Mentorship Matters: The Importance of Mentors in Travel Nursing
Do you have a mentor? Someone you can turn to for advice, insight, guidance, and support? If not, you should consider finding one. Mentors are invaluable to professional development, and for travel nurses, a mentor can provide a whole new level of support and guidance in a field that often feels uncertain. Finding a mentor is easier than you think, and the benefits of such a relationship are immeasurable on both a personal and a professional level.
The purpose of nurse mentorship
Travel nursing is rewarding work, but assignments can be trying at times. It’s an isolating job — as soon as you get to know the other nurses, you have to pack up and move somewhere else. Every nurse needs someone they can turn to for support, especially when they’re constantly traveling to new locations.
Mentors are a constant presence and a rock for travel nurses to lean on when they face challenges. More than a mere support, a mentor is someone who can relate to you, teach you, and become a source of guidance and advice when you’re not sure what to do next. They’ll keep you motivated and engaged — especially when the going gets tough.
Simply put: A mentor will help you improve and become your best self in everything you choose to do in your career.
Find the mentor in your life
Your mentor doesn’t have to be someone you work with face to face. Though you’ll find people you can learn from at every new assignment, don’t feel pressured to find a new mentor every 13 weeks. Instead, seek lasting mentorship from someone who will offer guidance no matter where your travels take you. You might connect with a mentor while on assignment but keep in touch with them long after you’ve moved on.
Your ideal mentor may await you in a formal mentorship program. See if your alma mater or current assignment offers a mentorship program for travel nurses. These programs assess your career goals and pair you with a mentor who has experience doing what you want to achieve.
Travel nurses looking for a mentor should reach out to someone who’s enjoyed success in a locum tenens role and in a relevant specialty. For instance, a travel nurse passionate about working with ICU patients would benefit most from a mentor with ICU experience. Aligned career paths make for an effective relationship because the mentee can look up to a nurse who’s already achieved the goals they have in mind.
Pay it forward with your own mentee
Mentorship is all about paying it forward, and you may grow into an accomplished mentor yourself. Years down the road, a nurse might ask you to be their mentor. This is your chance to pass down what you’ve learned to the next generation of travel nurses.
Mentees aren’t the only ones who benefit from these relationships. Mentorship lets you reflect on how far you’ve come. You can help another nurse learn from your mistakes and give yourself hope that new nurses will continue to improve your profession. Mentors can also learn from their mentees. New nurses teach you to keep an open mind and approach situations from a different perspective.