Survey: Nurses highest users of social media for career development

socialmediaimagesPhysicians, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists are using social media tools to network with professional colleagues, track down job leads and apply for new positions, according to a new survey.

The survey was conducted by AMN Healthcare, which bills itself as the nation's largest healthcare staffing and workforce solutions company. AMN Healthcare's "2010 Social Media Survey of Healthcare Professionals" was designed to provide healthcare employers and leaders a snapshot of how healthcare professionals are currently using social media and other online applications for networking, job hunting and other career development activities. The survey, which was conducted this fall, received 1,248 responses.

The survey suggests that traditional methods of recruitment such as referrals, online job boards and search engines are not being superseded by social media, whereas social media does surpass other job search methods such as newspaper ads, career fairs and other methods.  At the same time, social networking sites are experiencing tremendous growth, and have become the new frontier in professional networking and career development for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists. Job candidates are spending more time online and experimenting with media sites for job searches, but have thus far found minimal success in securing interviews, job offers and positions.

"It's not surprising that social media and mobile media usage have become additional job sourcing methods for healthcare professionals and a way to network with peers and companies," said Susan Salka, AMN's president and CEO. "What this tells us is that job seekers will add new methods and continue to replace those that don't work as they have access to innovative new resources. As the nation's largest healthcare staffing company, we find this information valuable in being able to connect with top talent in healthcare today. It will be interesting to compare this year's results with those from 2011 and beyond to gauge the search methods and developing preferences of job seekers."

Key survey findings:

    Thirty-eight percent of clinicians surveyed are currently seeking employment, and 12 percent of current job seekers have been looking for more than a year.
    Nurses have had a significantly shorter job search than their fellow professionals, averaging three months, compared to just less than seven months for physicians and allied professionals, and nine months for pharmacists.
    Thirty-seven percent of clinicians reported using social media for professional networking; nurses had the highest use among healthcare workers at 41 percent.
    Ten percent of healthcare professionals are using mobile job alerts, but only 3 percent have received an interview, 2 percent have received a job offer and 1 percent secured a new job.
    Physicians are by far the heaviest users of mobile devices for professional reasons among their medical colleagues; 37 percent used healthcare-related applications and 17 percent used mobile devices for healthcare-related content or jobs.
    Sixty-four percent of the clinicians surveyed would choose Facebook, the clear favorite, if they could choose only one social networking site.

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