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Nurse Orientation: 5 Tips to Help You Prepare

Nurse orientation can be challenging and a little nerve-racking. This is particularly true for contract nurses, as you may only get a condensed version of orientation. In addition, new nurse orientations may vary greatly from one facility to the next. To help you prepare, below is a list of helpful tips to ensure you’re ready for your new nurse orientation. 

With these 5 tips, you are guaranteed to get the most of your nurse orientation and set yourself up for success.

5 Tips To Help You Prepare For Nurse Orientation

1. Know What to Expect

Connect with your contract nurse recruiter prior to your first day of nurse orientation. Request as much information as possible. For example, ask how many days will be allotted for hospital orientation and unit orientation.

In addition, request the necessary logistical information, such as the location, time of arrival and who you are reporting to.

2. Be Prepared 

Once you know the logistical aspects of orientation, get ready! Ask your contract nursing recruiter what documents you will need to have with you on your first day.

Brandi Gallegos, Senior Recruitment Manager at Onward Healthcare, says this about being prepared: “The most important thing a contract nurse can do to prepare for nurse orientation is to make sure that they pay attention to the required work that may need to be done before they show up at orientation.”

Common documents you will need copies of include your nursing license, certifications, and your Advanced Cardiac Life Support or Basic Life Support certification cards. 

Make sure you have this paperwork, along with your driver’s license or other identification documents.

3. Be Professional 

As a contract nurse, you are representing not only yourself but the contract company and the facility to which you are placed. Therefore, be sure to act in a professional manner at all times. After all, you only have one chance to make a good first impression.

What does being professional mean? Arrive on time, dress appropriately, be ready to learn, stay alert during all presentations, and act in an ethical, compassionate, and caring manner in all you do.

4. Ask Questions 

Don’t be scared to ask questions if you are unsure of something. Doing so will ensure you are fully aware of all that is expected of you. This does not just pertain to clinical care. Ask questions about the simple things, too. Make sure you know when to arrive for your first clinical day, where to park, and where to report. 

To prepare for your contract nurse assignment, ask questions about hospital policies as well as unit-specific policies. Remember, there are no dumb questions except those you never asked!

5. Develop a Nurse Orientation Checklist

To ensure you don’t forget any paperwork or other requirements prior to your first day, consider developing your very own nurse orientation checklist. This checklist will outline important tasks that you will need to complete prior to your nurse orientation.

Your preparation will be noticed by the facility staff when you understand the materials and are ready with questions. Use these five tips for success in your new nurse orientation, contract nurse assignment, and contract nurse career.

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