Personal branding for the 21st-century nurse

By | 2015-11-09T18:22:11-05:00 November 10th, 2015|0 Comments

When nurses hear the term branding, they probably think of logos and corporate images that are meant to influence consumers. However, logos have nothing to do with a nurse’s branding, and the current marketplace demands that savvy nurses seriously consider the power of their own personal brand.

Branding is for nurses

If you’re a nurse in the job market, jockeying for a promotion, seeking to break into a new specialty or attempting to move your career forward, you have a brand.

Your brand is impacted by your mode of dress, your professional accomplishments, how you comport yourself, the style of your resume and LinkedIn profile, and how you handle cover letters, thank you letters, interviews and networking. Branding is multifactorial, and thoughtful nurses consider all aspects of branding at every point in their careers.

Your personal brand creates a framework upon which you hang your professional trajectory; taking conscious control of your brand is very intelligent in a healthcare culture that generally values forward-thinking, career-conscious professionals.

It’s not a logo, it’s a feeling

As a nurse, your brand has nothing to do with a logo, although your business card may indeed have a caduceus on it. (Not highly recommended, by the way.) Rather, your personal brand has everything to do with feelings. Allow me to explain.

When it’s all been said and done, what really makes your personal brand effective is how other people feel after interacting with you. Let’s face it, your resume and cover letters may be flawless, but if you’re as flat as a 2 x 4 during interviews, your interlocutors will come away underwhelmed.

When you’re at a networking event, association meeting or workplace party, your brand is on display, even if you don’t want it to be. The fact is, your brand is more of a feeling than anything else, and if you leave others feeling good about themselves and you, there’s nothing better you can do for your personal brand.

The whole package

If you think about it, everyone you know has a brand. When you stop by the supermarket for a steak, the friendliness and helpfulness of the butcher reflects both his brand and the brand of the establishment. And when you see your nurse practitioner, her clinical astuteness and personable demeanor cement her positive and supportive brand in your mind.

Every aspect of what you do, who you are and how you present yourself to the world as a healthcare professional makes or breaks your brand. Consider the whole package of your brand, be thoughtful about your behavior and appearance, and document your career in ways that make you shine.

Personal branding may be a 21st-century buzzword, but in reality, your brand is always on display. Have your brand work for you. Seize the opportunity to leave others feeling great about who you are, what you do and what you’re all about.


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About the Author:

Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC
Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind and the award-winning blog, Digital Doorway. A widely published writer, Keith is the author of “Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century.”

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