Bio: Elizabeth Hanes RN is “the nurse who knows content.” She is an award-winning journalist who has contributed to scores of noteworthy websites and publications such as WebMD Answers, PBS’ NextAvenue, History.com (The History Channel), and Caring.com. She earned a BA in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of New Mexico, and recently launched her website: RN2Writer.com. Elizabeth joined us at the Nursing Degree Guide to share her story.
Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone: How to Expand Your Horizons Beyond Nursing.
Nurses are some of the most driven and versatile professionals out there. Not only are they thoughtful caretakers, but also they can be chefs, professors, advertising executives, and, in Elizabeth Hane’s case, content marketing professionals. It is nurses like Elizabeth who are breaking the RN mold and helping other nurses step out of their comfort zone to hone new skills.
1) Can you explain your past positions as a nurse? (Your certifications and specific positions.)
I spent my entire nursing career in the perioperative setting. I left clinical nursing in 2011 to become a freelance writer.
2) What inspired you to enter into the healthcare field?
Like many other nurses, I became a nurse because I love helping people. One time, when I was taking care of my dad after surgery, the home health nurse told me, “You do such a great job with this. You should go back to school to become a nurse.” So I did!
3) We know you have a vast background in PR and creative writing. How have you been able to combine these skills with your nursing background?
It’s true I’m a second-career nurse. My first professional career was in public relations and marketing. I’ve combined these two passions by becoming a freelance nurse-writer. I use my nursing knowledge to inform the patient-facing healthcare content I create, whether it’s articles they read or information about specific health conditions.
4) Congratulations on the new RN2Writer website! What was your inspiration for creating the site? What do you hope readers will get from reading the site?
Thank you! When other nurses discover I’m a writer, they are very curious about how to do the same thing. I created RN2Writer to inspire and teach nurses how to parlay their skills and experiences into a new career as a freelance writer. RN2Writer offers a lot of free information, in the form of blogs, a newsletter (in mid-2015), videos, and more.
5) What advice do you have for nurses who want to share their experiences (via blogging, social media, etc)? Where should they start?
There are so many ways for nurses to share their experiences with the world that it can be hard to narrow things down. First, remember to keep patient privacy top-of-mind.
Aside from privacy issues, I always tell nurses to start with blogging. Blog about whatever interests you. For nurses who want to explore a second career as a freelance writer, I suggest you blog about the things you’d like to be paid to write about.
6) Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I sincerely hope many nurses who read this will be intrigued by the idea of making a living as a writer and will check out RN2Writer’s free resources to find out more. Most people are skeptical that anyone can make a living as a writer. I am here to convince nurses they can make a great living as a writer (assuming they have solid writing skills to begin with). Let me tell you, I make more money–and help more people–as a writer than I ever did as a nurse. If I can do it, anyone can.