How I Wrote a Book and Became a Nurse Author
I'm an ordinary nurse like most of us here. This is my story of becoming an author and about the book I just wrote. The sounds you hear are me jumping for joy at being able to say that.
My Book inspiration
At my job, working closely with our nurse residency program, and before that as a nurse manager, it saddened me that many wonderful nurses fail to land the job they want solely because they do not know how to present themselves in a way that makes them stand out.
Twice a year, I see over 200 new grads first-hand, in my own hospital, compete for a spot in our residency program- and I know from an insider's point of view why some stand out and others don't. Most don't stand out. But they could.
Frustrated by online applications, no experience, and a lack of interviewing skills, they do not know how to make an impression to a potential employer.
But I do know. I know how to get hired. And how to succeed at each and every point in the process.
As a previous hiring manager, I know the employer side of the hiring story- what works, what doesn't, and most important, how to stand out as a candidate. I know the tricky situations- what to do when a manager doesn't call back, if it's risky to do a "cold call" (walk in on a nurse manager), what your resume should and should not include, and how to write an irresistible cover letter.
I love new nurses, their energy and ideals, and I love to help them succeed. That combined with wanting to give them the necessary skills, resulted in my book:
"Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"
I sincerely hope you will check it out.
How I Got Started: On Allnurses
How did I get here, a published book author? I'm surprised myself, but I am an ordinary nurse just like you. A nurse who also loves to write. My writing journey started here on site almost three years ago.
I had a burning urge to write but not only to write- to be published. But how? I had no idea how to start. I knew I had content to share- but no venue.
One day while on the site, I saw that allnurses was looking for writers. I was so excited!! Nervous, I applied, and that was my start. What topics do I write about? All things I can speak to from my background and passions.
For example, here on allnurses, I've written about :
Age discrimination in nursing
Being threatened with patient abandonment
Being suspended for a medication error, and much more.
Then Came a Blog
I started my own blog, nursecode.com, because I, like most nurses, have so much to share. The theme of my blog is "whatever, you think, whatever you feel, you are not alone".
Read How Blogging Helped My Nursing Career. I recommend blogging because I love it, it's easy to start (use wordpress.org) and you can seriously be published by next week.
Exposure is Key
I learned it's one thing to write. It's another to have people read it.
Initially, I wrote articles and only my family and friends read them. I was excited to get 50 views per day. Now my blog averages 2,500 views per day.
But let me tell you about the day I had 25,000 views in ONE DAY. For me that was viral !! What was the article? And how did that happen?
It was "Traits and Characteristics of an ED Nurse" Why did it receive so many views? Because allnurses graciously posted it one time their Facebook page. And writing for the huge community of allnurses got my name got out there. Thank you, allnurses
Writing From the Heart: Also Key
Another one of my most most-read articles was inspired by a new grad I was mentoring, who was floundering on Med Surg. And crying in the supply room.
Then there was another popular article about things to say when your patient dies. You can probably tell I write about my passions. I find that when I write from the heart it resonates with others, and, I like to believe, sometimes helps others.
My writing quickly led to many other offers and gigs- there are many writing opportunities out there for nurses! Many businesses feature health related or nursing blogs on their web sites.
Of course, my most satisfying and core gig is here on allnurses. I'm talking about my "Ask Nurse Beth" column at where I get to share my advice from my broad background on all aspects of career development.
Final Tips For Us Nurse Entrepreneurs
For me writing a book was my goal, and for other nurses, starting a business is a goal. It doesn't have to be just a dream- if you can dream it, it's possible.
You can connect with others on the Nurse Entrepreneurs/Innovators Hub where nurse entrepreneurs share their business ideas. Readanother helpful article found on allnurses, How To Get Started as a Nurse Writer by Elizabeth Hanes, who makes a full-time living as a nurse writer.
Here's a really good tip- network with other like-minded nurses. Nationally, many of us nurse entrepreneurs and aspiring nurse entrepreneurs gather yearly at the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) coming up in September 2017. We learn from each other and support each other.
I'm a member of NNBA and I've met the most inspiring nurses there, like Donna Cardillo, and Laura Gasparis. Last year I met Clifton, the Nurse Farmer, which was a real joy.
This year I'll be there with allnurses and I'll be available to share and listen and help you in any way I can. I'd love to meet you and hear your goals and dreams
Think about attending. If not, but you have the "bug" to start your own business, I hope my story inspired you and gave you some ideas.
And don't forget to check out my book
"Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"
I have been so amazed by the testimonials for my book. Here's just a couple:
"Great book for anyone looking for a job. We all hear about the nursing shortage, and then once out of school, it is confusing why finding that first job can seem so challenging when there is such a need. But like everything else, there is a process to follow, with ways to shine and ways to shoot yourself in the foot. Even if you are an experienced nurse, learning to interview well is a skill and this book can help you develop that skill. There is lots of great info but I especially liked the chapters on thinking like the boss....confidence, and the practice interview questions. The next time I'm looking for a job I'll pull this book back out for review." Robb Hillman, Nursing Life Coach
"It's worth noting that I previously worked for a national healthcare staffing company. I worked with literally thousands of candidates on finding permanent, travel and PRN positions. I submitted over 1,500 candidates for job consideration. I spoke with hundreds of nursing managers all across the country. I was engaged in the nursing job search process for 50 to 60 hours per week, every week, for over 5 years.
I mention this because even with this level of experience, I learned a lot from this book. It provided me with new insight into certain aspects of the process. It also shed new light on actions I have long recommended which helped me gain a deeper understanding of the process as a whole"...note: read more to find out where Kyle Schmidt at bluepipes.org and I disagree...)
Chock full of helpful information! Brand new nurses and more experienced nurses who are looking for a job... THIS is the book for you. From resume tips to interview strategies, Beth's book is full of resources to help you get hired. Have a read yourself and share with a friend. This book is one to pass along and share!! Elizabeth Scala, Author and Keynote Speaker
Nurse BethLast edit by tnbutterfly on Jun 15, '18
About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN
Nurse Beth blogs at nursecode.com
Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,382; Likes: 4,119Jul 27, '17Great article! Always wanted to write full time-----my one constant dream! Planning to read your book.Jul 28, '17Congratulations, Beth! You have so many gifts to share with the world. Thank you of taking the time to put your experience into print. Your book will help many nurses in the years to come!Jul 28, '17Quote from spotangelSoul sister- thank you kindly!Great article! Always wanted to write full time-----my one constant dream! Planning to read your book.Jul 28, '17Quote from Michelle RhodesYay!!I love being a Nurse Entrepreneur ! See you at conference!Jul 29, '17I have a question: How does one stay relevant when she's been out of the profession for several years? I still maintain a nursing license, but I'm technically retired and I want to stay on top of current nursing practice. I've been taking some CEUs even though my state doesn't require anything other than a one-time pain management course and cultural competence. And of course, I visit here several times a day. But I want to continue to write for AN myself, and I just don't have any new wisdom to offer. Help!Jul 30, '17Quote from VivaLasViejasI think wisdom is not new, it is oldI have a question: How does one stay relevant when she's been out of the profession for several years? I still maintain a nursing license, but I'm technically retired and I want to stay on top of current nursing practice. I've been taking some CEUs even though my state doesn't require anything other than a one-time pain management course and cultural competence. And of course, I visit here several times a day. But I want to continue to write for AN myself, and I just don't have any new wisdom to offer. Help!
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