Do you love being a travel nurse but are sick and tired of being lonely on an assignment?
There are a lot of exciting aspects to being a travel nurse:
- Great pay
- Traveling the country; and
- Expanding your professional skills
However, the loneliness you can feel after being away from loved ones for so long can begin to weigh heavily on you.
If you wish you knew what to do to battle loneliness, keep reading. In this article, we will provide lots of great tips on how to not feel lonely while on assignment as a travel nurse.
Table of Contents
- Do Travel Nurses Get Lonely?
- 12 Tips on How To Not Feel Lonely as a Travel Nurse
- Let Trusted Nurse Staffing Help You Feel More at Home While Travel Nursing
Do Travel Nurses Get Lonely?
Yes, but it is possible to avoid travel nursing loneliness! In addition to working, many things can keep you occupied while on assignment.
To help you cope with loneliness while away from your family and friends, we have compiled a list of things you can do.
How Do Travel Nurses Find Friends?
It’s a unique lifestyle that takes travel nurses away from home, but it is possible to make new friends.
A few ways to make new friends include:
- Make friends with co-workers
- Join a gym; and
- Find a local place to hang out
Let’s take a closer look at how not to feel lonely while on assignment.
12 Tips on How to Not Feel Lonely as a Travel Nurse
#1: Make Friends With Co-Workers
Don’t wait for the resident nurses to make the first move when you start your new assignment. Go for it! In any downtime, introduce yourself and get to know them by asking about their favorite local restaurants or activities.
If you indicate an interest in hanging out with the staff nurses, you may be invited along to happy hours and other outings. Every social group needs new blood from time to time.
You don’t have to wait for an invitation either. Make your own social outings, such as …
- Going to the movies
- Shopping; or
- Visiting a local coffee shop
… and invite one or two co-workers.
Traveling nurses are not the only ones who suffer from loneliness. Life and friendships are constantly in flux. You never know when you’ll meet someone who needs a friend.
Additionally, staff nurses are often interested in travel nursing jobs. Get some insider information on the hospital you’re assigned to while you give them the details.
#2: Bring a Companion
The fact that you are traveling doesn’t mean you need to do so alone.
Most agencies are flexible and can help you arrange your trip to accommodate companions. If your significant other or a friend or family member has the flexibility to move around, this could be a great option.
Do you have a friend who is also a healthcare professional and wants to travel? Get assignments in the same city/area; most agencies are more than willing to help you both find work.
Don’t forget about fur babies! Dogs make great travel companions.
No matter where you go, pets can provide companionship. With them with you in your new “home,” you won’t feel entirely so alone. Returning to an empty house can worsen loneliness, but having a pet there can help.
#3: Join a Gym
By joining a gym, travel nurses can stay physically healthy, work off the stress of their jobs, and meet like-minded individuals. You can search for gyms in your area on Yelp because they give reviews to gyms as they do for restaurants.
Find a gym that offers classes in your new location. You’re more likely to meet people if you join a gym class rather than just go to the gym. Many gyms offer classes more than once a week, so you can fit them in around your schedule.
Your new gym may have groups that train for local races together. Several gyms offer this, which is an excellent way to meet new people. As a result, the setting becomes more intimate.
Do you walk around the gym with your earbuds in your ears? Take them out! You must be available to chat if you want to make friends.
#4: Pack Some Comforts From Home
Pack the things from home that will make you feel cozy in your new place immediately. Whatever your travels may bring, it’s essential to feel comfortable in your “home away from home” and to feel connected to the people or places you’ve left behind.
Bring along something that will make you feel at home, whether it’s:
- Photos of friends and loved ones
- A favorite knickknack
- A local coffee brand; or
- Scented candles
Sometimes all you need is …
- Your favorite blanket
- Coffee in your personal mug; and
- A good book on your e-reader
… to make a new place feel like home.
The recruiters at Trusted Nurse Staffing work with our nurses to ensure they feel comfortable in their new surroundings — you are more than just a number to us.
Contact one of our recruiters today for more information about travel nursing.
You can expect a great working relationship from us!
