Making Friends as a Travel Nurse or Doctor

As a travel medical professional, exploring different places and gaining valuable work experience is exciting, but making friends can be challenging. It is important to have a support group to make it less lonely while working in a new city or town. Keep reading our latest blog for tips on making friends as a travel nurse or doctor.

Importance of a social network

Between family, a career and other responsibilities, having a supportive social network might be the lowest priority on your list. However, research has shown that having friends as an adult is important to your overall well-being and happiness.

People who work in healthcare experience high levels of stress and are prone to burnout. Friends provide a safe and supportive environment that allows them to share emotions, frustrations and experiences. Having a social network also helps you maintain a healthy work-life balance to prevent feelings of work fatigue.

As a travel nurse or physician working a locum tenens assignment, your usual support system may be hundreds of miles away. So, making friends during your temporary assignment is important. Friends can offer companionship and emotional support during the assignment.

They can also provide a sense of community outside of work and help you relax and engage in hobbies and activities you enjoy. Being in a new place allows you to meet people you may not have otherwise encountered. They can provide insight into the best local activities, events and restaurants, and you will have someone with whom to share these new experiences.

You can learn from different cultures and gain knowledge of the community you serve, which will not only help you grow as a person but also give you valuable professional experience.

How to make friends as a travel provider

As children, walking up to a classmate and making a new friend was easy. It is a bit harder as an adult, especially as a travel nurse or locum tenens physician in new surroundings. Try these strategies for making friends as a travel nurse or doctor living in a new location:

Start at work

There are many benefits to making friends with coworkers, like building morale and improving your productivity. You can also ask your colleagues or someone in human resources if there are any upcoming company-sponsored activities.

Attend networking events

Attend a conference or networking event in your field. These events can be valuable for career development and advancement while providing opportunities to meet other healthcare professionals with common interests and experiences.

Join a local group

Many cities and towns have organized sports events, book clubs and other activities for locals. Check the city’s website for upcoming community events. You may be able to find a drop-in event you can attend. You are guaranteed to find people with similar interests who may want to hang out afterward.


Look for volunteer opportunities with local organizations. You can meet people who share your values and learn more about the community. Talking to new people while working on an activity is often easier, so volunteering can be a quick way to get to know someone.

Take a class

Don’t be afraid to take a class to learn a new skill or hobby. This can be an easy way to make new friends. Even if you don’t end up spending time together outside of class, you get the benefits of being in a social setting each time the class meets.

Go online

Check social media platforms for local groups to join. They may host events for members to meet in person. There are also apps for meeting new people with similar interests in your area.

Plan ahead

Before you move to a new area, see if you can find housing with another travel medical professional. You may find a friend who understands your career and the difficulties of meeting people in a new place.

How to maintain friendships

Making friends as a travel nurse or doctor might seem challenging, but maintaining a new friendship can be just as tricky if you are not staying in the area for long. However, if you are open and honest with your new friends, you can enjoy your time without other expectations.

Here are a few other tips for maintaining your new friendships:

  1. Take the initiative to organize social outings or events.
  2. Communicate your availability, especially if you work long shifts.
  3. Be open to exploring your new city or town and having new experiences.
  4. Show your appreciation and gratitude for the friendship.
  5. Offer your friends the same support and encouragement you expect.

Making friends in a new place will be less daunting once you try a few of these strategies to see what works best for you. As you travel to new places, you can expand your social network beyond your home base and build lifelong friendships.

Travel nurse and doctor staffing resources

The team at TinkBird is always here to support our travel professionals in achieving successful placements. Contact us to see how we can help you find short- or long-term travel nursing jobs, locum tenens positions and other temporary healthcare assignments.

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