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Nursing Tips for Your First Day on the Job


Nursing Tips for Your First Day on the Job

By Sarah Stasik, Contributor

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that more than 400,000 nursing jobs will be added to the market between 2016 and 2026. And with almost 3 million RN jobs already available in the nation, it's a safe bet that on any given day, more than one nurse is facing his or her first day on the job at a new facility. 

Check out the nursing tips below to make a great first impression on the job whether you're a new nursing grad or an RN with decades of experience.

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Top 3 Nursing Tips to Get Through Your First Day 

1. Always have a plan of action

No matter what the circumstances are, planning ahead for your first day on a nursing job can make a huge difference. Aaron Moore, MSN, RN-BC, provides a list of nursing tips for travel RNs starting a new assignment, but that nurse advice is good for other situations. 

Many of these tips involve taking common sense measures such as knowing where you're going, learning about the traffic, ensuring you can get to work early and getting enough rest the night before.

2. Don't be afraid to ask nursing questions

Lisa Ogea, RN, says that asking nursing questions isn't a sign of inexperience. "Even an experienced RN doesn't always know how a thing is done or preferred at different facilities. Asking questions on your first day — or week — helps avoid misunderstandings."

Ogea says it's important for nurses of all experience levels to feel comfortable asking questions and verifying policies. But she also says RNs shouldn't bother other busy nurses with questions just because they don't want read orientation material. "Probably make sure your question isn't answered clearly in the training manual before you ask," she says.

3. Have realistic expectations

Ogea says nurses should always be realistic about what they'll accomplish the first day. It's probably going to be training and orientation and less patient care. While that may differ for experienced float or travel nurses, who may be expected to hit the ground running, newer nurses may need to be patient as they wait for an opportunity to put their nursing skills into action.

Ultimately, the nursing advice for a successful first day on the job tends to revolve around being prepared. RNs should take time to prepare themselves by getting rest and eating well, and they should prepare specifically for the job by researching their employer and listening and learning during orientation sessions. By preparing and asking the right nursing questions, RNs can make their first day less stressful and seamlessly integrate into new nursing teams.

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