Wednesday, June 29, 2016

LinkedIn, Microsoft, Nursing, and Nurses' Careers

For those nurses who've been resistant to acknowledging that LinkedIn is salient to nursing career development and professional networking, your resistance is officially futile. With Microsoft's recent $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn, professionals around the world---including those in healthcare---are likely to see the crucial presence and necessity of LinkedIn increasing over time.

Networking and LinkedIn

As I've mentioned in numerous articles, podcasts, and blog posts, I believe that LinkedIn is central to nurse career development and networking. From interacting as a member of robust LinkedIn groups to connecting with those who work for organizations you admire or wish to work for, LinkedIn provides a window to people and into worlds that may otherwise be more difficult to access.

If you want to meet employees of a hospital where you desire to find a position, LinkedIn is the go-to platform to find and connect with those individuals. And if, for example, you want to find every Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in a particular zip code, LinkedIn's advanced search is the place to begin.

Your digital networking should revolve around LinkedIn, and some of those online relationships can be transformed into real-life meetings and relationships. Meanwhile, people you meet in person and work with during the course of your career are also available for you to connect with on the LinkedIn platform.


The (LinkedIn) Future Is Unwritten

We don't yet know how being attached to Microsoft will change the LinkedIn landscape; we can imagine that there will be some form of integration of LinkedIn with Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, Skype, and other Microsoft-owned platforms and software, but the rest is up for conjecture (and many people are currently trying to guess what that future will be).

I surmise that more companies may eventually find it prudent to stop accepting resumes and instead switch to requesting LinkedIn profiles as de facto resumes (this is a currently uncommon but potentially growing practice). There is also the idea that some companies will find ways to integrate employees' LinkedIn profiles with internal Human Resources systems and databases.

Some unanswered questions:
  • How will the purchase of LinkedIn by Microsoft change the healthcare sector? 
  • How will individual healthcare professionals' experience of LinkedIn change after Microsoft puts its stamp on LinkedIn? 
  • Will the resume become a thing of the past as LinkedIn is integrated into Microsoft-powered human resources platforms and software? 
  • Will healthcare managers and executives use LinkedIn differently? 
  • Will Skype be integrated with LinkedIn (Microsoft owns Skype) and change how we take part in conference calls?


Ears To The (LinkedIn) Rails

Nurses and healthcare professionals, it would be prudent to keep your ears to the rails in terms of how the purchase of LinkedIn by Microsoft may impact your work and career.

We don't yet know if this acquisition will ultimately help or hinder LinkedIn's growth, but I assume that its importance to our careers and professional networking is likely to grow, and it may greatly impact human resources practices, even in healthcare.

Until we know more, simply continue to update and refine your LinkedIn profile, connect with like-minded colleagues, join salient LinkedIn groups, read articles and updates, and make the most of a professional networking platform that, if handled well, may likely become even more robust and relevant in the years to come. And if you need help mastering the use of LinkedIn, just let me know!


Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind and the well-known blog, Digital Doorway.

Keith is co-host of, a wildly popular nursing podcast; he also hosts The Nurse Keith Show, his own podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses. Keith is also the resident nursing career expert at

A widely published nurse writer, Keith is the author of "Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century." He has also contributed chapters to a number of books related to the nursing profession, and currently writes for MultiViews News Service,, StaffGarden, and Working Nurse Magazine.

Mr. Carlson brings a plethora of experience as a nurse thought leader, online nurse personality, holistic career coach, writer, and well-known successful nurse entrepreneur. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his lovely and talented wife, Mary Rives.


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