith Show, I introduce a new occasional series that I’m calling, “Nurse Keith’s Career Resources Roundup.” Some of the tools and resources I share on these episodes will have been previously mentioned on other episodes, and some will be new things I’ve discovered along the way. This will not just be classic career tools and techniques; it will also be things that I find useful for organizing your life, keeping in touch with people and managing your contacts, taking better care of yourself, and all manner of things that I think may somehow
embolden or improve your workstyle, nursing career, or lifestyle.
In our careers and personal lives, we need all sorts of resources to help us along; these resources may be useful apps, cool new services, pieces of technology, software, organizational tools, comfortable shoes, and other items. This is my opportunity to share with you some things that I think are worth checking out. In the spirit of transparency, if I have a relationship with any provider of services or products that are mentioned on this podcast, I’ll fully disclose that relationship on air and in the show notes.
And away we go:
The first resource that I’ll share is Evernote, a highly useful and intuitive app that helps you to organize your thoughts, bookmarks, lists, and ideas all in one place. What I love about Evernote is that it’s a multi-platform app; you download the app to your phone and your laptop or tablet, and your “notebooks” (Evernote-speak for folders) are synced between all of your devices.
Here’s how it can work:
You’re at a conference and you collect fifteen business cards from new contacts, and you’re afraid you’ll lose the cards on the way home or forget why each one is important. You take out your Android or iPhone, open Evernote, and use your phone’s built-in camera to capture each business card into a “notebook” you’ve labeled “Business Cards”. In the text box next to each business card image, you can take notes about the person you met and why you want to keep in touch. And voila! You can recycle those business cards because they’re now synced on both your computer at home and the smart phone in your pocket.
Another aspect of Evernote is doing away with having bookmarks saved in different browsers. If you’re like me, you may use Safari, Firefox, and another browser on your computer for various purposes. If you bookmark a website on Firefox but then can’t remember where you stored it, you can spend a lot of wasted time trying to track it down. When you add the Evernote Web Clipper app to each of your browsers, anything you bookmark is saved to your Evernote account and automatically synced to all of your devices. Let’s say you’re researching Masters in Nursing programs and you want to save various web pages with crucial information; save each one to a special notebook on Evernote, and you can access them from any device at any time.
There are so many things I love about Evernote, but some other great aspects include the ability to share your notes with others, as well as the ability to attach files or insert links to your documents on Google Drive. What more could you want from an app?
The Ultimate Career Guide For Nurses by Donna Cardillo
I consider Donna Cardillo one my chosen mentors. Donna is a motivational speaker and humorist, nursing career guru, workshop leader, and all-around amazing nurse entrepreneur and innovator.
Donna has many books and products that I regularly recommend, but the one book that I want to see on every nurse’s bookshelf is The Ultimate Career Guide for Nurses. Donna’s books are simply a wealth of information, and this career guide is comprehensive, sensible, prudent, smart, and informative. Sure, I could write my own book along the same lines, but Donna’s is, for me, one of the best on the market.
(For new nurses, I also recommend Donna’s other go-to book, Your 1st Year As A Nurse.)
The Good Old-Fashioned Spreadsheet
When I say “spreadsheet”, some of you may already be rolling your eyes, but give me a chance before your brain simply shuts down!
Spreadsheets are central to almost everything that I do. If I’m researching certification programs or nursing schools, I create a spreadsheet where I can visually track the findings of my research in one place. If I was looking for a job, I would create a spreadsheet that tracks each facility and potential employer, as well as the contact information of the human resources department, the nurse manager, the CNO, or other vital individuals.
A spreadsheet is where you can create mind maps for any aspect of your life, be it personal or professional. You can track your professional expenses for tax deductions, names and email addresses of colleagues you want to follow up with, or even your CEUs.
Spreadsheets can be created on your computer’s hard drive using Microsoft Excel for Windows or Apple; you can also use “Numbers”, the native spreadsheet application for Apple devices. However, my favorite application for spreadsheets is Google Drive.
My final recommendation for today is Google Drive, a cloud-based storage application to which everyone with a Gmail account has free access. On Google Drive, you can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations that are stored in your own personal cloud so that you can access those documents from any device with an Internet connection.
What’s even cooler about Google Drive is that you can share any of your documents with anyone else, and give them editing power so that a document then becomes collaborative. While you don’t want to store any HIPAA-protected information on Google Drive, you can use the application when you need to collaborate with colleagues on a project.
For instance, if you’re on the Protocol or Quality Assurance Committee for your facility, you probably collaborate with your fellow committee members on various projects. Using Google Drive, you can avoid having to email back and forth various confusing versions of a Word document by using Google Drive instead. And if several of you are online at the same time, you can actually edit the document and see others’ edits as they happen in real time.
For your career, imagine you’re working on a cover letter for a position you’re applying for. You can create that letter on Drive, share it with a colleague, friend, or family member, and they can help you work on it without the bother of emailing a dizzying number of Word-based versions back and forth.
Anyway, I hope some of these recommendations and resources are helpful or interesting, and please let me know if you end up using any of them!
This 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.
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Be well, dig deep, and keep in touch!
Keith 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 was previously 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.