Keeping current with nursing industry news, health trends, or cutting-edge technology and equipment is a great way to boost your career. But, as many nurses know, finding the time to actually get that information in a class or seminar is daunting. With work schedules and family responsibilities, finding hours every week to just grocery shop sometimes seems impossible.
But people do manage to find time to learn new things and stay current in the field, both things that make them relevant in today's market.
How can you do the same? Look for ways to get information in whatever time you have available.
1. Webinars Are Short and Sweet
A class offered in a webinar format is a great way to sneak in information when you don't have time for a full-on class. Webinars are offered in subjects ranging from career development to the latest in technology. Even if you don't put it on your resume, gathering information this way keeps you up-to-date on the latest technologies and issues. Best of all, you can be anywhere and log in to participate.
2. Local Speakers Offer Knowledge
If you're part of a networking group, a local nurses association, or a community group, regularly check in to find out when speakers are scheduled. If the topic isn't one of your typical interests, go anyhow so you can hear from others in the field what is most pressing to them. You can also suggest speakers you'd like to hear or topics you'd like to learn more about. These meetings generally last only a couple of hours, and you're likely to find at least one that you can attend.
3. Read the Latest
It sounds easy, but subscribing to relevant journals and magazines or even taking 30 minutes every week to hunt around online and read the latest studies or updates can give you nuggets of information you otherwise might miss. When a higher up brings it up in a meeting or in passing, you can add something to the discussion.
4. Conferences Offer Information
If you can carve out a day or even half a day, attending a nursing conference will pay off. Conferences have so many speakers and events that cover all kinds of subjects. Can't manage to take the time? At least peruse the conference schedule, note the speakers and topics, and start reading up on what they are researching.
5. Get a Tutor
Truly, one of the best ways to learn something is to get it straight from the expert. If you'd like to learn how to use social media to advance your career or think your professional communication skills could use a refresher, hire someone for an hour or two to help you. You can ask your local high school to suggest a few teens (almost always social media experts) to help you navigate social media sites. Maybe your neighbor works in public relations and can offer pointers for your announcements, presentations, or memos. You don't have to find a formal tutor to keep current, just someone who knows the right way to do what you need to learn!
Using your available blocks of time, no matter how small they are, can keep you informed and keep your knowledge current. Will you learn everything you need to in one webinar? Probably not. But investing the time gives you more information than you had before and can make a difference in what you know.