Once you’ve graduated from your master’s program and are a certified nurse practitioner, you may think you’re ready to let go of the collaboration and networking that was so important while you were a nursing student.
And, since life seems to be picking up speed and not slowing down after your nursing education, it may be difficult to figure out how to find the time and energy to collaborate with colleagues and network across practices.
Thankfully, the internet is home to a profusion of forums and groups where nurses and nurse practitioners gather from around the world to talk about jobs, best practices, patient care, communication, nursing practice, and a whole host of other topics important to the practice of nursing.
Whatever your particular interest, there’s sure to be a group or form just waiting for your input.
Why Getting Involved Is Important
It may “feel” easier at the end of the day to curl up with a good book or movie on the couch, but making just a little effort to connect with other nurse practitioners can make a world of difference in your practice and mental health.
Humans were designed to be in relationship with others. Yet, while you are around people all day, many of your colleagues may not be nursing professionals.
One of the things that nurses learn early in their career—likely in nursing school, long before they graduate with their master’s degree—is that most other people cannot appreciate or understand the field of nursing.
It takes another nurse to know your angst and concerns in only the way a nurse can experience your emotional or mental turmoil. This is where the benefits of digital communication and the speed of the internet become invaluable.
This is an important strategy and skill to further your career and improve your marketability. Even if you don’t have plans to advance your career or find a new nursing job right now, networking with other professionals creates a strong foundation from which you can develop your future options.
It is not uncommon for jobs in the medical field to be filled without advertising—just by word of mouth. When you’ve made connections long before you need them, your contacts will be well-established and will likely step up to help you in your search when you need them.
In the meantime, you network with and help colleagues who can share best practices, answer questions, and make suggestions for your career growth.
Networking is a powerful tool to use in your job search. But not all jobs are found through people you have relationships with. Sometimes, jobs are announced in nurse forums and groups long before they are posted on websites. Whether you’re looking for a job in another city or state, or one in your backyard, communicating with colleagues in the geographical area will benefit your search.
Best Practice Discussions
As a nurse practitioner, you may miss the spirited discussions with colleagues about the best antibiotic choices or when to refer your patient for testing. You may be the only NP in the practice and may not have another advanced practice provider with whom to collaborate.
Online discussion forums and groups are a unique and powerful way to learn about medical treatment options in other areas. You’ll be able to educate yourself on patient care models that are getting good results without having to search the medical literature for ideas.
Of course, it’s always best to test new ideas first and confirm with scientific evidence. But, nursing discussions help trigger innovation and potential options you may not have otherwise considered.
You know that working in the medical field is challenging and rewarding. And, sometimes, you need a little support and reinforcement from healthcare professionals who know what you’re experiencing. Support is also exceedingly important to preventing burnout. In discussion forums and groups, you’re amid colleagues who understand and appreciate the complexities of your job.
Making the Best Nursing Forum Choice for You
There are a large number of nursing forums, which means a lot of choices, but most of the types of forums to choose from are general and specialty. Before searching for nursing discussion boards, take a few moments to decide what you’re looking for.
Identify what will meet the needs of your nursing career and why you want it. This will help guide your search terms and increase the potential you’ll find what you’re looking for.
General Nursing Profession Groups
General nursing groups are a good place to start when you aren’t sure the direction you need from a group. They are also a strong choice when you want to keep your options open for several different discussions or questions.
General nursing forums include nursing discussions, nursing news, and even nursing education. With such a broad range of topics, you’ll be sure to find a conversation that fits your needs.
Nursing Specialties Professional Groups
Professional groups formed around nursing specialties are not always about patient populations. Sometimes the specialty is about how patient care is done. For instance, some specialty groups are formed to discuss the myriad of ways technology may be used to improve patient care, and others to meet the needs of nurse practitioners who may also enjoy creating software in the medical field.
Where to Look for Forums and Groups
There are many different places to look for professional nursing discussion groups that meet your needs. You may want to have a look at some of the places to find forums, as well as some of the forums we found.
We encourage you to look through the suggestions below before taking to Google with your own search terms. While these suggestions may not meet your needs, they may spark an idea of what to look for and where.
It’s important to remember that the best ones are not necessarily those with the highest traffic or the greatest number of forum threads. The best choice is the one that meets your needs.
Nursing Blogs and Websites
There are a number of nursing blogs where specialists have taken pen to paper (so to speak!) to take on big discussions or private rants. It’s not uncommon to find people who consistently comment and are persistently helpful.
