Top 4 Ways to Be a Change Maker: Ideas from Bianca Cook on Nurse Entrepreneurship
Patients rely on nurses for compassion and high-quality care. Doctors rely on nurses for their attention to detail and effective communication skills. As a result, great nurses are experts at creating connections.
GIFTED intern Bianca Cook is a Labor & 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? Bianca found her niche working with children and families. Earlier in nursing school, she volunteered at elementary schools in the community performing 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,” Bianca says.
Finding the overlap between your passions and professional abilities is essential. Begin by volunteering with organizations doing work that inspires you to develop professional skills in the areas you’re passionate about. While volunteer positions are typically unpaid, they offer valuable training and professional development. The skills you develop while volunteering will connect you to better opportunities down the road.
2. Research Change Makers
Social media has made building a network easier than ever before. Services like LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook allow you to search for 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 terms. Then, write a professional summary: what you are interested in learning, and what experience you bring to the table. Spending just 30 minutes once a week researching company profiles can help you learn to “talk the talk.”
Once you have written your pitch, ask a colleague to review it. Always use another set of eyes to proofread for typos and structural errors.
Before she came to GIFTED, 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,” said Bianca.
Bianca had developed a strong professional network before reaching out to GIFTED, and it paid off. Company leadership and successful professionals look to an individual’s network when evaluating their ambition and potential.
Soon after, Bianca had joined the GIFTED family.
“Company leadership looks at a prospect’s network when evaluating their ambition and potential.”
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 whichever specialty you’re interested in,” according to Bianca. Shadowing nurses with different specialties offers a diversity of experience.
Bianca focused on Labor & Delivery and worked with experts in triage, labor, and c-sections. After gaining first-hand experience shadowing, she worked as an L&D nurse tech while finishing her BSN. Bianca was grateful to have the opportunity to experience the department’s clinical environment before committing to training.
4. Say Yes to Trainings
Being a super user is a great way to show professional initiative. A “super user” is a nurse who receives 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 the administration.
This is what brought Bianca toward nurse entrepreneurship. She offered classes on hospital communication technologies and assisted with staff 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 says.
Bianca used the skills she learned during her professional development opportunities to enter 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.