Andrew Wettengel / Thursday, July 16, 2020 / Categories: Work World


Travel nursing is a wonderful opportunity to experience new places and meet new people. You get to explore local cultures and see everything that each destination has to offer, while also making friends along the way. The tricky part can be maintaining these friendships after you leave your various assignments. At OneStaff, we know just how important it is to our travel nurses to keep in touch with those who have made a mark on their lives. For this reason, we have put together a list of ways to nourish friendships with fellow travel nurses.

1.    Spend Time Together Outside of Work

One way to ensure you maintain friendships with the other traveling nurses you meet on assignments, is to spend time together while you are still at the same site. While it is easy to bond at work, doing activities together outside of the hospital is a great way to cultivate long-lasting friendships with fellow travel nurses. 

When you first start a new assignment, it is important to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Often, assignments will have you attend an orientation with the other traveling nurses who are starting at the same time as you. You can start by hosting a dinner party or game night for some team bonding.

Check out our tips for befriending co-workers as a traveling nurse for more ideas. 

Even with the social distancing practices still in place, you can do things with other travel nurses outside of the hospital. Getting outside and going on hikes, walks, or bike rides is a great place to start. You can explore your temporary home on foot while getting to know other nurses and your position. It may be a while before it is safe for medical professionals to go out and do normal activities like go to restaurants or shopping malls. However, here are some things to keep in mind for when you and other traveling nurses can do things outside of work:

  • Explore local sites and museums
  • Try restaurants that are known for the local cuisine
  • Go on hikes or walks in nearby outdoor areas
  • Have picnics
  • Host dinner parties
  • Plan weekly watch parties for a show you both enjoy
  • Take fun classes together like art or cooking
  • Volunteer 
  • Attend sporting events

Spending time outside of work is how you build relationships with the friends you make on assignments. Because these friends become more than just colleagues, it will be easier to maintain friendships after your assignments are over.

2.    Connect on Social Media

Social media is a great way to stay connected with anyone who does not live in the same city or state as you. These platforms allow you to share life updates and see what is going on in other people’s lives, as well. Be sure to connect with your fellow travel nurses on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whatever other types of social media you use. Being able to follow one another and check in regularly will allow you to keep in touch for years to come. And who knows, you may be able to reconnect if you end up in the same cities again, which you may not otherwise know without these platforms. 

Facebook is also home to various groups for travel nurses. Joining a Facebook group is very beneficial because it can help you stay in contact with nurses you have met in the past and also help you find other nurses who will be at your next assignment before it starts. 

3.    Go on Travel Nursing Assignments Together

Many travel nurses have travel buddies. If you have a friend you met through travel nursing or who is considering it for the first time, you may consider taking on an assignment together. Recruiters can work with you and your travel companion to find an assignment that suits both of you. However, it is important to communicate that this is something you are looking for with the staffing agency. You will also need to make sure what you are looking for in an assignment aligns with your travel nursing buddy. 

There are many perks to traveling to a nursing assignment with a friend. First, you can split any housing costs, so it offers financial benefits. Additionally, if you need to bring a car for transportation you can split gas costs as well as take turns driving to and from shifts. Having a travel nursing buddy also gives you someone with whom you can explore the city where your assignment is located. It may also be easier to feel comfortable making new friends on assignment when there are two of you.

Many people successfully travel with another nurse from assignment to assignment. Even significant others or spouses travel to different assignments with one another. So, if you become friends with a fellow travel nurse, you may ask them to become your travel nursing companion.

4.    Try to Get Assignments in the Same City

Even with a travel nursing companion it may be difficult to find assignments in the same hospital. For example, if you have different specialties, one hospital may not have a place for both of you. Luckily, you can often find different assignments in the same city, especially if it is a larger, metropolitan area. If you want to share a living space, you’ll want to be careful to select assignments that are within close proximity. Otherwise, you can also work out your transportation so that each of you is happy.

Accepting different assignments in the same city has a lot of the same perks as accepting the same assignment. You’ll be able to explore the area together and experience what the local community has to offer. One benefit, however, is that each of you will be working with and meeting different nurses, which can give you even more opportunities to make new friends. 

Even if traveling with someone isn’t a viable option for you, you can still reach out to other nurses or friends you may know in the city your assignment is in. This is one reason it is great to stay connected with travel nurses you meet at other assignments because you may end up in the city again. 

5.    Schedule Trips to Meet in New Cities

Let’s say you become great friends with other travel nurses but traveling together just won’t work. Take this as an opportunity to go visit them. You and your friends can plan trips to visit one another, which is especially fun if you both accept assignments in new cities. When a friend visits, you can show them around the city and explore new activities that they area has to offer.

Doing this is not only a great way to maintain friendships, but also to travel to new places and explore new cities. You may even fall in love with a place and decide you want to accept an assignment there next.

If you are interested in exploring a new city, you could also plan a trip that requires both of you to travel to a new location. For example, if you are in Boston and you have friends in Chicago and Memphis, you could plan a trip to Miami for a little getaway for all of you.

6.    Use Your Phone

Though it might sound silly, texting and calling your nurse friends is a great way to stay actively involved in their lives. Schedule a weekly or monthly call with your pals. You can also start a group text chain where you can all chat about your day-to-day lives and anything big that you want to share with all of your closest travel nursing friends.

If you are interested in starting a new travel nursing assignment with a friend, contact OneStaff Medical today. Our team of experienced recruiters can help you both find jobs that you will love. Call us today at 877-783-1483.

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