Being a traveling nurse is one of the best jobs out there. It’s a flexible job that offers many traveling opportunities, freedom, professional growth, the opportunity to meet new people, a great salary with numerous benefits, and other similar advantages. However, being a traveling nurse is not all that easy. What you might not have known is that traveling nurses also have to be great team players. They come into already formed nursing units, where everyone knows each other well. And coming to an already-formed unit is quite intimidating. If a traveling nurse is joining your nursing unit, there are certain team-building activities that you can all do to make a new nurse feel welcome and comfortable. Different fun things and games that you can all participate in and make the new nurse feel a part of your team.
Here are 7 motivating team-building activities for traveling nurses.
Everyone, both senior staff and the rest of the nursing staff, should make the new traveling nurse feel welcome once they first arrive. Extend support, show them the ropes, and train them without making them work to prove themselves. With this approach, you are more likely to build morale, loyalty, and mutual respect. As a senior or mentor, make sure you also invite the new traveling nurse for a coffee or to hang out with everyone from the unit.
Introduce them to company culture.
Every hospital and every unit has a different set of rules. These rules and customs are often unspoken, and a new nurse might not be able to pick up on them right away. This is where you can be of help.
Introduce the new traveling nurse to company culture, and rules, both said and unsaid, and show them how your team is organized and how you function best. All this will help them integrate into the team faster and perform their duties better as well.
Organize group hangouts or dinners.
The best way to make someone feel welcome and a part of the group is by inviting them to group hangouts or dinners. This will allow you to get to know the new traveling nurse a bit better out of the work environment. It will also allow you to bond and build a relationship faster. You can organize game nights where you’ll play different kinds of games or sports. You can even go a step further and get everyone custom sportswear – shirts, jerseys, or something similar. This will be a great chance to see how the new nurse is handling team games. Additionally, you can show your traveling nurse around the area. Show them all the important and interesting landmarks, take them to your favorite places around the city, or something similar.
Team-building and ice-breaker games
It’s not easy being an outsider and joining a formed team. That’s why you can make it a bit easier on new nurses by organizing team-building and ice-breaker games. Some of the most popular games include scavenger hunts or scattergories. When it comes to the scavenger hunt, here, the new traveling nurse can introduce themselves while looking for things. Scattergories require dividing your unit into two groups. A third party should pick a letter between A-Z. The letter will dictate what all answers to each category must begin with. If you have any other game ideas, feel free to try them out. Games are a great, fun way to both make the new nurse feel more comfortable and to get to know her better.
Assign a mentor
You should make sure to assign a mentor to the new nurse. Mentors are really important because they can help traveling nurses with assignments, they can provide tools, and help the nurse bond with the rest of the team. Traveling nurses often have a very short orientation period, so having a good mentor in their corner is highly important. Mentors are there to help the new nurse network as well. A mentor is usually an experienced nurse who knows and has a good relationship with other nurses, administrators, doctors, and other hospital staff. So, the mentor will be able to introduce the new traveling nurse to everyone they know in the hospital.
Have traveling nurses introduce themselves at staff meetings.
One of the crucial things for a nursing unit is a sense of community. This is exactly what staff meetings are made for. Regular staff meetings are there to help build communication, respect, and loyalty in the nursing unit. So, when you introduce a new traveling nurse to the unit and have them introduce themselves, you are breaking the communication barriers and allowing easier relationship building.
Send a welcome package.
It could also be a good idea to send a new traveling nurse a welcome package. This welcome package will help the new nurse feel welcome right away. It will make the first day at a new workplace much easier and more comfortable. Since the traveling nurse is not a local and she doesn’t have much time to explore the new place, in the welcome package, you can include a map of the facility, information, and the phone number of their assigned mentor. If you think that the welcome package is a bit too much, you can just email them the map, key numbers, and other information that may be useful.
Everyone loves to feel welcome and accepted at their new workplace. And even though traveling nurses are used to always changing their work location and being new, it’s never a bad idea to do something to make them feel comfortable and welcome to a new unit.
Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.