Travel Nursing – How to Make Friends in a New City

Moving to a new city is super exciting, especially when you know you’ve got an awesome new assignment lined up! But, it can also be a bit intimidating, as it can be difficult to know how to make new friends in a new area. It’s not quite as easy as it was when we were younger – it’s no longer as simple as going up to another kid in the sandbox and asking if they want to share your toys.

In-person connections are important, both in terms of experiencing new things in your neighborhood and for your sanity! Other than the obvious socializing with your co-workers, there are loads of fun and interesting ways to make new friends in a new city. Here we look at 9 of the best tried and tested ways of meeting new people.

1 – Ask Your Recruiter!

Your recruiter is probably connected with hundreds of nurses throughout the country. They can be a great resource for making introductions to fellow travel nurses who are working in your new city, even if they are working at a different facility. What better way to meet new people than through someone you trust and who has your best interests at heart? They should also be able to tell you about the best spots to check out based on your interests.

Often it’s easy to overlook your recruiter as a resource for this. Many don’t have time to invest the effort and energy it requires to take this extra step. But there’s so much more to an assignment than just working 36-40 hours every week. We get that. At Axis, our Rock Star recruiters not only find awesome gigs for our travelers, but they also act as part tour guides and part friend-makers to make sure our nurses have the best possible experiences on their assignments as possible.


2 – Head Online – (but be safe!)

Facebook and Twitter are great sites to find like-minded people through groups or hashtags. There’s also the very popular Meetup, and Eventbrite is another useful tool for finding events. You could check website forums dedicated to things that interest you to see if there are local groups, clubs, or societies nearby. But as with any new friend connection, and especially online, make sure to use your best judgment when meeting new folks.

3 – Visit Independent Stores, Coffee Shops, and Bars

These places are great for finding flyers and business cards for local groups and events where you could make new friends, and they often host events themselves. Plus, visiting these places is a great way to get to know your new neighborhood! Check out our Live Like a Local section for the best spots to visit from some of our most popular destinations across the country.

4 – Get Active

A lot of exercises are done in groups, or in a way that makes it easy to meet new people – for example, join a gym, an exercise class, a dance class, run a marathon, or join an amateur sports team. CrossFit, Orangetheory Fitness and Pure Bare classes are great options to not only get fit but also to meet new people. Bonus: it’s also very likely with these kinds of activities that you’ll easily persuade people to head for a refreshing beverage afterward!


You may also like: How to Get Your Workout in while You’re on Assignment

5 – Join a Book Club

For a more idle and relaxing friend-making activity, go online or pop into your local bookstore to find a list of local book groups. It’ll keep your mind active, and allow you to meet like-minded book lovers – and also to discover new reading material!  ALA Book Club Central, an initiative of the American Library Association, is also a great resource for those who love all things books related.

ALA Book Club

6 – Join a Wine or Beer Club

Want to know where to get a great glass of cabernet, or which breweries make the best craft beer? Practically every city is bound to have a ‘boozy group’ dedicated to your favorite beverage, where they hold tastings or outings to wineries, breweries, or distilleries.

7 – Join a Faith Group

Religious, spiritual, or cultural groups, if you’re that way inclined, are a great way to connect with other people, and can allow you to keep up comforting traditions and routines which help combat homesickness.

You may also like: What’s it like to be a Rock Star Travel Nurse? Click through our Travelers of the Month to find out!

8 – Friends and Family Network

Does your sibling/cousin’s college roommate work in the same city as your new assignment? You never know who you can meet through a local contact, even if you don’t know them well or don’t have much in common with them. Set up a lunch or a trip to a local coffee shop, and find out if you have similar interests, or if they can introduce you to anyone new. Have a friend back home who used to live in your new city, who still has friends there? Invite them to stay for the weekend and organize a group outing – having your friend there as a buffer can take some of the pressure off.

9 – Work Hard to Build Friendships

Step out of your comfort zone and outright ask people to hang out with you if you get a good vibe from them. Be open and tell them you’re new in town – everyone knows it’s difficult and intimidating being the newbie, so they’re bound to want to help you out! And if things are going well, commit! Friendships take work, especially at the beginning, so be prepared to put in the effort.

One of the best aspects of being a travel nurse is making new friends in your new city. Hopefully, these tips help you meet new people, create amazing memories and build lifelong friendships!

Want to join the Axis team and begin living that Rock Star lifestyle? Then let’s chat!

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