How Travel Nursing Builds Your Professional Network
Everyone has some form of professional network — current and past coworkers, friends, family, etc. In healthcare especially, these networks are essential for success. They can help you get your foot in the door at your next job or open pathways for professional development.
Travel nurses have a unique opportunity to cultivate their network. With new assignments, facilities, and staff regularly part of their repertoire, travel nurses can build a network that expands far beyond most other professionals.
Making connections with fellow travel nurses
To start developing your professional network, look no further than your fellow travel nurses. You share a passion for nursing and travel, and these shared experiences can lead to close bonds. Exchanging stories, challenges, and triumphs with nurses who understand your unique journey can foster a sense of belonging.
There are ample opportunities to enrich your network beyond hospital walls. Attending nursing conferences and seminars allows you to connect with like-minded professionals, deepen your industry knowledge, and exchange invaluable insights to help you grow as a nurse.
Online communities, forums, and social media platforms also provide bridges of connection. Whether you’re seeking advice on how to navigate a new healthcare system or discussing contract negotiation strategies, these virtual spaces enable you to tap into the expertise of travel nurses near and far.
Forging relationships with local healthcare professionals
To integrate into a new hospital, you’ll want to make connections that reach beyond nursing. Fortunately, each assignment brings you into contact with a new healthcare environment of professionals with varied experiences.
Collaborating with surgeons, physicians, therapists, and administrative staff widens your perspective, adding to your healthcare know-how. By networking with local professionals, you’ll tap into more specific healthcare insights — like patient demographics and system nuances — to help bolster your quality of care on assignment.
Venturing beyond nursing spheres can also open new doors for your career. A radiology tech might recommend a permanent position at a hospital you love. A nurse manager might offer fresh challenges. A diverse healthcare network will span assignments, projects, and leadership.
Maintaining and nurturing your professional network
Maintaining a professional network involves more than making connections. It’s also about nurturing them over time. Here are five ways to ensure the relationships forged during your assignments remain valuable:
- Communicate consistently. After assignments end, don’t let relationships fade. Keep in touch via email, text messages, or catch-up calls.
- Offer assistance. The best networks thrive on reciprocity. Be ready to provide support, advice, or assistance whenever possible.
- Engage online. Use platforms like LinkedIn to stay connected. Share industry insights and celebrate achievements.
- Refer and recommend. If you come across opportunities that align with a contact’s expertise, don’t hesitate to refer or recommend them. This builds trust and goodwill.
- Continue learning together. Attend webinars, workshops, or conferences with your professional contacts. Sharing these experiences allows mutual growth and keeps your connections engaged.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking about each new assignment in isolation. Remember, every assignment is a chapter in your professional journey. The people you meet along the way matter. Adding them to your professional network and keeping up with them after you’ve moved on to the next assignment can have tangible benefits. You never know when a friendly face from your past might have an incredible opportunity that’s perfect for you.