How to use your travel nurse experience to guide others
As a Travel Nurse not only do you get a unique perspective on nursing, but you experience a way of life that only a small percentage of nurses ever pursue. What does that get you? An optimal opportunity to work as a mentor to up and coming travel nurses.
As you know, adjusting to totally mobile lifestyle can be difficult; not to mention the long stretches away from family and friends, learning new environments and adapting quickly to a new assignment. Guidance from you can help ease the transition for any new travel nurse.
If you’re a seasoned travel nurse who’s interested in helping up-and-coming professionals get comfortable with this new career path, here’s how you can help:
Share your experiences, good & bad
If one thing is true about travel nursing, it’s that each assignment comes with its own unique experience. New travel nurses may get intimidated if they have a bad experience on their first assignment, but you can help them work through the issues and look forward to the next assignment. Give thorough examples of some of the struggles you faced in your past assignment and how you learned to cope with them.
Don’t only share the bad experiences, however. Encourage your mentees to look forward to that assignment that they’ll never want to leave. It’s important to be precise, open and honest about your experiences so you’re respected as a credible mentor and travel nurse. The last thing you want to do is sugarcoat or scare nurses away from the career, but you have to be honest. Remind your mentees why they pursued this career path in the first place to lift their spirits and inspire them to keep moving.
Be available to travel nurses in need
As soon as you make yourself available as a mentor, make sure those in need of advice have an opportunity to reach out to you when necessary. If you prefer the travel nurses you’re working with to keep the conversation in the workplace, make sure you make this clear. If you want to continue discussions outside of the workplace, remain professional and follow social media etiquette, as suggested by The Gypsy Nurse. There’s a fine line between giving advice as a friend and sharing guidance as a mentor, so keep this in mind.
If you’re interested in mentoring other travel nurses on a regular basis – while you’re traveling as well – talk to your recruiter. Many companies are happy to use you. You’re in the business of helping those in need, so why not extend the favor to other like-minded professionals who need guidance?