Tips for a Great First Day at a New Assignment

February 14 / Posted by Christi Hintz


The first day of a new assignment is your chance to make a first impression and orient yourself to your new workplace. It can also be a little stressful- every hospital is different, and you want to make sure you start your assignment on the right foot. Don’t worry though, we’ve got some easy tips to help make your first day great, and set the stage for an excellent assignment!


Get a Good Idea of What The First Day Will Be Like


Before you even get to your destination, your recruiter will provide you with information that you’ll need for your first day at the new hospital. This document will include important things like the time and location of orientation, where you should park, what you should bring, and a schedule for what you’ll be doing. Make sure you’re very well acquainted with these instructions prior to your first day and bring them with you when you arrive.


Bring Some Snacks


Despite every effort to make sure orientation goes according to plan, you just never know what will come up. Keep some tasty, protein packed snacks on hand to help stave off hunger and keep you alert in case orientation gets off track. But first, make sure your hospital is ok with you bringing snacks, and ask about any items in particular that you shouldn’t bring.


Not sure what to bring? Here are some quick and easy snack ideas that will help you make it through your first day:


A bag of cut fruit such as apples

A granola or protein bar

A protein shake

Cheese sticks


Leave Earlier Than You Think


You should definitely plan you route to work the night before, as well as where you’ll park. But no matter how straightforward your commute is, traffic can vary and extend even the shortest commutes, and finding a place to park isn’t always easy. Even if it doesn’t make you late, you don’t need the stress of cutting it close on your first day! Leave early so that you have some wiggle room for unexpected delays or getting lost on your way.


Bring a Notepad


You’ll get a LOT of information on the first day, so a notepad is a great way to outsource some of that brainpower and ensure you’ll have something to refer to when you have questions. You probably already know this from nursing school, but writing something down can also help cement it in your memory whether you refer back to your notes later or not!


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions


If there’s something you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to bring it up. You can do this during orientation if it seems appropriate, or afterwards. Your supervisors want you to succeed!




You’ve got this! You may be in a new environment, but you worked hard for your nursing degree and you know how to do this. Try to get all of your preparations out of the way early so that you can relax on the night before orientation and get a good night’s sleep.


What do you do to prepare for success on your first day? Any tips that we missed? Give your own experiences in the comments below!

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