How to Be a Good Agency Nurse: Tips for Your First IntelyCare Shift

Written by Maggie Kilgallon Content Marketing Manager, IntelyCare
Woman in IntelyCare scrubs looking at her phone for tips on how to be a good agency nurse.

We know that you’ve worked hard to get through the onboarding process with our IntelyPro support teams and to start your first nurse shift as an IntelyPro. We also know that while it’s exciting to take advantage of a flexible work schedule, competitive pay, and quality benefits, it can also be nerve-wracking to go to a new facility, meet new people, perform new tasks, and take on new responsibilities. Plus, you might be unsure of what to expect when you take shifts with IntelyCare.

Well, we’ve got you covered! Follow this useful guide that can help you prepare for your first shift with IntelyCare, plus essential tips on how to be a good agency nurse.

How to Accept a Nurse Shift

Finding nurse shift hours that are available to you is quick and easy. Follow these five steps:

1. Open the IntelyCare app and navigate to the Explore tab. This will show you open nurse shifts in your area. You can scroll through to see the following information:

  • Facility name
  • Facility location
  • Distance from your home address
  • Shift date
  • Shift time
  • Shift rate

2. Click on a shift that interests you to get additional shift details.

3. If you’re interested in working the shift, click on the blue “Accept” button and additional information about the facility will appear on your screen.

4. If you want to work this nursing shift, you must click the blue “Accept” button again.

5. A pop-up screen will ask you to confirm that you agree to work the complete scheduled shift. Click “Yes” to accept. You will then see a screen confirming that you have secured the shift.

Note: If you click on a locked shift, the app will tell you why the shift is locked at that time. If you are having trouble accepting a shift, reach out to your onboarding specialist or

Prepare for Your First Shift

Here are some of our tips to help you get ready for your first shift.

What to Wear

Do wear:

  • Clean, well-fitting nursing scrubs
  • IntelyCare ID badge (make sure it is visible!)
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Minimal jewelry

Don’t wear:

  • Ill-fitting scrubs
  • Jeans or activewear
  • Open-toed shoes
  • Clunky jewelry or jewelry that is likely to get caught in a patient’s clothes

Note: You should also have clean, trimmed nails that are at an acceptable length.

Get Familiar With the Facility

Starting your first shift at a facility that is new to you can be intimidating. Not to worry. As an IntelyPro, you have access to an onboarding specialist. This person is your go-to for all your questions and concerns. If you are apprehensive about walking through the doors for the first time, your onboarding specialist can schedule a nursing orientation with a facility to review expectations and help you get familiar with the building, residents, staff, and documentation system prior to your shift.

Note: The best time to have this orientation is typically 30 minutes before your first shift begins.

After you complete your first shift, you will be assigned a dedicated IntelyPro Success Manager who can ensure you have everything you need to build a successful career with IntelyCare.

How to Use IntelyCare to Check In to Your Nurse Shift

When you arrive for your first shift with IntelyCare, it’s important that you follow the check-in protocols. Here is what you will need to do:

  • Arrive at the facility at least 15 minutes before your shift is scheduled to begin.
  • Open your IntelyCare app and confirm your accepted shift.
  • Head directly to your unit and find the head nurse in charge.
  • Open your IntelyCare app again and select “Check-in.”
  • Ask the head nurse or supervisor to provide a signature in the app, confirming that you have arrived for your shift.

That’s it! After you have checked in, the head nurse or supervisor will let you know what your responsibilities are and direct you where to go.

Note: You will also need a signature to check out of your shift.

Tips to Have a Successful Nursing Shift

From gathering technical information to ensuring you take your scheduled break to connecting with residents, there are a number of ways you can help make your shift a success. Want to know how to be a good agency nurse? Keep the following in mind.

  • After you check in, gather any login information and/or passwords you may need for the shift ahead, and make sure that they work. If you are confused about anything, ask the head nurse or supervisor for help.
  • Ask to review the facility’s Agency binder by asking a unit manager. Also ask to review the patients’ care plans.
  • Make sure you take detailed documentation of the care you are providing throughout your shift. This is critical! If documentation that you are responsible for is incomplete, you will be required to return to the facility to complete it.
  • Ensure all quality care and best nursing practices are being performed.

Make sure to take your meal break, and take it at the appropriate time. Ask the head nurse or supervisor what time that is and where you should go. You are entitled to your meal break.

Be yourself! The residents you care for during your first nurse shift will be the first people you make an impact on during your career as an IntelyPro. Make memories with them that you will carry forward with you during your IntelyCare journey.

This goes without saying, but it bears repeating: Nursing is a tough job, and nursing in a new place is especially so. Working as a team can help nurses get through stressful scenarios. Offer your support when and where appropriate — you may find you get even more support given in return. It’s good to remember you’re all in this together.

When your shift has ended, make sure you have addressed all your responsibilities or properly passed them on to the next shift.

Don’t forget to check out of your shift on the IntelyCare app with a signature from the head nurse or supervisor. To really make a good impression, thank them for any support they provided during your shift.

If you had a great shift, make sure to log in to the IntelyCare app and accept additional nurse shifts at that facility. You can also take a look at the many other available nursing jobs.

Trust the Process

The first time doing anything new can be scary, but it can be exciting too. Approach your first nurse shift with IntelyCare with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Our nurse shifts app makes the scheduling process easy and stress-free so you can spend more time and energy connecting with your coworkers and giving the best care possible to your patients. And when you’re at your best, you can enjoy your work and positively impact your patients and the facility.

No matter how your first shift goes, we are here to support you. If you need assistance, you can always call, text, or email your IntelyPro Success Manager. If you want to let us know how great your first shift with IntelyCare was, we are here to celebrate with you too!

Choose Your Next Nurse Shift Today

We know you’ve got a lot going on. Finding nurse shifts that work for you shouldn’t be a hassle. IntelyCare can show you how to be a good agency nurse and help you take greater control of your career with ease.