Making new friends can be challenging when you’re a traveling nurse. It’s easy to feel homesick and slightly out of place. And when you do build new friendships, it’s time to travel again. So, you leave and start again from scratch.
Friendships provide a support system that can help you get through a challenging shift or hard times in your personal life. Human connection is vital to a healthy, balanced life. And just like we care deeply about our patients, we must also care for ourselves.
We spend so much of our day focused on work and our patients that we need an outlet to feel connected to others in new ways.
Tips for Building New Friendships
Leverage Online Networking
Join social media groups related to topics or activities that interest you in your new area. Perhaps you could find a group dedicated to your new city’s traveling nurses to make new friends who are venturing to the same location. Additionally, there are numerous forums where you can post messages and meet new people. The opportunities are endless!
Try to remain positive, encouraging, open-minded, and accepting when starting in a new city. Be curious within the workplace and beyond. Ask questions, listen intently, and try to talk with everyone in the new group of people you find yourself in. It’s also important to remember that everyone is dealing with their own issues, so never say anything negative about anyone else unless you must (e.g., reporting an unsafe situation).
Putting yourself out there can be downright nerve-wracking, especially for shyer folks. But chances are, someone nearby feels a similar fear and is hoping someone will reach out with an invitation to engage. Take the initiative to meet people by offering extra help to your new coworkers, joining a hobby group or fitness class in your new city, or by hosting a happy hour or coffee meet-up.
The most important part of keeping relationships strong is by staying in touch. It doesn’t mean you have to write an essay about your life every time you get together. Just shoot off a quick email or text message with how things are going and follow up on their lives too.
Working as a traveling nurse can stir up worrisome feelings as you venture toward new locales. But you are not alone! Finding those in similar situations can help you make new friends and foster long-lasting relationships. The first step is reaching out. A simple “hello” can go a long way!
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