Dating can be tough for any single nurse. The long hours and the need to work evenings, weekends and even holidays can leave you with little time for romance. And for travelers working in an unfamiliar location, it can be even more challenging — which is why we’re offering up a few exclusive travel nurse dating tips, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
5 Travel Nurse Dating Tips from CareerStaff
#1: Try out a nurse-friendly dating app
Making friends in a new place can be tough for anyone, but it’s especially tricky on a travel nurse’s schedule. “I eventually want to settle down in a city I fall in love with but I make so much more money traveling,” as one travel nurse lamented on Reddit. “I move to a new place every 3 months. What advice would you give someone like me?”
Downloading a dating app is probably the fastest way to boost your chances of finding a date, no matter where you are. The good news is that dating apps have made it much easier to meet people in new places than what was possible just a few years ago. The not-so-good news is that there are so many of them, it can be hard to tell which one is going to work out best for you!
While we can’t exactly recommend a specific nurse dating app, a quick Google search will show that there are plenty of options. Those who are new to online dating may want to stick to some of the more reliable, “classic” choices, or even seek out some that are designed just for healthcare professionals.
Before you get started, remember: A good rule of thumb is to search for reviews of an app before you download it to your phone. This helps you make sure it’s got a good reputation — and that there are actually other people who use it!
> Not great with Google? Click here to search for nurse dating apps
#2: Seek someone with a similar schedule
As helpful as dating apps can be, they don’t solve the problem of scheduling. One of the biggest complaints we’ve heard from travel nurses seeking dates is the fact that their free-time just doesn’t align with most other people.
How can you get over this hurdle? For better or for worse, travel nurses aren’t the only ones with unusual schedules these days. Thanks to the gig economy, finding another individual who also works nights instead of days, or who’s working a seasonal job with an offbeat schedule, might be easier than you think.
The truth is, lots of people today have schedules that aren’t too different from travel nursing jobs, such as working at a restaurant, retail store or supermarket. In addition, many office workers are now working at home pretty much full time, which gives them more flexibility and free time to schedule lunch dates.
So, be up front about your schedule in your online dating profile, and you may be surprised to find that plenty of potential dates are free when you are (especially in bigger cities or metro areas).
#3: Join a tour group or hit up the museum
Most major cities have local events like free city walks or ghost tours. Though these can be more tourist oriented, they still offer an opportunity to get out and see the local day-to-day life, and maybe discover a new part of town.
In places like San Francisco, New York, Chicago and New Orleans, these sorts of activities can be found day or night. In most places, though, they’re usually only in the evenings. If you’re looking for an alternative to an evening activity, you may be able to find similar results by hitting up an art or history museum or a regional park during the day.
And if you’re not sure what’s offered in the city or town you’re working in, try searching Google Maps or Yelp for local tour operators, museums, art galleries, recreation centers, regional parks, coffee shops or cocktail lounges. You’ll get a pretty quick sense of what’s out there, and what appeals to you.
#4: Connect with an online nurse community
If you’re feeling lonely in your travel job and frustrated with your dating options, remember that you’re not alone! There are thousands of other nurses out there who know what you’re going through, and who are more than happy to help out with some advice and support, too.
You can find them at online nursing communities like Nurse.org, Nurses Inspire Nurses and Gypsy Nurse, which is even dedicated to travelers. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses offers a number of community forums, including those dedicated to new nurses, clinical educators, nurse managers and quite a few others.
Social media is a probably an even better spot to find nursing groups. For instance, the LinkedIn RN Network offers a chance to connect with thousands of registered nurses. On Facebook, the Funny Nurses group has more than a million members, and it’s just one of many — it’s easy to use the site’s search function to find one you like.
> Connect with CareerStaff on social media for more chances to network! Find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram
#5: Don’t get discouraged!
It can be tough to stay positive if things seem like they’re not working out. When things get discouraging, remember that many other nurses go through the same thing as you. It can also help to take inspiration from some positive affirmations about the nursing life, as well as some wise words from other nurses like you.
“Being a nurse can create unique challenges in our relationships, especially with significant others,” as one expert has pointed out at Nurses Inspire Nurses.
“We work long hours and give our emotional and mental energy to others, which can leave us feeling like we’re running on empty by the time we come home. Especially if our SO’s aren’t in the medical field, it can feel like they don’t understand where we’re coming from or what experiences we’ve had at work.”
We understand that motivational words only go so far. But getting to know other nurses on social media or a nursing community, as we discussed above, can actually provide real, rewarding relationships. They can also be great sources of advice from more experienced souls, for head’s ups on future job opportunities, or even, potentially, for kindling a future romance.
Live Your Best Travel Nursing Life with CareerStaff
As one of the nation’s top sources for nurse jobs, we’re proud to offer much more than just travel nurse dating tips. From exclusive career resources to exclusive jobs from coast to coast, you can trust CareerStaff to help you live your best travel nursing life, and so much more. Get more info on travel nursing with CareerStaff here, or check out all of our open assignments now.