5 Tips for Your First Day on the Job

It’s your first day on the job, and you want to make the best possible impression. If so, we’ve compiled a few nursing orientation tips so that you can do away with first-day jitters and start off on the right foot.

#1 Prepare to Learn

You may think that your schooling has taught you virtually everything you’ll need to know to be successful in a nursing position. However, most nurses say that what they learned in school represents only a small fraction of what they’ve learned while on the job.  Approach Day 1 with an open mind and a willingness to learn. 

#2 Ask Questions

Another critical aspect of the learning process is asking questions. When you’re confused or need clarification, don’t be afraid to ask. Chances are, you’re not the first to ask, and you won’t be the last. Recognize that you don’t know it all (after all, it’s only Day 1!), and be willing to put yourself out there. 

#3 Keep Your Eyes Open

When it comes to learning how to succeed in your new role, observation is key. Of course, listening and asking questions is crucial, but observing the ins and outs of patient care is equally so. During your orientation, ask to spend as much time as possible watching others in a similar role. You’ll be surprised how much you can glean from observing someone who’s been in the game for a while.

#4 Stand Up For Yourself

A job in the field of nursing is often demanding physically, mentally, and emotionally. Recognize that you can say “no” sometimes, especially when saying “yes” means sacrificing your own health and well-being. You are no good to your patients if you’re struggling yourself. 

#5 Take Notes

As you meet your doctors, other nurses, or support staff, make sure you associate names with faces. Take notes to keep track of who is who and what role each of your colleagues serves. This will help you make connections quickly, and connections are essential in tackling day-to-day demands.

You Will Get There

The learning curve in nursing may be steep, but by having an open mind and staying engaged as you gain knowledge and experience, you will succeed in your new job as a nurse.