Nurses are natural storytellers, and they have unlimited material to share. Today, storytelling is recognized as one of the most powerful ways to influence, teach, and inspire. So, what makes this approach so effective? For starters, storytelling forges connections between people and ideas. Many nurses are now pursuing side hustles to tell their stories!
Choosing what to write about
As patients and caregivers are encouraged to be active members of the healthcare team, nurses can use their stories to help them understand how to do this. That’s why nurses are branching out to mainstream media newsletters and writing their own blogs. With their value being recognized, they are compensated for their knowledge and expertise.
In addition, as nurses advance in their careers, they can mentor the next generation. This can be done by contributing content to e-letters and professional publications. Those in master’s degree or doctoral programs are researching topics that identify the role and functions of today's nurses. This information helps build the body of knowledge for this emerging profession.
Don’t think you can do it? Think again
Many of you reading this article are probably thinking, "I can't write an article in a national magazine!” I know this because I said the same thing when I was asked to be the editor-in-chief of a national publication for case management professionals. I was told not to worry about the writing, as I was needed for my knowledge and expertise in case management. They also mentioned that editors would review my papers and polish them as necessary to meet the editorial standards.
Over eight years, I talked to hundreds of nurses, social workers, and other healthcare professionals to learn about what they did in their roles. When I heard an interesting story, best practice, or new process that improved care delivery, I asked the person to write an article for my magazine. Many said no, as they were afraid to write. However, I said I would help them and explained how our editorial team would revise their work so they would be proud of the final version. I loved sending them the finished product because they were always so excited and proud to see their article in print. They even asked when they could write another article!
So, if you have a story to tell that could help healthcare staff, patients, or caregivers, writing may right be for you. In addition to educating, empowering, and assisting others in their growth, you could also make some extra money!
Your knowledge is worth something
Today, there are several ways to tell your story. Publishers are looking for content to fill their e-letters, magazines, and blog posts. You have the information they need, and many are willing to pay for it. Writing content for a national publication can result in payments of $50, $75, or $100 for a 500–800-word article. If you have been thinking about writing as a side hustle, professional writing could be a great path to pursue.
There are a few ways to get started in becoming a professional writer. Here are some tips that I found helpful.
Tapping into mentors:
Janine Kelbach, RNC-OB, also known as the Savvy Nurse, began by supplying content to healthcare publications. As a next step, she offered training for nurses who wanted to write. She also created a job board, where her training subscribers could apply for writing projects. Many of these were paying gigs. Visit savvynursewriter.com to learn more.
Elizabeth Hanes RN is an expert on healthcare content marketing and freelance health journalism. She shares her knowledge with nurses who want to write by speaking, educating, and writing books. Check out her blog to learn more.
Brittney R Wilson, BSN RN, and Kati L Kleber, BSN RN serve as leaders in the nursing industry. They wrote a book called The Nurse's Guide to Blogging: Building a Brand and a Profitable Business as a Nurse Influencer.
Professional organizations: Belonging to your professional organization can help you learn and grow in your industry. I belong to The Case Management Society of America. They recently held a five-week writing workshop for professionals with an interest in exploring professional writing. The course was free for members and non-members paid a fee to attend. In addition to gaining knowledge, attendees earned continuing education credits for participating. Click on this link to learn more.
Check out my blog, Nurse Advocate, to see what I am doing. Many nurses are starting blogs and monetizing them by sharing advertisements and announcements for events with their readers.
I hope this article inspires you to pursue professional writing and start sharing your stories and expertise! If you have additional questions or would like to explore opportunities, you can check out savvynrusewriter.com!