Working as a travel nurse creates opportunities to explore unfamiliar places while working in a career you love. Every few months, you get to pick up and start fresh in a new location with different co-workers and patients. It can be an amazing experience but adjusting to new travel nursing assignments may also be challenging or a bit overwhelming at times. Being away from home, or not having a permanent home, and thrust into a new environment can be a lot to handle. Thankfully, there are many ways to make the transition a bit easier.
Here are five tips to help you adjust to your next travel nursing assignment.
- Explore Your New Town
One of the best ways to get acclimated to a new place is to explore the area. If possible, arrive a few days early to your new town so you can get your housing settled, explore the markets nearby, and gain your bearings. It is also helpful to travel your route to work so you have an idea of what to expect on your first day. You might also find a great cafe or coffee shop where you want to get breakfast!
When you aren’t on the clock, get out and explore your new surroundings. Visit local attractions, try the food, and check out the nightlife. Not only will this help you feel more comfortable in your new city, but it will also give you a chance to meet new people. This will help you feel more connected to your new community and make it easier to adjust to your new travel nursing assignment.
- Learn Your New Facility
Before you start your new assignment, take some time to learn about the facility you’ll be working in. Locate the policy manuals, as procedures can vary from facility to facility. If possible, tour the facility and meet some of the staff before your first day. This will help you feel more comfortable and will make it easier to hit the ground running.
It is also helpful to find a mentor in your new facility and ask your coworkers out for coffee or another social activity. You may not want to make close friends but being social will provide you with coworkers you can interact with while at work – curbing feelings of loneliness.
- Get to Know Your Coworkers
One of the best ways to adjust to a new assignment is to get to know your coworkers. Spend some time connecting with them both professionally and personally. Nursing is not an easy job (as you know!) so it’s important to maintain a strong support system while you’re away from home. Not only will this make your assignment more enjoyable — but it will also make it easier to deal with challenges that may come up.
Making connections will also help when you move to a new facility. Keep in contact with nurses you meet so you can continue to develop professional relationships. This can help with future career opportunities.
- Make a Home Away from Home
When you’re living in a different city for a few months, it’s important to find ways to make it feel like home. Unpack your suitcase, decorate your living space, and create a routine that makes you feel comfortable. Try to find a balance between exploring your new surroundings and creating a space that feels like home. This will help you feel more settled and will make it easier to adjust to your new surroundings.
While we do not recommend over-packing for your new location, make sure you do take those key items that remind you of family, friends, or home. These items will help you feel connected to them even though you are away and can also help with feelings of loneliness.
- Be Flexible
The most important thing to remember when adjusting to a new travel nursing assignment is to be flexible! Things will not always go according to plan, so it’s important to be open to change. For example, sometimes travel nurses have to change facilities or assignments due to staffing shortages. If you’re flexible, it will be easier to deal with these changes.
Conclusion: 5 Tips for Adjusting to Your Next Travel Nursing Assignment
Travel nursing experiences can be amazing, but they can also be a bit overwhelming. By following these tips, it’s possible to make the transition into your next assignment much easier. So, get out there and explore your new surroundings, meet new people, and make the most of your assignment!
Looking for your next assignment? We have hundreds of travel nursing positions available all over the country.
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