A major perk of travel nursing is the chance to explore new surroundings, and those experiences can be way more fun when shared with someone you know.
That’s why many travel nurses these days seek assignments they can complete with friends or significant others who share their occupations. Teaming up with a buddy can also bring a range of other advantages, including the chance to share lodgings, expenses, workplace challenges and emotional support. After all, a like-minded friend can come in handy when you’re facing homesickness, struggling to understand a workplace procedure or just need to vent after a long, difficult shift.
So what should you consider if you’re interested in teaming up with another travel nurse?
- Reality check. Think hard about whether your friendship can sustain close proximity over several months, or whether it’s best maintained in small doses.
- Compare visions. Have an honest conversation with your friend about his or her expectations for living and spending time together. Talk about what a typical day might look like. You may have different ideas about the socializing, exploring and alone time you’ll spend after hours. If you plan to work a lot of hours, you’ll work different shifts or you’re aiming to meet a lot of new people, you may not have the time or energy to further the friendship — in which case your buddy could be more of a distraction than an asset.
- Talk logistics. Be clear on how expenses, living spaces and transportation will be shared or not shared.
- File a request. Inform your agency of both of your preferences, interview availability and contact information so it can help you find opportunities.
- Stay flexible. If you two have different skills or specialties, finding assignments at the same facility may be challenging. Consider whether you’re willing to take different shifts at the same facility, work in different departments at the same facility or accept jobs at different facilities within the same city.
- Be upfront. When starting a new assignment with a friend, inform the nurse manager so she understands your arrangement.
- Know the rules. Note that you and your friend will be on separate work contracts. If your friend’s work arrangement doesn’t work out for any reason, you’ll still be expected to fulfill your own obligation.