Working as a travel healthcare provider can be a fun career that is filled with new faces and exciting adventures. Working as a travel nurse can also be a very lonely profession.
Travel healthcare providers are providers who make a living traveling from hospital to medical facility, moving from state to state. Traveling healthcare provider temporarily fill positions at hospitals and medical facilities for a short period of time. Typically travel healthcare provider work at an assignment for three to six months before they move onto another position. If a travel healthcare provider works several back to back assignments, it can be years before they get back to their home town to spend quality time with family and friends.
One way to alleviate the loneliness is to work tandem with a friend. Two nursing friends, often a pair who went through nursing school together, joins an agency that specializes in finding positions for travel nurses at the same time. Once their applications have been accepted at the agency, the two friends scan the agency’s available jobs and find two assignments available at the same hospital or medical facility. If they are unable to find employment in the same facility, the friends might be able to find assignments in the same town.
Travel healthcare providers that work in pairs know that when they leave on a new assignment that they will see at least one friendly face when they get to a new town in a new state. When they start their new job, they know that there will be at least one person who is willing to listen to them complain or rejoice about their new co-workers. Travel nurses who work together can offer each other a shoulder to cry on when everything seems to go wrong.
A benefit to friends working together as travel nurses is the ability to share travel expenses. Most travel nurses shun flying, preferring to drive from a completed assignment to their new assignment. Driving from assignment to assignment means that travel nurses came to save the expense of renting a car. Friends that are both travel healthcare providers can drive together to the new assignment can split the cost of gas and share hotel rooms.
Friends who work together as travel healthcare providers can also save money by sharing living expenses. Not only can the friends split the cost of the monthly rent, but the pair can also split the utilities and the cost of groceries. When you are going to be living together tell your nursing agency and let them know that you will be sharing the housing, this could mean that the agency looks for a bigger space. If you are going to be rooming together, remember that the apartments nursing agencies generally find for their travel healthcare providers are small. Be prepared for tight living quarters. Space becomes even tighter if one of you has a pet.
Having a friend with you will give you someone to go out with while you are in an unfamiliar city. The experiences you share will strengthen the bonds of your friendship.
In fact, by popular demand, we now have a group for healthcare providers that are looking to travel together. This is a collaborative effort through Kay Slane, RN, with Travel Nursing Newbies, and Thomas Piper II, RN, with Scrub Squad 1978. To increase the safety of this group, each healthcare provider is verified by the professional license. This group can be found at http://www.facebook.com/groups/TravelHealthcarePartners/
Written by Kay Slane, RN, BSed, CGM (Certified Grad-level Nursing Management) Matriarch of Travel Nursing. The CEO of Highway Hypodermics®, LLC, the longest-running travel nursing website by a traveling nurse. Author of “Highway Hypodermics: Travel Nursing 2019.”