If you’re already a travel nurse, you know this career path is much more than a job. Tapping into your professional network in travel nursing is also one of the best ways to advance your career and find new jobs. Here are six ways to start connecting with other professionals and grow your travel nursing network.
1. Use Social Media
Social media can be a fundamental asset for developing your travel nursing career. There are quite a few options, but LinkedIn is a professional must, and Facebook remains the world’s largest and most popular platform. Other social platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, can also be beneficial; just be careful about what you share. Oversharing and giving personal details can put you in a vulnerable position online and in the real world. But if you use social media correctly, you can find other travelers, healthcare facilities, and even travel nursing agencies to work with. When you reach out to others, you may discover information about advocacy, education, and a few career opportunities.
When using social media, take the time to update your information whenever it changes, and consider posting some blogs with tips for other travel nursing professionals or patients. You’ll grow a more satisfying network quicker if you concentrate on just a few platforms you have time to update regularly.
2. Meet With Your Coworkers
Making professional connections to build your travel nursing network is easier than you think—you can start right in your new facility. Don’t hesitate to start a conversation during breaks and slow times. Invite them to lunch in the cafeteria or a coffee break to get to know who you’ll be spending the next 13 weeks with. Travel nurses are only around for a short time, so take the initiative because you could be surprised by how many other nurses you’ll enjoy being around and vice versa. The more people you meet during your travel nurse assignments, the better your odds of developing connections and friendships that can endure for a lifetime.
3. Participate In Work Functions
In addition to meeting your immediate staff, participating in work functions during your travel nursing assignment could expose you to healthcare professionals you wouldn’t usually meet during your daily routine. You can interact with other travel nurses from different floors, people in the management departments, and coworkers who might not be on the same shift as you. Also, accept invitations to meet up with coworkers outside of work, and don’t be afraid to initiate meet-ups on your own. They’re probably friends with other staff you wouldn’t typically see, so it’s a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people and make new friends to expand your nursing circle even more.
4. Attend Professional Development Events
Whether you’re a new nursing grad or an experienced traveler, networking with other professionals allows you to take advantage of professional development opportunities to expand your skill set. It may even allow you to access learning opportunities that dramatically broaden your scope of practice which you can apply anywhere during your travel nursing journeys. The educational events you attend will also bolster your travel nurse resume by showcasing your interest in a specialty. Make a good impression by bringing your own professional travel nursing cards to share with attendees and confidently start a conversation to add them to your network.
5. Stay Vigilant For Opportunities
While formal networking opportunities are an excellent way to build connections, they can often come without warning. Travel nurses only have themselves to rely on to grow, so keeping a lookout for opportunities opens you up to making essential connections where you least expect. If you see someone wearing scrubs at your gym, talk to them. If you learn your neighbor works in a hospital, get to know them. You never know where these relationships can take you in the future.
6. Be Yourself
Consistently being a positive, productive team player will help forge strong professional relationships. The need to build camaraderie seems a little less important when you are only there for the duration of your travel nurse contract. However, showing everyone at your facility the authentic you is an excellent way to create professional connections and genuine friendships.
Putting yourself out there can feel intimidating, but it’s worth it in the end. Networking is a key asset to a long and successful travel nursing career. If you’re ready to build your connections, contact our traveler advocates or visit our job board for the latest travel nurse jobs in the top travel nurse locations!