You’ve started a new job, but you’re feeling that you are not getting the support you need. This happened to me when I became a nurse practitioner (NP). I was the only NP in my organization. I often felt alone and left out of the physician and nurse groups. With no peers at work, I decided to create my own support group. You can, too. Here are 3 things you need know to get started.
1. How to find people
To find the people who are in a similar situation, ask around at work. Put an ad in the paper or on the internet. If you’re a graduate nurse, contact your nursing school for addresses of alumni. When I was a new NP with few peers to talk with, I wrote my state board of nursing and got the names and addresses of NPs in my area.
2. Find out what’s in it for them
Ask the group to talk about what they want to get out of the meetings. If you do this, you will find that more people continue to attend. If you don’t do this, there will be nothing in it for them. They will speak with their feet and not come. It cannot be all about you. You will feel supported when you hear them share some of the same struggles you have. You may even feel fortunate that you don’t have some of the issues they deal with.
3. Set goals
Groups that have a mission tend to continue. Our NP group decided we wanted to educate the public about what NPs do. We wrote editorials for the local paper. Two of us talked about NPs on a local TV program. Sharing information with each other helped members of the group improve their work lives. Several NPs found that other NPs in the area were making more than they were with less experience.. They took this information to their employer and received an increase in salary. We fought as a group to have our employers put our names on our office entrances and in the office advertisements.
Don’t continue to feel alone at work. Take action. You now know how to find the people, discover what the members of the group want and decide on a common goal. This will give your group a reason for being and will keep people coming back. Best of all, you will get the support you need.