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How to Succeed in Travel Nursing as an Introvert

Posted on: December 03, 2019

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Travel nursing can be a great way to explore the world, work in different nursing environments, gain career experience, and make a great living. Although, if you consider yourself an introverted personality type, the thought of traveling, adjusting to ongoing changes in your work environment, and meeting new coworkers, may seem a little daunting.

Many of us fit somewhere in the middle of extroversion and introversion personality extremes, but having an introverted personality doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in travel nursing.

Introvert vs. Extrovert

Being introverted isn’t the same as shyness or social anxiety, and, it doesn't mean that you don’t like working with other people. Introverts usually tend to find crowds a little draining when solitude is preferable. This can result in an introvert being mislabeled or they may appear aloof. This perception can make a more introverted person feel challenged to meet social expectations and fear that they will be lonely as a travel nurse.

Society seems to embrace the extroverted personality type who is assertive, outgoing and seamlessly fits into any situation. Although,nursing is often a great career for those with an introverted personality type. A person with this personality trait is often more observant and presents with a relaxing, calming presence.

Plan to Succeed

Acknowledging where you excel and identifying opportunities to grow can help when working a travel nurse assignment. Introverts are often more self-aware, which can provide an opportunity to consider personal strengths and limitations and circumvent personal challenges in travel nursing.

While At Work

  • Networking and social events are a great way to get to know your coworkers, but can be exhausting and stressful for an introvert. Extroverts gain energy from social situations while introverts expend energy. Don’t allow yourself to become drained by attempting to attend every social event. Schedule downtime and choose social situations that involve small groups where you might feel more comfortable.
  • Verbal and nonverbal communication is essential in social situations and can assist in making a positive first impression with new coworkers. Make an effort to smile and greet others while maintaining awareness of how you may present to others by considering your body language.
  • The demands of a nursing career can be fast-paced and exhausting so practicing self-care is essential. Take advantage of breaks to recharge, or explain that you need time alone to gather your thoughts with some quiet time.

While Staying on Assignment

  • Exploring new areas doesn’t mean you have to visit the tourist attractions that tend to draw the crowds. Check out the smaller, local establishments to get the real town experience. Plan ahead by researching the area to feel more confident in finding your way around.
  • Consider your lodgings while on assignment and whether you’d prefer to stay in an Airbnb instead of a hotel for more privacy. Determine if there’s a coffee shop, or other conveniences that you prefer, close by to make you feel more comfortable.
  • Sometimes, you just might want some quiet time when you’re out and about. Headphones, a book, or a camera, can help deter unwanted conversation while you take in the sights.

To Avoid Loneliness

  • You may not be at home, but you can bring some of the comforts of home such as a favorite pair of slippers, a pillow, or photos of loved ones, to make it feel more home-like.
  • Stay connected with family and friends by making time for a video call, or send photos of the area to share in your experience.
  • Seek out social media groups to share common experiences and get advice, and remember that you can rely on your recruiter for personal support and to act as your liaison.

Expand Your Nursing Career

Having an introverted personality doesn’t mean that travel nursing can’t be a great career. Discussing your preferences with your recruiter at Barton Healthcare Staffing, developing an awareness of your personal limitations, and working with your strengths, can help you to succeed in a travel nurse career.

Maureen Bonatch MSN, RN
About Maureen Bonatch MSN, RN

Maureen Bonatch MSN, BSN, RN draws from years of experience in nursing administration, leadership and psychiatric nursing to write healthcare content. Her work has appeared in numerous health system websites and healthcare journals. Her experience as a fiction author helps her craft engaging and creative content. Learn more about her freelance writing at CharmedType.com and her fiction books at MaureenBonatch.com.