Working as a travel nurse can take a lot of courage. After all, when your job involves repeatedly traveling to places you’ve never been, navigating unfamiliar environments, and overcoming cultural barriers to communication, it’s not for the faint of heart!
Fortunately, travel assignments also come with wonderful opportunities.
For instance, they give you the chance to experience new places, make new connections, explore new cultures, and develop yourself personally and professionally! But to get the most out of your job, networking plays an indispensable role. After all, building a strong network ensures that wherever you are, you always have access to a supportive community! So, with that in mind, let’s explore how you can begin to build your network and the many benefits it can bring!
Easy, Fun, and Rewarding
Making professional connections to build your network is easier than you might think. Simply by starting a conversation with your co-workers, you can immediately plug yourself into a wealth of resources and references. You can also expand your network by joining a variety of healthcare blogs. This gives you a chance to easily identify other nurses who share your particular scope of practice or personal interests. And participating in hospital-sponsored functions and extracurricular activities in your home community can also pay big networking dividends. It’s a great way to connect with like-minded people and even make new friends in the process.
Helps Set You Up for Future Success
Maintaining the relationships you create while on your travel assignments can be a great way to keep your network healthy and vibrant while also investing in your future. People naturally do business with people they know, like, and trust. By cultivating the connections in your existing network with those that fit this description, you have a much higher chance of receiving a permanent job offer once your contract is over.
Much more than is commonly appreciated, landing the right job depends on who you know. (On the strength of your network.) Many employers, including hospitals, have a policy or strong preference for hiring within their existing network and even incentivize their employees to recommend candidates. For this reason, as few as 25% to 35% of job openings are never advertised.
Networking Eases the Challenges of Transition
Navigating a new work environment can be much easier when you have some sense of what to expect. Networking helps you discover in advance how your assigned hospital or clinic operates. The connections you make beforehand with the hospital’s or clinic’s nurses can give you the inside scoop on everything from the personalities you’ll be working with to the best desserts in the cafeteria to the workplace climate and culture. Adjusting to a new work environment can always be challenging, but the more you can rely on your network for support, the smoother your transition will be.
Networking Supports Access to Educational Opportunities
Networking with a wealth of nursing professionals allows you to take advantage of professional development opportunities to expand your skillset. It may even allow you to access learning opportunities that dramatically broaden your scope of practice, or support a sought-after career pivot. And one of the best parts of networking is the peer-to-peer learning opportunities it provides. Networking lets you learn from others while also sharing your professional expertise or other valuable information that supports your larger community.
Travel nurses might be some of the most courageous, adaptable, resilient, and adventuresome professionals in all of medicine. But, like all of us, their wellbeing depends on access to a community of support and the wealth of benefits it brings! Investing in your network is an exercise in investing in yourself, your community, your profession, your peers, and those you serve. In fact, it may be one of the most important pillars of your personal and professional success!