First Day on Assignment: What to Expect on Your First Day

By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

November 10, 2016

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What to Expect on Your First Day in a Travel Nurse Assignment

first day

1.) Do a Test Run before you start your first day

-Always try to familiarize yourself with the route to the hospital, the hospital campus, and even the parking lot.
-Time yourself and figure the best route to get to work, figure out where you’re going to park. Leave at the time your shift would be starting and account for traffic.
-Tour the hospital and bring goodies (goodwill gestures) for the nurses. Be friendly but not intrusive, and if nurses aren’t busy, ask questions about traffic and anything you’d like to know before your first day.
-Stop by HR. Even if it’s closed, it’s still good to know where it is.
-Find your unit you will be working in.

2.) Pre-Pack like you’re going to work right away

You will never know what to expect on your first day and you will always have surprises!

Things to remember to pack on your first day:

  1. Always bring a paper copy or digital copy of all your paperwork. Your paperwork will not always be in HR when you get there, so it’s good to come prepared.
  2. Pack a snack and bottle of water. You never know what you will be doing or how long orientation is. Also, bring cash just in case some places don’t take credit cards.
  3. Always have everything you need as if you’re going straight to work.

3.) Get a good night’s sleep


Do whatever you need to do is relax. Create your pre-first-day routine. Some people will have a glass of wine, take a bath, exercise, meditation, or yoga. Try to avoid sugar and caffeine.

4.)  Arm yourself with optimism

Being optimistic is the most important for being successful. Go in armed with good thoughts and accept there will be bumps in the road. Just know you’ll learn to roll with it and overcome it.

5) What should you expect

Expect the unexpected. Whatever you expect is going to happen is not always going to happen. There is no set standard. Every hospital and orientation is different. You will always have first-day nerves.

6.) If things aren’t going well, then you’re starting your count down

It doesn’t matter how long your contract is; it’s always a good idea to count down how many days you have left until it’s done. Knowing you have so many days until you’re done can help you get through those rough days.

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