Blogs are a nice place for new nurses to dip their toes in the waters of professional online collaboration. If you are a new nurse, they can be a unique place to help you locate forums and groups to meet your needs.
All Nurses is a general nursing forum that is public and free to join. Participants are encouraged to engage and ask questions, chime in with their experiences, and join ongoing conversations. In the forum, people talk about current events as they relate to nursing—including retirement, hospice care, HIPAA, and much more.
The forum is geared toward the needs of registered nurses, so it may not be a good place for advanced practice collaboration. But, it is chock-full of discussions about nursing disability, retirement, patient safety, and activism. The website is allnurses.com, but we’ve linked directly to the forum page! Check out All Nurses to see if this nursing forum is right for you.
This site inspires nurses to learn and continue their educational development and personal growth. Nurse.com is an industry leader in online education, and the site hosts online events and webinars to boost patient outcomes. Check out Nurse.com to see what it can do for you!
Correctional Nurse Blog
This blog is run by an advanced practice nurse specializing in correctional nursing and healthcare. She consults with jails and prisons across the country, and she provides online education for nurses interested in the field.
For advanced practice nurses interested, this is a unique and powerful resource to connect with others in the field and gain greater insight into the practice. Check out the Correctional Nurse blog to see how it can benefit you.
Although this social media platform has its ups and downs, there are a number of large and powerful nursing groups on Facebook. You’ll find groups committed to topics or specialties, as well as others focused on specific geographical locations.
If you’re thinking about doing travel nursing or relocating, consider joining and participating in a group in your desired area. It is a good way to network, find a job, and get the lay of the land. Here are some of the general and specialty nursing forums on Facebook.
The Nurse Practitioner Group
This is a general nursing group that started in 2017. Currently, the group boasts 26,700 members. The group is private and requires permission to join. The group’s intent is for networking and support across the country. If you’re interested, click here to check out The Nurse Practitioner Facebook Group.
Family Nurse Practitioner Networking Group
This specialty nurse practitioner group was created in 2007. It has 31,300 members. Although it is a private group, they don’t request verification to join. The moderators seek out people who are interested in networking and supporting each other.
The group encourages networking, but it does not allow any recruiting. It has about 10 posts a day. Check out the Family Nurse Practitioner Networking Group to see if it’s the nurse forum you’re looking for!
Ohio Nurse Practitioner
This specialty Facebook group was created to meet the needs of nurse practitioners living in Ohio. The group started in 2017 and has 7,400 members. The group is private, and new members must request access and be approved.
The group is directed at nurse practitioners, so registered nurses and other healthcare professionals will want to look for groups that better suit their needs. The Ohio Nurse Practitioner group logs about 10 posts a day where members share information, ask questions, and network.
If you live in Ohio or are looking to move to Ohio, the Ohio Nurse Practitioner Group may be exactly what you need.
This social media platform is just for professionals. This means it’s a good way to publish your own content, network with professionals, find nurses forums and groups, and connect with like-minded registered nurses and nurse practitioners. As you decide the best ways to spend your valuable time, have a look at some of the general and specialty nursing forums on LinkedIn.
American Nurses Association
This group is managed by the American Nurses Association. It is focused on general discussions, as well as advocating for the rights of nurses in the workplace. The group was created in 2009 and currently has nearly 70,000 members. If you’re interested, click here to check out the American Nurses Association on LinkedIn.
This is also a general forum specifically dedicated to nurse practitioners across the U.S. It intends to give them an opportunity to network and collaborate. The group was founded in 2009 and currently has 22,300 members.
If you’re looking for a place to learn more from fellow nurse practitioners, this nurse forum is for you. Click here to see if the Nurse Practitioner group is right for you.
Nurses, & Computers, Technology & Gadgets Professionals of Healthcare World
This unique group has 5,600 healthcare professionals who use the forum to explore nursing and technology. The forum is private and requires approval for new members to join. If you’re interested in informatics, robotics, and patient monitoring, this is the place to launch your questions.
Check out the Nurses, & Computers, Technology & Gadgets Professionals of Healthcare World group by clicking on the link.
Choose Your Tools Wisely
As you’re making choices about the forums and groups you may want to join, it’s critical to remember there are only 24 hours in a day. Where you may not have considered spending an hour a day going to a conference, you may sit in front of the computer for an hour each night.
It is incredibly easy to get caught up in social media, discussions, and lively conversations with colleagues.
Spend some time choosing your nurse forums and groups carefully. You want the most bang for your hour, so you aren’t wasting time. And remember, even after you join, you don’t have to stay. If the group or forum isn’t meeting your needs, move on and find another group.