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Post-Master’s DNP Candidate Participates in LinkedIn ‘Future Leaders of Nursing’ Boot Camp

Cyd Charisse Villalba, a post-master’s DNP candidate at Penn Nursing, healthcare analytics specialist, and ANA-NY research fellow, participated in LinkedIn’s pilot #FutureLeadersOfNursing boot camp at the company’s HQ in NYC on February 8. Participants learned how to amplify their voices and make a positive impact in their own communities all in order to change the future of nursing for the better.

Held at the iconic Empire State Building, LinkedIn’s pilot #FutureLeadersOfNursing boot camp started auspiciously enough in a large, corner conference room inundated with sunlight and expansive Manhattan views. The building’s Art Deco design extended to the marbled elevators and ornate carpets, and as expected of a modern media company, we were treated with the standard employee fare: complimentary breakfast and lunch at the company cafeteria (an epic understatement for a whole floor dedicated to a bakery, café, hot buffets, and several kombucha on tap) as well as swag (a military grade water bottle and an Eco-friendly notebook made in Italy).

There were about 50 attendees hailing from as close as Brooklyn to as far as California, and one crossed the border from Canada. The full gamut of novice to expert nurses were in attendance, and represented the wide, ever-changing roles filled by nurses: from CNOs, CEOs, new grads, nurse practitioners, informaticians to influencers. We all came for a similar reason – to promote nursing as a profession, and in so doing, bolster ourselves and other nurses, especially those still in the trenches.

The first of four sessions focused on self-awareness and self-care, of drilling down to the values that we treasure and measure ourselves against. We were told to write down the reasons why we became nurses, and the reasons why we remain inextricably so. Many cited compassion as their primary reason for starting and staying within the profession, with the shared thread of compassion, fatigue, and burnout. All were looking for a community, whether it be of mentors, business partners, or empathetic peers.

The next three presentations revolved around promoting LinkedIn as a forum and platform to elevate nursing issues and propel nursing careers. The presenters gave engaging overviews of LinkedIn’s healthcare and nursing related news-feeds, and outlined the most effective ways to garner views and feedback from the community. Lessons straight from modern media and old-school marketing: be your authentic self, curate your image, and be aware of your employer’s social media policy.

At its close, the boot camp galvanized a dynamic group of nurses, some geared to go forth and proselytize the social good of social media, but most simply grateful for the opportunity to wrestle entrenched and thorny issues plaguing nursing: funding for all levels of nursing education, critical levels of staff burnout and turnover, lack of formal nursing leadership training and mentoring, and federal and state support of advanced practice and cross-state licensure.