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NURS 451 affiliations and importance of networking for nursing leaders DQ

NURS 451 affiliations and importance of networking for nursing leaders DQ

NURS 451 affiliations and importance of networking for nursing leaders DQ

DQ1 A new director decides to reorganize the department you
work in. This reorganization comes about without input from the employees and
many of the nurses that you oversee are feeling resentful of the change. As a
nurse leader, identify factors that may lead to conflict and ways you can
manage them.

DQ2 Personal affiliations and networking are important for
nursing leaders. Why are these important? How will they benefit you in your
career future? Identify two affiliations or a situation in which you have
networked for the health of a population or your community.

The Value of Networking

Informal networks have always been important in the workplace to get things done.  We all know people who are very well connected, and have used this to advanced their careers or help achieve their goals.  Yet surprisingly, few organizations and knowledge workers seem to understand the dynamics of their informal networks and harness their abilities.   A good network outside our own organization can make it possible for us to gain access to and act upon new information faster.  It can save time and energy in a leadership role to have a network of individuals with similar challenges who can provide advice based on their experiences.  Having a strong network can also be invaluable if you are looking for new career opportunities, especially for emerging nurse leaders.  Harvey Mackay, a master networker, advises that you should dig the well before you are thirsty.  This is good advice. Workforce recruiters acknowledge that their best hires are referrals that come from professionals whose judgement they can trust.  Many great career opportunities are never advertised.

Getting Started

Networking opportunities exist everywhere, even in social situations outside work environments.  Professional meetings and events are ideal opportunities to network.  In fact, most experienced nurse leaders attend national meetings specifically to network with their colleagues.  Increasingly, professionals also use social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Listservs in professional organizations to broaden their networks.

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Networking is all about the establishment of relationships.  You can’t establish a relationship with someone that you don’t know, without first taking the time to meet others.  Don’t be a wallflower when you attend a meeting, and don’t spend all your time with people you already know.  Networking is an active behavior.  When you attend a meeting, establish a goal to meet at least five new people.  You really never know who has information or contacts that could be helpful to you.  Always bring your business cards with you.

Questions to Ask in Networking Environments

If you are naturally introverted, networking may not come as easily to you.  Fortunately, most people would rather talk than listen.  You can never go wrong asking some questions and establishing common ground.  Some good questions to get the conversation started could include:

  • How did you get started in nursing leadership?
  • What do you enjoy most in your role?
  • What are your challenges?
  • What significant changes are you seeing in your environment?
  • What is the most innovative thing that is happening in your organization?
  • What do you think will happen with healthcare reform?
  • What trends do you see happening in nursing today?
  • What advice would you give to an emerging nurse leader?


If you make a promise to someone that you have networked with (to give them a contact name, send a policy or procedure, provide product information), it is very important that you provide prompt follow-up.  Your reputation and success will depend on whether you are considered trustworthy.  The old adage that “givers gain” is very true. Likewise, if someone that you have met offers to help you – don’t be afraid to immediately follow-up and ask for assistance.  You never know what new opportunities could happen as a result of a conversation.

We live in a very networked world so developing the skill of professional networking will be an important key to your leadership success.  You just never know who you will meet until you extend your hand, introduce yourself and start asking questions.