Unless you’ve been under a rock, you are aware that the U.S. is facing a significant shortage of healthcare providers, especially in Primary Care. Nurse practitioners are poised to make a significant impact on that shortage despite what some of our colleagues may believe. In order for us to do so, it’s vital that healthcare consumers know who we are.
If you follow the Pew Commission’s work, you are aware that 87% of U.S. adults have mobile phones/devices and 81% use the internet. More and more people are using the web to find what they need and less are using the yellow pages. This is in all age groups. In order to be visible…you need an online presence.
Here are three things you can do right now, today, regardless of your level of skill:
1. Get a web presence: You can easily do this at no cost by creating a page (not a profile) on Facebook. Additionally, you can create a page on www.about.me or on any one of the other free nameplate services. They are quick, easy to do and they will allow you to link up your various online presences.
Best case…get your own name (and your business name) as a domain and create a website. That way you have complete control.
2. Synch this information to your Google plus account. Don’t have one? Simply sign up for a Google account in your name. You will automatically have a google plus account. Think about this…when anyone searches in Google, it’s going to be the google plus pages that come up for that business/person on the first page.
In both cases above, you’ll want to use terms that health care consumers are searching for such as primary care, clinic, nurse practitioner, etc. Don’t forget to include your city and state – important for local searches.
3. Talk and Link: Talk about being a nurse practitioner to everyone you know. Refer them to your web presence. Use the links to your online profile everywhere…in your email, in your exam rooms, in your social media interactions, on your business cards and in press releases. If you are not comfortable referring people to your own webpresence, then refer health care consumers to authority websites such as AANP.org to learn more about NPs.
Just remember, whatever you do online is reflected toward all nurse practitioners. Be professional, yet human, creative yet not noisy. Let the world know who you are, what you do and the special gifts you bring to the healthcare arena.
Let’s go and make that impact on healthcare.
Share your own ideas, comments, suggestions below.
Barbara C Phillips, NP is a professional speaker, author, clinician and business owner who provides business education, resources and support to Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and other Advance Practice Clinicians — both for the employed and self-employed clinician. Additional information about Ms. Phillips is available at www.BarbaraCPhillips.com.