Travel Nursing Checklist Item #28: Starting the first day of the job off right

Career Advice, Checklist, Travel Nursing

So you’ve had a good night’s sleep and the first day of your new travel nursing job is finally here.

Tips for starting off a travel nursing job

The first day of a travel assignment can definitely be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. It just takes preparation. You know you are a great nurse, but that is not enough to be a successful traveling nurse. It takes being someone who is:

  • Calm
  • Organized
  • A quick learner
  • Friendly
  • Energetic
  • Confident

Nothing will prepare you for a great first day where you exhibit all of these traits like starting your day with a great morning (or night if you are on the night shift). Here are some basic things you can do to make sure you have an awesome start to your day. Do them all or pick and choose, which ones suit you best, but the more of them you can incorporate into your morning routine the better off you will be.

Be prepared

Take some time the night before and layout the things you will need in the morning. Having your scrubs, your name badge,  your bag, stethoscope, etc. all laid out and ready to go will mean one less thing you have to do or think about in the morning.

Give yourself enough time

Being rushed in the morning is not a good way to start any day as a nurse, but especially not your very first day at a new job. So make sure you are up early enough before your shift to take your time getting ready without feeling hurried.

Have a great breakfast

Your mom has been telling you this for years, but it is still very true. The most important meal of the day is breakfast. It will give you the energy you need for a long shift on your feet and help prevent you from wanting to snack on unhealthy foods later in the day.

Drink some caffeine

Too much caffeine is not good, but research has shown that caffeine has also a lot of positive benefits, there is the obvious boost of energy in the morning, but there are other benefits as well such as increased memory, increased stamina, ease depression, ward of Alzheimer’s, just to name a few. Just don’t go overboard and try not to do it a way that will add calories to your diet.

Get some exercise

Getting in some brisk exercise in the morning is an excellent way to give yourself an energy boost. We are not talking about an exhausting two hour marathon session at the gym here. About 20 minutes of aerobic activity and maybe some weightlifting  and stretching should plenty to get your heart pumping and set you off to a great day. Plus it is a great way to boost your confidence, something you will definitely need during the first day of a new travel nursing job.

Take a shower

If you exercise as part of your amazing morning routine then this will be a must, but aside from the obvious hygienic reasons for showering, it is also a good way to wake yourself up and set you up for an attitude of success and readiness for the day.

Pray or meditate

Spending time praying or meditating is a great way to empty your mind and calm any anxieties you may have about your day.

Read something inspirational

A great way to start any day, let alone the first day at new job, is to read something that gets you motivated and inspired. It helps you see the day for what it can be, the beginning of your next great adventure.

Visualize how you want the day to go

Along the same lines as reading something inspirational, visualizing how you want your day to be is an amazing way to achieve your goals. Just ask any pro athlete  and the truly great ones will tell you they consistently visualized themselves achieving their goals before achieving them.

Play with your dog or cat

If you have a pet it is no great secret that petting them and spending time with them will make you feel better. Scientific studies have also shown that owning pets can reduce blood pressure  and stress among other things.

Give yourself enough drive time

If you have followed the advice in Travel Nursing Checklist Item #26: Finding the hospital you will have already mapped out your route to the hospital so you have a head start. However you know what kind of traffic there is in a new city so give yourself plenty of time to get to the hospital. Starting the day rushed is not how you want to start a travel nursing assignment.

Listen to your favorite music on the way to work

Whether it is a hard rock song or show tune, listening to your favorite song or b and on your way to work is a great way to get you in the right mindset and get your blood pumping for the day. Just be careful not to speed. You don’t want to be late for your travel nursing job on the first day.

Write in a journal

In addition to simply recording all the things you have done on your adventures as a travel nurse, keeping a daily log of your thoughts each morning is a great way to stay in control of your thoughts and emotions.

Breathe fresh air

If the weather allows always try to start the day with the windows open. There is nothing more refreshing than breathing in fresh air. Breathing in fresh clean air helps you feel more energetic and alive so what a great way to start each day.


These are just tips to the perfect morning routine to help you get off to a great start on your travel nursing job. Remember though that everyone is different so if you have a routine that works for you then stick with it, but if you want to try something new try some of these ideas.

Stay tuned for the next step in the Ultimate Travel Nursing Checklist.

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