Making friends as an adult can be a hard feat to tackle. What can make that even harder is making friends while you are on the road as a travel nurse! Being away from the comforts of home add an even more complex layer to finding people to do things with.
Travel nurses pack up and go at a moment's notice and usually only stay in one place for a few months, so that can make finding new friends difficult. Knowing how isolating travel nursing can be is an intimidating factor when deciding to move your life on the road. Fear not! We have some easy solutions suited for busy travel nurses.
5 Tips for Making Friends on Assignment
1. Join a Group
Going to a large social gathering is a super easy way to meet like-minded individuals. One of the best ways to make friends as a travel nurse is to peruse local meet-up groups or to head on over to Facebook and join one of the local community groups.
Your agency might even have a specific group on Facebook geared towards bringing their travelers together. Some of these groups even have resources to help you find housing with another travel nurse. Joining one of these groups even before starting a contract can be a great way to get a jump start on making friends!
On all these different platforms you will find groups catering to just about everything a travel nurse could think of doing! There are running groups, foodie groups, photography groups, hiking groups, and even travel groups. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few examples to get you started.
MeetUp: Find people with common interests
- Travel Nurse Network - The Gypsy Nurse: Befriend fellow travel nurses in your area
- Furnished Finders - Travel Nurse Housing: Find housing with other travel nurses
2. Check out the Apps
Another option to make friends while travel nursing is to find a platform for meeting new friends like Bumble BFF. Other travel nurses use these platforms too! It is so easy to make a quick profile, list a few of your likes and then get to browsing.
Many of the apps are free with the option to pay for the more premium options. You will find yourself a friend for coffee or a hike in no time.
Get creative with a fun opener for when you match with a potential new pal. Here are a few intros that you are welcome to borrow!
- You get to pick any celebrity (dead or alive) to have dinner with. Who are you choosing?
- Would you rather be in jail for five years or a coma for ten years?
- Would you rather give up air conditioning and heating for the rest of your life or give up the internet for the rest of your life?
3. Be Open to New Experiences
As a travel nurse, you need to be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances both at work and in your travels. And one of the most important things to do while traveling is to be open to new experiences. You will meet a lot of new people with a variety of interests. You might even pick up a new hobby!
Try to befriend a few of the local staff nurses as they will have the best intel on the hot taco trucks in town and will know all the secrets. Be genuine. Keeping an open mind will allow you to be much more receptive to new experiences.
4. Introduce Yourself at Orientation
As travel nurses, you know one of the most agonizing times in a new contract is the first day or two of orientation. This is typically when you learn the lay of the land and get an orientation to the hospital's computer charting system. This is a great time to reach out to other travelers in your orientation group.
Make it a point to introduce yourself on a break and let the other travelers know you are in the same boat as them. Be sure to grab some phone numbers or Instagram handles. Even if the other travelers will not be in the same unit as you, it is always good to have a travel nursing buddy in the same facility.
5. Be a Friend to Make a Friend
You will need to be the kind of friend that you want to attract. Don’t wait for someone else to invite you to do something; be friendly and take the initiative to set up an outing.
Reach out to that over traveler you talked to during orientation. Set up a day to go kayaking or to volunteer at the local humane society. You never know when you may connect with someone who wants to make a new friend just as much as you do!