You’ve done it! You signed on to your first contract as a travel nurse and will be starting your first assignment very soon. Eek! It’s normal to be nervous, but take a deep breath. You’re already a nurse, you can do this. Besides, we at Travel Nursing Blogs are here to help you through the first few days of orientation and help you be prepared.
Let’s run through what your first day as a travel nurse will be like and what you should be prepared for:
- First off, take a drive to the hospital the day before so you know how to get there. This way there won’t be any surprises or construction detours that Google maps might have not told you about.
- Layout your scrubs, your bag, equipment, paperwork (ID, certs) and notepad the night before. This will be one less thing you need to worry about in the morning, everything will be ready for you.
- Next, make sure you get a good night’s sleep. You will need to absorb a lot of information tomorrow, so it’s imperative you are on top of your game. I’m sure you may be a little anxious, so go to bed a bit earlier than you normally would to make sure you are fully rested. If you have trouble with this, read Travel Nurse Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep.
- Have your breakfast and of course, coffee. It’s unusual to find a nurse that doesn’t drink coffee and rightly so. You will be working a long shift, so you need that food energy and a little caffeine to give you a boost. However, don’t overdo it on the coffee. Too much caffeine in the day will make it difficult to get to sleep for your second important day as a travel nurse.
- Arrive early. Since you already know how to get to the hospital, arriving early shouldn’t be a problem. This makes you look like a dependable and prompt employee, but also allows you a little more time to get your things and self in order. When you arrive, find the charge nurse, unit manager or whomever your recruiter gave you as a contact. They will get you started in the right direction.
- Be friendly to all the staff and introduce yourself confidently. You may only be working with these people for a short time, but why not make an impression on them? You may find that not every hospital is going to be traveler friendly so do your best to not ruffle feathers by discussing things like your pay, hours, etc. or anything that could make a permanent nurse at the hospital jealous. These are things you get used to; however, not all hospitals are the same.
- Be inquisitive. Find out the nurse’s mandatory paperwork requirements and obtain information on the facility’s policies and procedures. Also, it is a good idea to ask how breaks are handled.
Orientation may last 1-3 days, depending on the facility. Yes you will be learning a lot, but just relax. You are a great nurse and this is such a great experience and opportunity. Hopefully, it’s the first of many orientations.