As a travel nurse, embarking on new travel assignments and exploring different healthcare environments can be exciting and fulfilling. You get to travel the country while doing what you love and providing the very best patient care! Plus, gaining experience in all different kinds of settings and facilities will help build your resumé to land your dream job when you start looking for your future permanent home.
However, an important aspect many travel nurses forget to recognize is the value of networking within the nursing profession. Building and maintaining a strong network of fellow nurses can offer numerous benefits, both personally and professionally. The good news? Since we are in the age of social media, networking is more efficient and effective than ever before!
The Importance of Networking for Travel Nurses
Networking plays a crucial role in any profession, but for healthcare professionals it provides many additional opportunities. For travel nurses in particular, networking offers unique advantages that can enhance their professional growth and provide valuable support during assignments. Here are a few key benefits of building a strong travel nurse network.
Networking with fellow nurses can lead to job referrals, referral bonuses, and employment recommendations. When nurses build strong relationships with their peers, they may become aware of potential job openings in different types of nursing settings too, allowing unique job opportunities. They can also learn about the culture and work environment of various institutions, helping them make informed decisions about what travel nurse contract they will take next.
Access to Industry Information and Resources
Networking allows travel nurses to tap into a wealth of knowledge and expertise shared by their peers. The world of nursing is constantly changing and evolving so being in the know about any new methods, trends, licensure updates etc. is key to being prepared at work. By connecting with other travel nurses, you gain insights into the best assignment locations and facilities. This information can help you make informed decisions and navigate potential challenges of travel nursing.
Professional Development Opportunities
Engaging with a diverse group of travel nurses exposes you to various perspectives, experiences, and specialized skills. This exposure can broaden your nursing knowledge and open doors to new professional development opportunities. Nurses can share information about conferences, workshops, and training programs, enabling them to stay updated with the latest advancements in their field.
Research and Collaboration Opportunities
Nursing networks often include nurses who are involved in research and academia. By connecting with research-oriented nurses, individuals can explore collaboration opportunities, participate in research projects, and contribute to evidence-based practices. Collaborative research endeavors strengthen professional credentials and contribute to the advancement of nursing knowledge.
A nursing network often includes experienced nurses who can serve as mentors. Mentors provide guidance, share their expertise, and offer support to less experienced nurses. Having access to mentors within their network can be invaluable for professional growth, skill development, and navigating complex career decisions.
Emotional and Social Support
Travel nursing can sometimes leave nurses to feel isolated due to frequent relocations and adapting to new environments and people. A strong nursing network provides a sense of camaraderie, empathy, and understanding. Sharing experiences, challenges, and successes with fellow travel nurses can foster emotional well-being and alleviate the feeling of being alone on your journey. Your recruiter is a resource for you to lean on too so make use of their friendly and professional guidance throughout your travel contract.
Tips and Tricks for Growing Your Nursing Network
Expanding your nursing network requires proactive effort and intentional strategies. Consider these tips to help you build meaningful connections with other travel nurses.
Attend Conferences and Workshops
Participating in nursing conferences, workshops, and industry events provides valuable opportunities to meet fellow travel nurses and healthcare professionals. Engage in networking sessions, join panel discussions, and connect with attendees through social media platforms. These events often foster an environment of collaboration and knowledge-sharing. TravCon is one of the largest traveling healthcare conferences in the US and occurs every year in September in Las Vegas and is a great place to network with other travel nurses. Additionally, each state has their own hospital associations that host yearly conferences and offer continued education opportunities.
Join Professional Associations
Joining professional associations dedicated to nursing can be an excellent way to connect with peers in your field, both permanent and travel. These organizations often host networking events, provide educational resources, and offer platforms to connect with experienced travel nurses. Engaging with fellow members can lead to fruitful connections and potential career opportunities.
Volunteer and Engage in Local Communities
While on assignment, try to become involved in local nursing communities or volunteer for healthcare-related causes. This allows you to meet other nurses, build relationships, and contribute to the community. Volunteering also demonstrates your commitment to the nursing profession and can enhance your professional reputation and resumé.
Utilize Online Platforms
Follow and leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook groups, and nursing-specific forums to connect with travel nurses worldwide. Engage in discussions, share your experiences, seek advice, and offer support to others. You can also join relevant professional organizations and participate in their online communities to expand your network. You’ll get to see the lifestyle side of travel healthcare as well as staying informed.
Take Initiative and Reach Out to Fellow Travel Nurses
When you come across travel nurses at your current or previous assignments, take the initiative to follow and connect with them on social media. Exchange contact information, follow up with a friendly message, and express your interest in staying connected. Remember, networking is a reciprocal process, so be willing to offer support and guidance as well. Our mission is to rehumanize healthcare and that starts with recognizing that healthcare professionals are human first.
Maintaining Your Nursing Network
Building a network of nurses is just the first step; it’s equally important to maintain and nurture those connections once they’re made. Here’s how you can sustain your network of fellow nurses:
Stay in touch with your network through regular communication. Schedule video calls, exchange emails, or utilize social media to share updates, exchange ideas, and offer support. Remember to be an active listener and show genuine interest in your fellow travel nurses’ journeys.
Attend Reunions and Gatherings
Whenever possible, attend reunions, gatherings, or conferences where you can reconnect with fellow travel nurses in person. Face-to-face interactions can strengthen your relationships and create lasting bonds. These events often provide opportunities for collaboration and future partnerships.
Engage in Continuing Education
Stay current with the latest nursing practices, trends, and advancements. Engaging in continuing education activities allows you to maintain meaningful conversations with your nursing network. You can also share valuable resources, attend webinars together, and discuss emerging healthcare topics to foster intellectual growth.
Be Supportive and Collaborative
Remember that networking is a two-way street. Offer support, guidance, and assistance whenever possible. Celebrate your colleagues’ achievements and acknowledge their expertise. By being supportive and collaborative, you nurture a positive and reciprocal network that benefits everyone involved.
Ready to Start Your Travel Career and Build Your Network?
Networking is a powerful tool that enhances career prospects, expands knowledge, and fosters a sense of belonging within the nursing profession. A personal network of travel nurses is an invaluable investment in your professional growth and personal well-being. By expanding your nursing network, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge, resources, and support from fellow travel nurses. Through proactive engagement and intentional efforts, you can build lasting relationships that foster professional development, provide emotional support, and create opportunities for collaboration.
Remember, networking is an ongoing process that requires consistent communication and genuine engagement. Embrace the power of networking as a travel nurse and watch your career soar to new heights while enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded professionals. Building a professional nurse network sooner rather than later will prove to have many benefits and set you up for success. At Marvel Medical Staffing our dedicated recruiters are committed to finding you the perfect travel nurse assignment and providing you with access and resources to build your professional nurse network! Start your travel career today!