6 Ways to Network with Other Travel Nurses
By Moira K. McGhee, Contributor
Networking for nurses is important on a personal and
professional level. Personally, it can help you connect with other nurses who
face the same situations you do and understand what you're going through on a
day-to-day basis — unlike those who aren't in nursing. Building a professional
network is a vital tool in the advancement of your career, but it can also lead to lifelong friendships. Nurse
networking may be face to face or take place in the virtual world, but it
should always be mutually beneficial.
Boost Your Network with Other Nurses with These Helpful Tips
Join nursing associations
Professional nursing associations offer numerous opportunities to attend
networking events, which are great ways to connect with other nurses. Many
associations also provide online forums and groups where you can interact with
peers who have similar interests. The American Nurses Association is one
example that provides several ways to network and connect with RNs, including a
mentorship program. It also has local networking opportunities through your
State Nurses Association.
Attend nursing conferences
Conferences created especially for nurses are excellent
ways to meet like-minded individuals. Many conferences are tied to nursing
associations that offer discounted conference rates to their members, providing
yet another perk for joining. Besides the many educational opportunities they
provide, nursing conferences also give you the chance to meet experts and
leaders in your specialty. Make a good impression by bringing professional
network cards to share with attendees, and don't hesitate to politely ask for
cards in return.
Virtual networking for nurses
The most obvious virtual nurse networking option is social media — just take care what you share. Electronic media is a popular
outlet for sharing particularly challenging, highly emotional or extremely
amusing work experiences. However, make sure you never include patients' names
or other identifying information to protect their right to privacy and,
possibly, your job and your freedom.
Be picky about your platforms
While social media platforms provide an ideal online
outlet for networking with your peers, the number of options can be
mind-boggling. LinkedIn is a professional must, and Facebook still reigns as
the largest, most popular platform in the world. However, there are many
others, including Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, and the list goes on and on.
Don't get bogged down trying to keep up with too many online platforms. You'll
grow a more satisfying network quicker if you concentrate on just a few
platforms you have time to regularly update.
Join online communities
Go a step beyond social media sites filled with
millions or even billions of people you have nothing in common with. Instead,
find specialty groups for nurse networking. Professional organizations often
have online communities where members can collaborate, commiserate, share
resources and help each other thrive. These communities are especially helpful
for travel nurses because they let you quickly make contacts in new cities
while keeping up with those you left behind.
Widen your nurse networking efforts around the country
with a travel nursing job through Travel Nursing.
Back up your contacts
As a travel
nurse, you'll amass loads of contacts at medical facilities around
the country where you made new friends you don't want to lose track of once you
move onto your next assignment. You'll be tempted to just keep all this contact
information on your smartphone, but something could happen to make you lose it
all. One you've spent years compiling valuable information, backing it up is essential.
Invest in a cloud service, or your phone may even have a backup option to
ensure your nurse networking contact list remains safely intact.
Don't forget, nurse networking should be mutually
beneficial. Don't put a strain on your carefully cultivated network of nurses
by only getting in touch with others when you need something, and drop anyone
in your group who doesn't give as well as take.