Top 4 Ways to Be a Change Maker: Ideas from Bianca Cook on Nurse Entrepreneurship
Nurses are experts when it comes to creating connections. Patients look to them for support and high quality care. Doctors rely on their careful attention to detail and effective communication skills. In the community, nurses play a special role. They can improve the health and well-being of entire communities. Creating these opportunities for personal and professional growth takes practice. Change makers and social influencers tend to have a wealth of experience in the field. Through this work, they have developed techniques for cultivating working relationships that deliver tangible positive outcomes.
GIFTED intern Bianca Cook is an labor and delivery RN from LaPlace, LA. She specializes in project management, professional development coordination, and community development. As a self-described busy body, she is always on the lookout for new ways to grow as a nurse entrepreneur. Below are her top 4 tips for creating your own opportunities.
1. Volunteer in the Community
What excites you about helping others? Chances are there is an organization out there doing work that inspires you. Bianca found her niche working with children and families. Earlier in nursing school, she volunteered at elementary schools in the community doing health and hearing screenings. Later on, she began work with Camp Bon Coeur. This program is a non-profit residential summer camp for kids dealing with cardiovascular issues. “I’ve always wanted to combine my passion for community work with my professional experience in health and wellness.”
Finding the overlap between your passions and professional abilities is essential. These positions allow you to experience the day to day activities and challenges in the field. Through direct experience with administration and planning, you develop strategic thinking skills for program development. While volunteer positions are typically unpaid, they offer highly valuable training and professional development. These skills connect you to better opportunities down the road.
2. Research Change Makers
Social media makes connections more easily accessible than ever before. Services like LinkedIn allow you to search for the top professionals in any field. You don’t need to be a tech wiz to figure it out, either. While you search, look at what kind of language industry professionals use to describe themselves. Highlight key vocabulary words. Then, write a brief description about yourself, what you are interested in learning and what experience you bring to the table. Even spending 30 minutes once a week combing through company profiles can help you learn to “talk the talk.”
Once you have written your pitch, ask a colleague to review it. Another set of eyes can catch typos and give feedback on structure. Bianca connected with GIFTED CEO PK Scheerle on social media. “I just reached out to ask what advice she would have to someone interested in the field of nurse entrepreneurship.” Successful business people know that growth comes from connections. Offering guidance or internship opportunities helps companies grow. Sharing knowledge and investing in the future of the industry is just one way to fuel innovation in fields that matter.
“Successful business people know that growth comes from connections.”
3. Shadow RNs in Different Specialties
If you’re dedicated to compassion and service at the bedside, try shadowing RNs in various departments. Finding these opportunities is a simple as picking up the phone. “You can dial up the operator of a hospital in your area and ask for the nursing manager of whatever speciality you’re interested in,” according to Bianca. Shadowing nurses with different niches within a speciality offers a diversity of experience. She focused on Labor and Delivery and worked with experts in triage, labor, and c-sections. After gaining some first hand experience shadowing, she works as an L&D nurse tech while finishing her BSN. She was grateful to have the opportunity to see the flow of the department before investing time into specialist trainings.
4. Say Yes to Trainings
Being a super user comes with responsibilities and perks. A “super user” is a nurse who receives additional in-depth training on specific programs and technologies. They volunteer to be trainers as well a resource for other staff members during the transitional process. As new programs and procedures are implemented, super users provide feedback and evaluation to administration.
This is what brought Bianca toward nurse entrepreneurship. She offered classes on hospital communication technologies and assisted with staff in-services. “Gaining experience in project management and volunteer coordination was really important to me. Supervisors kept approaching me to learn more, so I kept saying yes.” She used the skills from her job’s professional development opportunities to launch toward an MBA program, with a focus on hospital administration.
At GIFTED, we see the value talented nurses and nurse entrepreneurs add to healthcare settings. We’re hiring individuals interested in various nursing fields, like travel and per diem work, as well as for positions in our corporate offices. If you’re interested in innovation and working for a company that works with you, submit your application today.