Nurse Practitioner Introduces ‘The Nurse Link’ - an Online Community For Nurses
Nurse Practitioner Julia Eze, founder of The Nurse Link, a mentorship network for students and nurses recently launched a digital version of their event-based platform.
Julia believes meaningful connections are integral to success in nursing. We caught up with Julia to talk about this philosophy.
You founded The Nurse Link in 2016. Since then, what new developments have transpired?
The Nurse Link connects current, future and aspiring nurses for mentorship, networking, and empowerment. Since 2016, we’ve mostly carried out our mission through our national tour and expos. We’ve held events in more than 5 major cities and collectively brought out thousands of attendees for interaction with local and national students, nurses, influencers, entrepreneurs and state level nursing organizations.
Why did you want to go to a digital platform and will you still hold live events?
Our events allow us to connect with many students and nurses one city at a time; however, our digital platform will allow us to reach a global audience more consistently. Establishing a digital presence will help increase our impact and efficacy more rapidly as well as curate a community online and allow people to participate that way. We will also continue to host events.
What are your goals for the digital platform by, say, 2020?
Our goals are qualitative and value driven. Facilitating meaningful connections amongst the entire nursing community is primary and we would like for our site users to take advantage of this. We only aim to refine the user experience by years end and continue developing opportunities.
We’re hoping that experienced nurses will pay it forward and share their expertise with those currently in the field or pursuing the field. Reversely, students and new grads can gain a sense of camaraderie and community. Resources are available for nurses at all stages and those pursuing entrepreneurship.
Why is honest, open communication about nursing important to you?
Honest and open communication is the only way to spark change in industry culture. To be heard, understood and provided feedback can be very rewarding. In nursing, sometimes it's all we have to lean on.
Most of the themes we’ve focused on in our panels at our events have been real issues and industry pain points ranging from self-care, nurse burnout to diversity and student/ new nurse challenges. Now it is our hope that our site users take to the forums to dialogue and help one another by shedding perspective.
Why do you believe nurse mentorship is valuable to aspiring, new and even seasoned nurses?
Nursing is a demanding career that requires life-long learning. As we transition through various stages of their journey; their needs may change. With the growth in mind, mentorship is valuable at every stage because there’s always something new to learn and aspire to. Having a mentor plays a huge role in the success of that transition and who better to learn from than each other. Wisdom from a fellow nurse or student who has been there and done that is invaluable.
What was the biggest challenge for you as a new nurse, either in school or freshly graduated?
Along my journey, I didn’t have the best support system. I was the student who stayed to themselves and because of this, I struggled. In my last year of nursing school, I found my tribe amongst classmates and realized how difficult I’d made it for myself.
This is why I believe that nursing is definitely not a journey that you take alone. You need to make those connections. That’s why The Nurse Link is so important to me because it is very much centered on the challenges that I faced.
What is the most exhilarating thing about being an entrepreneur, role model, and Nurse Practitioner all in one?
My roles as a mentor and healthcare professionals are my first passions and fuel my entrepreneurial endeavors. It feels good to help others but is also inspiring to be believed in and learn from my mentees.
The most exhilarating part of it all is treading on uncertainty. The leap of faith to do business in uncharted territory jolts me the most. There's something about not knowing that drives the curiosity in me to see the end result.
What advice would you give someone who is considering becoming a nurse?
I would have to say, “Never give up and remember your ‘why’,” as cliché as it sounds. I had my fair share of setbacks and obstacles that I could’ve allowed me to stop but I remembered my purpose.
So, never give up. Never accept no for an answer. Keep knocking on those closed doors. Keep showing up. If it’s all about what life hands us then we all may end up someplace we’d rather not be. I’m definitely someone who believes in being the master of your own destiny.
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