5 Tips to Help You on Your First Day as an Agency Nurse

December 29, 2023
5 tips to help you on your first day as an agency nurse

The first days as an Agency Nurse can be quite overwhelming. Everything’s new, the people, the systems, the place. How do you do your best? But don’t worry! We’ve got five tips just for you. In this blog, ’5 Tips to Help You on Your First Day as an Agency Nurse we’ll help you make friends with your new coworkers and understand the systems. Our tips from the experts at Xpess Health, the top Northern Ireland Nurses Recruitment Agency will make your start as an Agency Nurse much easier. Let’s get you ready for an awesome first day!

Starting Strong: 5 Key Tips for New Agency Nurses For Day One

1. Make sure you have an induction

As a new face in a facility, asking for induction is essential. This is especially crucial if it’s been a while since you’ve worked there. Being punctual matters, as the person giving the induction might need to leave post-shift, or others might face emergencies. The induction provides vital insights into the unit’s layout, essential policies, and the whereabouts of important equipment and medicine. This knowledge is your compass on day one, ensuring a smoother start. Don’t hesitate to request this briefing. It sets the stage for success and equips you with essential knowledge for a confident beginning as an agency nurse.

2. Arrive 15 Minutes Early

Arriving 15 minutes early on your first day as an agency nurse is a game-changer! It’s not just about showing you’re keen. It will certainly help to get you fully prepared. Getting in a little early means you can dive into the handover notes. This goldmine holds crucial info like special medication needs and scheduled procedures. Take notes, and absorb everything. Being early isn’t just a good impression, it’s your secret weapon for nailing the day smoothly. This head start helps you kick off your day confidently, making certain that you’re well-prepared and ready to deliver top-notch care from the word go.

3. Invest In Comfortable Footwear

Yes, you read that right. Investing in comfortable footwear is something that you need to do. It does not only, apply to Agency Nurses but to the health care assistant jobs in Northern Ireland as well. When you are a part of a busy hospital, it means that you’ll be on your feet for for quite a large portion of the day. So, it’s understandable that you’ll be at ease if your feet are comfortable as well.

While choosing footwear, it’s important to notice that they are : 

  • Supportive of your feet (not too loose, but not too tight)
  • Breathable (lightweight, breathable materials keep your feet from getting infected or overheating)
  • Easy to clean (contaminants and spills are unavoidable, so you’ll need material that makes cleaning your shoes easier).
  • Protective footwear (ideally closed-toed shoes, as open-toed footwear cannot protect your feet from falling items)
  • Slip-resistant (in a crowded ward or during an emergency, hurrying can result in injuries if your shoes are slippery).

4. Be Organized

Being prepared is an important aspect of your nursing jobs NI. Make sure to pack your essentials like scrubs, and necessary documents the night before. Get a good night’s sleep and plan your commute to arrive early. Familiarize yourself with the facility’s layout and protocols. It’s very important to bring a positive attitude and an open mind to adapt quickly. Also, be ready to ask questions and take notes to grasp new information. By being organized and mentally prepared, you’ll set yourself up for a smoother and more confident start on your journey as an agency nurse.  Make certain that :

  • Make sure your uniform is clean, ironed, and hung up neatly.
  • You’ve packed your ID badge and other necessary documents.
  • Examine your shift location and the time it will take you to get there.
  • Check with your recruiter to see if there are any other requirements you must meet.
  • Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Starting as an Agency Nurse might feel overwhelming, but remember, everyone was once in your shoes. So, don’t hesitate to ask questions. it’s the best way to learn! Take a moment the night before your shift and jot down queries in a notebook. Leave space for answers as you ask about procedures, patient care, or where things are kept. This helps you remember and keeps you organized. Simple things like, “How does this system work?” or “Where can I find supplies?” can make a big difference. Being curious and taking notes will undoubtedly help you learn fast and feel more confident on your first day.

Ask questions like:

  • What are the log-in details for accessing software? 
  • How do I document client data?
  • Where is the medication stored? 
  • Where are the supplies stored?
  • How can I easily navigate the unit?
  • Are any of my patients in different wards?
  • Are there any items I should carry with me throughout the shift in case of an emergency?
  • In an emergency, who do I call and where are the emergency exits?


Attributes of a Successful Nursing Professional 


Always show respect and politeness to your coworkers and employees. You have no idea what difficulties people encounter daily, and your goodwill could bring them much more than a nice work engagement. Remember a small act of kindness goes a long way.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is crucial for nurses. You must listen carefully to patients, explain medical jargon in understandable terms, and convey information clearly to doctors and colleagues. Good communication builds trust, ensures proper care, and prevents errors. It involves being empathetic, attentive, and able to convey complex ideas simply. Nurses with strong communication skills create a supportive environment for patients and contribute to better healthcare outcomes.


Resilience is crucial for nurses. It’s about staying strong in tough times, bouncing back from challenges, and keeping a positive attitude. Nurses face stressful situations daily, so resilience helps them stay focused and calm. It’s the ability to cope with pressure, handle emotions, and continue providing excellent care despite difficulties