Travel nursing offers amazing adventures, great pay, and valuable professional experiences. The opportunity to see new cultures, experience new ways of living, and see some of the most beautiful sights is a dream come true for nurses ready for a change of pace. However, while this occupation can be very beneficial, being away on travel nurse assignments can strain your relationships.
Every travel nurse will likely experience the challenge of trying to maintain relationships, new or old. Whether it’s with your romantic partner, friends, or family members, there are a few ways to make things easier for everyone involved. Here are five tips to ensure your bonds remain as tight as ever while completing your travel nurse contract.
Five Tips to Maintain Relationships While On Travel Nurse Assignments
1. Communicate Creatively
Finding ways to communicate beyond just sending a text will help maintain your connection with others. Texting is efficient for quick updates and check-ins, not the deep interactions you’re missing in person. Instead, make a point to actually speak on the phone with the people you love back home—use FaceTime and other video chat apps for a little face-to-face moment. You can even do a “tour” of your travel nurse housing once you arrive to make your call more interactive.
With such a busy schedule, you won’t always have time for phone or video calls, so they should be planned out ahead of time. In the meantime, share silly or significant moments that occur throughout your day or something that made you think of them—it could even be the song you’re listening to.
2. Plan Out Your Time Off
One of the many perks of travel nursing is setting up time off. Even though you’re miles apart from the people you care about, you can still do things together in your free time. There are numerous options: schedule a watch party for your favorite shows, discuss new episodes; order the same meal prep delivery kit, and cook a meal together virtually. These activities will tighten the bond you share and reduce the loneliness of long-distance relationships.
Relations between friends and family are tough on the road, so don’t go too long without real time together. There is no shame in flying home or planning a getaway with friends once your travel nurse contract is up. On vacation days, encourage some people to visit your new home. Ultimately you should do whatever you need to do to maintain your relationships and your own peace of mind.
3. Make Your Celebration Social
When there’s big news in someone’s life back home or even your own, you might feel left out or unable to celebrate as you usually would. The great thing about social media is that you can stay connected with everyone and celebrate whoever you want with just a few clicks. Commemorate someone’s birthday, an anniversary, promotion, or your completed first week at your new travel nurse job. This is a great way to stay engaged and connected. There’s nothing like an @ to make someone feel like they’re special to you!
4. Utilize Social Media
Like the previous tip, being active on social media can help family and friends stay updated on your life, especially if your schedule becomes too hectic for a call. Social media also allows you to see what everyone else has been doing too. You can like their pictures, comment on their feed, or even send them a “thinking of you message.” Another cheesy yet sweet option is to post a picture of the person you’re thinking about with some reminiscing text. They are guaranteed to be grateful, and it’s a thoughtful way to say “I miss you” quickly and digitally.
5. Remind Yourself It’s Only Temporary
If you find yourself seemingly stuck in a rut, remember traditional travel nurse assignments last around 13 weeks. Even though it may seem like you’re apart from your loved ones forever, it will eventually come to an end. While it’s not a good idea to obsess over how many days remain until you’re back home, it can be helpful during particularly rough days.
Your travel nursing experience is only as good as you make it, so be sure to make plenty of time to focus on your own interests as well. Explore your new city, take on new or forgotten hobbies, and invest in your own happiness. Maintaining a positive outlook during your travel nurse contract will help you retain your relationships and make the time fly by!
Ready to begin your journey with a travel nurse agency? Take a look at our travel nursing job board for your next adventure!