This entry is part 23 of 28 in the series Treatment Plan: Hypertravelosis
In the course of this “Treatment Plan for Hypertravelosis”, I’ll show you how to become a savvy and well-prepared travel nurse in a user-friendly, step-by-step process.
Following these steps will prepare you for success in your travel nursing career, and I recommend that you complete the Treatment Plan in the order in which it’s presented.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them in the comments section at the bottom of this page, and I’ll be sure to address them in a timely manner.
Step #23: Make the Most of Your Travel Nurse Contract
You’ve arrived at the contract location and you have 13 weeks to explore your new area and your new temporary job. Let’s look at things you can do to make the most of your travel nurse contract.
You have 13 weeks!
It sounds like a lot of time…beware, your travel nurse contract will go by extremely quickly, so don’t put off exploring the new neighborhood.
Find Out What’s Happening
The first thing to do is find out where local events are posted or published. There are multiple places that I look to find events and activities. Most larger cities have a free weekly or bi-weekly entertainment magazine of some sort. These are generally found at convenience stores, grocery stores, local coffee shops, bars or similar places. Look near the entrance or ask your coworkers.
Another place to look for local events is Facebook and other social media platforms. A quick Facebook search for the city’s visitors bureau or “city events” should bring up several pages that you can “like” and follow. Most cities and towns also now have their own websites, and some even post events on Twitter and Google+.
I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth another mention. Meetup.com is a great resource for group activities. If you like hiking, join a hiking group. If you’re interested in exploring local bars and happy hours, there’s probably a group for it. Most larger cities also have some sort of “new in town” group, and these are especially nice because everyone in the group is looking to explore the area and they generally have multiple types of events and activities on offer.
If you haven’t already checked it out, my Support For Homesickness article has some great resources to help you get out and about on a budget.
Let’s not forget the Travel Nurse Network via Facebook! There are events scheduled all over the country by other travel nurses. Check out the group events and see what might be happening in your area. Better yet, find a great activity and post your own travel nurse event!
Get Out And About
Go outside the local area and find out what’s around you. Perhaps there’s a unique or interesting town at a reasonable distance. You may also be relatively nearby to a national park or state park that offers an opportunity for a weekend getaway.
Ask your coworkers, the barista at the local coffee shop or the bartender at your local bar for advice. I also recommend stopping by local bookstores, hotels and camping stores to ask about places to visit. The people you’ll meet are full of information and are generally happy to share. Depending on your schedule, you could potentially take several weekend trips out of town. Schedule them!
Make Time For Fun
Figuring out how to fit some fun into your contract can be a little difficult at first. The first two weeks on contract are generally pretty chaotic and sometimes a little stressful as you begin to acclimate to the new facility and your coworkers. I’ve found that my contracts generally break down as follows:
Week #1: Excitement, fear and introductions
Weeks #2-4: Learning curve
Weeks # 4-6: This is where I begin to fall into a good groove on the job
Weeks #6-10: This is prime time to take in the sights and explore
Weeks #10-13: This is where things can become monotonous for me on the job. The great thing is that this is also the time that I’m working with recruiters, seeking out my next adventure while also trying to fit in the last-minute sightseeing that I’ve been meaning to do!
You’ll fall into your own 13-week flow, figuring out for yourself when you’re most likely to get out and enjoy the area that you’re in.
One final word of caution: don’t put it off until “tomorrow”. Thirteen weeks can pass by very quickly, so be sure to make the most of your travel nurse contract!
Congratulations on completing another step in the process of becoming a savvy and well-prepared travel nurse! You’re now one step closer to success and a new, exciting career path! Now, continue to the next step and let me know if you have any questions, concerns or comments.
To your success!
The Gypsy Nurse
Step #24: Travel Nurse Contract—8 Weeks to Go