#5: Stay Connected to Family and Friends
It is wonderful to live in a digital world where people can stay in touch no matter where they are. With today’s technology, staying in touch with family and friends while on assignment has never been easier!
Friends and family are just a tap away — the ability to make video calls is available on our cell phones. You can use different apps or programs like Skype if that does not work. It may not be the same as seeing them in person, but it will help you feel closer to them.
Talking to friends and family is always comforting when you’re having a hard time. Loneliness can often be eased by hearing a familiar voice and seeing a familiar face.
During your chat, why not set up a time for them to visit you while on assignment? Your new neighborhood will be a great place to show them around!
#6: Find a Local Spot to Hang Out
Find a local spot to hang out, and you are bound to meet other people.
This may include places such as:
- Karaoke night
- Running parks; and
- Dining in areas with communal seating
As a result of these activities, you not only get to do things you enjoy, but you also meet new people.
#7: Join a Church or Community Group
If you are a spiritual or religious person, consider joining a local church. This could be a great way to:
- Join a group
- Meet people; and
- Participate in a community
Getting involved in a church can help you feel at home, whether through Sunday services or Bible study groups.
It’s the same for any community group — find one that aligns with your interests or hobbies and get involved. Most likely, these groups organize fun events and outings for their members.
You can find such groups using social media. Type in your interests and location or browse “suggested for you,” and you’ll have a handful of groups to choose from.
#8: Volunteer on Your Days Off
Giving your time is an excellent way to alleviate loneliness. Many organizations need volunteers. Volunteering can keep you busy on your off days and give you a sense of purpose.
Following are a few places always looking for volunteers:
- Animal shelters — You’ll get to spend time with other people while petting and loving on sweet animals.
- United Way — The United Way allows you to serve people in many communities throughout the United States.
- Food banks and homeless shelters — Use social media to locate your nearest food bank or homeless shelter; they’ll be happy to have your help.
- Public libraries — From cleaning and sorting library materials to helping with children’s programs, libraries need volunteers.
These are just a few suggestions to help you get started. Finding local volunteer opportunities in your new town is easy with the help of the internet.
#9: Find a New Hobby
It is common for you to be on assignment for 13 weeks at a time — this gives you plenty of time to pick up a new hobby.
You can choose from a wide variety of options:
- Rock climbing
- And so many more
YouTube makes it easy and convenient to pick up many new hobbies. Search for what you want to learn about, and you will be shocked at how many tutorials you find!
By learning a new hobby, you will stay busy and keep your mind off being away from family and friends.
#10: Network With Other Travel Nurses
Who better to connect with than those who understand what you’re going through?
A great way to beat loneliness is to meet other travel nurses. They are likely to know how to help fellow nurses out of a funk as they understand how challenging it can sometimes be. You might even meet someone to travel with on assignment!
Social media is a great way to connect with fellow travelers. There are many groups on Facebook dedicated to specific cities for travel nurses. Be sure to check out Instagram too.
#11: Get a Roommate
A roommate can make your experience as a travel nurse more enjoyable and lucrative — while saving money, you’ll gain a friend.
Ask around if anyone knows someone in your upcoming town. Many times, friends or family might know of someone who is looking for a roomie. Additionally, check in with your online nursing groups to see if anyone in your upcoming town needs a roommate.
Regardless of whether your roommate turns out to be your best friend, you’ll have a valuable support network in your new city.
#12: Explore Your New Surroundings
Discover the new town you’ve been assigned to.
It’s a great idea to get out and explore your new area, and you might even make some friends along the way. Many cities and businesses host events to bring people together.
Social media is a great place to find out what’s happening in your area. You can also ask your coworkers for ideas.
Let Trusted Nurse Staffing Help You Feel More at Home While Travel Nursing
Your career is in the best possible hands when you work with Trusted Nurse Staffing.
We aim to deliver exceptional service and a personal experience every step of the way. Our level of accessibility sets us apart from other staffing agencies, and we promise to be there for you whenever you need us.
We are honored to offer:
- Flexibility in working hours
- Competitive pay
- 24/7 availability
- Stipends for housing, meals, etc.
- Insurance benefits
- And so much more
To learn more, please contact us today.