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The first day on the job as a registered nurse (RN) after graduation can be stressful, exciting and challenging. At this time, an RN puts into practice all the knowledge acquired during his or her training, so it is time to put into practice all the diligent work done with hard work to begin this important and exciting career. 

How will your first day be, and how could you prepare for it?

On the first day in the hospital, new RNs are called to the conference room for the first day of orientation. Although the majority of hospitals have the orientation with the entire staff, others prefer to have it with the nurses only.  This will depend on the size and capacity of each hospital, and how specialized the job is. Nurses working in specialty areas will need a longer training time, while general RNs will need about a week to familiarize themselves with the environment, again, depending on the hospital, this time may vary quite a bit.

For the first few days, an RN will be shadowing another nurse or mentor. Gradually, the working skills necessary to care for patients individually without mentor assistance will be adequate, and the RN will be able to ask for the information he or she needs when required.

It is important to emphasize that each hospital has individual record-keeping systems that each RN will have to become familiar with: hospital hardware, individual patient or medication records, etc.

On the first day of training, the RN will need nursing supplies: equipment such as stethoscopes, scrubs (unless the hospital has a different dress policy), as well as nursing shoes that are comfortable for walking around all day. An essential requirement is to have a nurse’s medication guide book handy – it would be a smart idea to download it to your cell phone for convenience – since RNs must prescribe and administer different medications, so it is helpful when the RN can’t remember a dose of medication to refer to that book. It may also be helpful to bring something to take notes and write down questions during orientation, and several pens to write with.

Pro Nursing Tips for a Great First Day

The Nursa™ team is always interested in getting RNs off to a great start in their careers, so below, we have gathered a few pro-nursing tips that can help RNs feel more relaxed:

  • RNs need to be clear that they deserve to be in the position they have. The effort and dedication they have put into their studies should not go undeserved and should be recognized. The first few days it is normal to feel anxious about not doing everything perfectly or not understanding some hospital protocols, but as time passes and with great devotion, the new RNs will be able to do the same job as the other experienced members of the hospital.
  • Having the humility to acknowledge mistakes is an important quality, especially in the early days as an RN. This quality also involves asking questions when you don’t understand something and continuing to learn and acquire skills for quality individual care.
  • Take notes during training, because it is a lot of new information to remember. When they have some free time, they can review the notes and have more clarity on the remaining tasks.
  • Take care of yourself. It is not uncommon for new RNs to forget about their well-being as they undergo training and learning. They need to take care of their needs, take breaks, have something to eat and drink, and talk about things other than nursing work for a while. When they leave the hospital, it is important to have someone who can listen to them when they have had a difficult day, or have friends to distract them and make them feel loved. Mental and family health is important, so they should spend quality time with their family and have spaces to rest in their off time.

RNs Carry Enormous Amounts of Responsibility

Caring for patients requires RNs to always be on their toes, and it can be an emotionally draining job. Therefore, they should not risk getting little sleep or poor rest, eating poorly, or having suppressed feelings.

New RNs should be clear that they need to always think about the well-being of their patients during their work, which requires them to do their best. The entire Nursa™ team congratulates them on their new job and reminds them that, although nursing can be challenging, having support and information at hand will make the workload lighter.

Written by Miranda Booher, RN

SEO Content Marketing Manager Miranda is a 14-year registered nurse with a healthy background in travel nursing and digital marketing. She brings an interesting combination of stellar copywriting skills and first-hand nursing experience to the table. Miranda understands the industry and has an impeccable ability to write about it. And speaking of travel - Miranda currently lives in Bolivia, though she maintains an active Registered Nurse license in the state of Ohio and stays current on the latest healthcare news through her writing. When she is not creating killer copy, or serving others through her work as a nurse, you can find her spending time with her family traveling in the Andes Mountains.

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