After finally climbing to the top of a steep mountain, it’s easy to look around and think: “Now what?”
Spending months perfecting your resume, optimizing your LinkedIn, and wading through recruiter screener calls, interviews, and negotiating, has finally landed you your first remote nursing job! But after the dust settles, you might be feeling nervous, anxious, excited, or all of the above.
Read on for suggestions on how to prepare for your remote job mentally and logistically.
Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Imposter syndrome is a feeling of persistent self-doubt that makes it hard to believe that you deserve what you have. These feelings can stem from your personality traits or from experiences in your past. Many people who struggle with this phenomenon are perfectionists, experts, and they tend to avoid asking for help.
It’s likely you are feeling excited, nervous, or even undeserving that you landed a remote role. Maybe you see other nurses suffering at the bedside and feel survivor’s guilt.
Even if you feel overwhelmed starting a new job, remember that you have done difficult things in the past. You’ve graduated nursing school, passed the NCLEX, and have worked as a nurse taking care of patients and saving lives. You are perfectly suited to rock your new remote nursing job.
Overcoming these feelings can take time. Give yourself grace as you make a huge life transition and learn the ropes of your new remote role.
Prepare For Lifestyle Changes
As you start your remote nursing job, you’ll be adjusting to the new perks and challenges of remote life. As we say at Nurse Fern, you’ll be able to drink your coffee hot. But, you’ll also be adjusting to Mondays and 9-to-5 life.
Here are a few changes to prepare for:
- Working a different shift length (going from 12 hours to 8 hours)
- Reconfiguring time to run errands, grocery shop, and go to medical appointments
- Adjusting to creating new family routines, or being there for AM/PM routines daily instead of a few times a week
- Being home for dinner every day
- Working more days per week (moving from 3 days to 5 days)
- Pushing more activities to the weekend
Set Up Your Home Office
This is where it starts to feel real! Your home office will be where you spend 40 hours of your time each week. Most remote nursing jobs require you to be in a dedicated office space with doors, so find where you’ll fit best in your home.
There are also many remote nursing jobs that will require you to be hard-wired into the internet. Start looking for coax outlets near your office space and extension cords. You can also try a hard-wired ethernet port to extend your hard-wiring capability to other rooms (assuming that has been cleared with IT).
Here are some home office ideas to get you started:
- A desk (sit-to-stand desks, for the win!)
- A comfy chair
- A footrest
- A keyboard pad, mousepad, and desk pad
- Your company may provide you with a mouse and keyboard, but you may be interested in an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, depending on your job functions
- Cord organizers for multiple monitors and/or a desk phone
- Sticky notes and a sticky note holder
- Your favorite pens (no one can steal them now)
- A sturdy water bottle
- Fidget items
- An aesthetically pleasing calendar and/or wall photos
- A small notebook or planner
Check out the expanded Nurse Fern blog post about home office essentials.
Ace Your First Day
Your first day will likely consist of general company onboarding. HR will familiarize you with company values and expectations, and company policies. This is an ideal time to ask specific questions about your benefits if you’re working full-time.
The first day may also consist of the following:
- Receiving and setting up your equipment
- Taking a drug test
- Talking with IT to ensure your equipment is functioning and you have access to your logins
- Meeting your individual team and some of your co-workers
With most remote nursing jobs, you can expect to dive into your workload on days #2-3, or later.
Make A Good First Impression
The best way to make a great first impression is to make it known to your team that you’re excited to be there, you’re willing to take on the workload, and you want to get to know everyone.
On one of your first days, you’ll have a chance to introduce yourself to your team. Try practicing using Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams (whichever one your company uses) to make sure your audio and video are on point. You can open practice rooms with any of these apps for a trial run. If you don’t have a Pinterest-worthy office space yet, feel free to switch on the background blurring filter. If your computer audio isn’t great, practice dialing into a meeting on a phone and then opening the app for a video. Practice muting and unmuting yourself to avoid any echoes in meetings.
Since you know you’ll be introducing yourself, prepare to explain to your team how long you’ve been a nurse, what specialties you’ve been working in, and the obligatory “fun fact” about yourself.
You Got This!
Now that you’re working on overcoming your fears, setting up your home office, and preparing for lifestyle changes, you’re well on your way to being ready for your remote nursing job.
Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishment and the hard work that got you here!
Interested in paying it forward? Refer a friend to the Nurse Fern LinkedIn Light-Up course.