"Benefits of Networking"
Nursing is one of the most rewarding careers and at the same time one of the most challenging. For me, one of my earlier jobs as a novice nurse in a small ICU community hospital provided me with many with new experiences. I felt that my world had suddenly exploded. I had so much to learn in a short period of time and felt overwhelmed. In this small group I quickly felt comfortable and realized I was not alone in my struggles to learn and grow. I experienced a group of peers who had a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise who took me under their wings and guided me along. I was invited to a Critical Care Nurses Association meeting and it was at this point I realized the benefits of networking. I met many young nurses who were feeling the same way I was and most of us joined the Association.
Networking is all about building effective relationships. These relationships can enhance your professional growth. In their book, Power Networking, Fisher and Vilas described networking as "making links from people we know to people they know, in an organized way, for a specific purpose, while remaining committed to doing our part, expecting nothing in return."1 Building networks is a valuable way to meet new people, expand your knowledge and learn from the successes of others. Networking can be an excellent source of leads, whether on new business opportunities or career options. Networking can increase your confidence in speaking with others, provide you the satisfaction of helping others and can result in many friendships. As well, the relationships you have built can enhance your career, both personally and professionally by getting guidance and advice from your professional experts.
SVN is a professional organization that provides many opportunities for nurses to expand their network of professional colleagues. SVN provides access to members, educational materials, travel scholarships, awards, information, committee participation, support, and professional mentorship. By joining SVN many doors were opened for me in my professional life including the Vascular Disease Foundation and the Peripheral Arterial Disease Coalition.
The annual convention in Boston offers limitless opportunities for networking with colleagues from different countries. We have a great program and a wealth of experts in every area of vascular nursing. Wednesday evening provides a great opportunity to network. For new members or first time attendees plan to attend the new member orientation at 5:45 PM and find out what SVN has to offer you. I encourage all of you to attend the welcome reception at 6:30 PM to see friends and meet new people.
Networking is one of the main tools required to maintain and enhance the importance of the vascular nursing profession. Remember, part of networking is giving to other people and can be a life-changing experience, producing personal as well as professional growth. You will get more than you give! I look forward to seeing you all in Boston!
Marge Lovell, RN, CCRC, CVN, BEd, Med
1 Power Networking: 55 Secrets for Personal and Professional Success. S.Vilas & D. Fisher