In-person networking and continuing education for healthcare professionals in general, and specifically APRNs, is essential to enhancing and advancing their careers. Developing professional relationships, attending professional conferences, and participating in continuing education all serve to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information that are vital to keeping a nurse’s knowledge fresh and relevant.
Specifically, in-person networking and education are beneficial to all APRNs, as they allow for:
- Improving patient care – At the forefront of everything, is the role of networking and education on improving professional practice to ensure APRNs are able to provide improved healthcare for their patients. These professional connections allow for knowledge sharing and mutual professional development, resulting in improved patient care.
- Opportunities for advancement – Professional networking can help APRNs achieve the fundamental knowledge required to take the next step in their career. By developing relationships with individuals who work in their desired fields or roles, APRNs can seek to advance their career through these contacts, or by simply having access to another’s knowledge base that is unique from their own.
- Developing new perspectives on clinical care – One of the primary benefits of robust networking and in-person education is that it allows health professionals to forge connections with colleagues and peers, including those who work in other areas across the spectrum of healthcare settings and specialties.
- Facilitating collaboration – Even among professionals not actively seeking job opportunities, networking can be useful by cultivating high-level collaboration. Because the profession of advanced practice nursing is constantly evolving, it is essential that APRNs stay current on the technological advancements and the expansion of their scope of practice.
- Growing professionally – Participating in networking and educational opportunities helps APRNs to stay informed about the constantly changing world of healthcare and advanced practice nursing. Through these events, APRNs have access to experts in their field, receive legislative updates and industry trends, have opportunities to serve, and ability to engage with other members, all of which help them to grow professionally.
- Receiving personal support – Advanced practice nursing is a highly demanding career both physically and mentally. Having a support group of fellow APRNs helps to relieve the stress that leads to burnout. Communicating with those who share similar experiences can ultimately lead to productive discourse resulting in actionable ideas to improve the system.
By taking a more active approach to professional networking, healthcare professionals can greatly enhance their own careers, assist their cherished colleagues, and make major contributions towards improving healthcare systems. Stay tuned for more information on this year’s OAAPN Statewide Conference, scheduled for October 21 – 23, 2021!