Travel nursing offers up a whole lot of potential experiences and opportunities, including the possibility of making great connections with other nurses and hospital personnel all over the country, all while advancing your career. Networking while on assignment isn't just a good way to stay connected for career opportunities, it's also an awesome way to make friends and find kindred spirits. Nurses share a special bond, and it's important to have friendly faces wherever you go for support or just a cup of coffee when you need to decompress.
Finding those friendly faces can be easier said than done, so here are some of our recommendations for networking while you're on assignment.
Join a Professional Nursing Organization - While many of these organizations require dues or fees to join, they can definitely be worth it, especially if you return to a particular area with some regularity. Just do a quick online search to find a local nursing network (for example, "Nursing Networking in San Francisco") and see what's out there! They offer tons of great benefits and in-person networking opportunities.
Register for an Online Group or Forum - There are tons of online nursing groups out there for support, camaraderie, and sharing information. Facebook may be a good place to look for private local groups, but a national online group might be a good bet, too. While it doesn't necessarily offer local in-person opportunities, it allows you to make connections with people all over the country who can give you insider knowledge of the area or a particular hospital you're looking at. Sometimes when you're on a new assignment and you don't know anybody, the people you've met online can be a fantastic support system.
Start Your Own Group at Your Hospital - Do travel nurses come through your current hospital fairly often? Why not start a support and networking group for them? Host activities, have get togethers or movie nights, help people figure out shift schedules, or just take a break and chat with each other at appointed times. It'll make for a great place to share advice and have people to interact with. If you don't have the bandwidth to start your own, ask around to see if your hospital already has one.
Try a Group That Isn't Nursing-Specific - It's all well and good to connect with other nurses, but we know you have other hobbies and interests, too. Meeting people doesn't have to be all about business, so branch out and look for other local groups that interest you. Volunteering is always a great option. Or maybe you'd prefer a book club or knitting circle? If you want to get in some outside time, look for active outdoor clubs!
How do you network and meet people when you're on assignment?