Starting a New Assignment Gracefully

One of the most difficult things for travel nurses is starting a new assignment – it is a time filled with promise and expectations, but it’s also plagued with anxiety. With careful planning and forethought, you can transition smoothly into your new environment.

Take advantage of every learning opportunity. Even experienced travel nurses actively engage in new employee orientations. At the end of your orientation, if you don’t feel comfortable working without your mentor, ask to be reoriented .

Avoid the rumor mill. It’s tempting to get caught up in politics and gossip when you’re new and trying to fit in, but you should never give in. Instead, assess the situation and develop an appropriate professional response, such as, “Is there a better way we can handle this,” which is a positive way of getting people to reflect on what is happening.

Get to know your coworkers. Build a positive team environment by offering to help colleagues in a difficult situation. Hopefully, they’ll return the favor.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Keep your eyes open. Observe the experts on your unit or in your practice setting. You can learn a lot by watching how they come to an agreement, handle difficult patients and interact with physicians.

Setting priorities will keep you sane. Learn to evaluate which needs are most critical and look for ways to delegate tasks that someone else can handle.

Take time off. Healthcare is a stressful field taking time for you will make you a better nurse.


Give it some time. When you get frustrated or discouraged, don’t give up on yourself or the institution, regretting accepting this assignment. Every assignment is different and you need to give yourself time to adjust.

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