Back to Blogs
International nursing students: what to expect in your first job as a registered nurse in the USA with Conexus MedStaff
Share this Article

From international nursing student to working professional: what to expect in your first U.S. role

  • Publish Date: Posted 10 months ago
  • Author:by Conexus MedStaff

Congratulations, nursing graduate! You have successfully completed your degree and now it's time to transition into the real world of nursing. As the top employer for international nursing students on an F1 visa in the U.S. with a 100% success rate in obtaining Green Cards for recent graduates, we’ve compiled our top tips to help you get prepared for your first role in a healthcare facility in the United States.

Embrace teamwork

Your first nursing role will likely involve working on a team of healthcare professionals in a clinical setting. This means that you will need to communicate effectively with your colleagues, such as doctors, medical assistants, and other nurses. As a team, you will work together to provide high-quality patient care, and this requires effective communication. Be sure to listen actively and share information clearly and concisely.

Learning never stops

Healthcare is an incredibly dynamic sector, and no two patient cases will ever be the same! With that in mind, you should be aware that your first nursing role will include a significant amount of on-the-job learning. No matter how confident you feel coming out of nursing school, there will be things that you have not encountered before. Make it a priority to learn as much as you can from your colleagues and seek out educational opportunities whenever possible. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you're uncertain about something, and never hesitate to seek guidance from your supervisor.

Self-care is important

Know that you will be working with patients who are in pain, anxious, and vulnerable. This environment can be emotionally challenging for a new nurse, so it's important to take care of yourself. Establish good self-care habits early on, such as regular physical exercise, healthy eating, and mindfulness practices like meditation or yoga. Additionally, make sure that you have a support system in place, whether it's friends, family, or professional counseling services. You can find more tips on how to take care of your mental well-being here.

Find ways to destress

Fourthly, expect to work hard and be challenged in your first nursing role. You will likely be asked to work long hours, deal with challenging patients, and work in high-stress situations. It is important that you find ways to manage your stress so that you can remain focused and effective in your work. Consider finding a mentor who has more experience in your workplace to help guide you in navigating the challenges of your new role.

Stay positive

Remember the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and approach to your work. Patients will be looking to you for assistance and support, and they will rely on you to advocate for their health and well-being. Even when you may feel overwhelmed or stressed, it is important to approach every patient interaction with empathy and professionalism. Remember that you are making a difference in people's lives, even in the smallest of ways.

Keep up to speed with healthcare developments

Make it a priority to stay up-to-date with new advances and technologies in nursing. Continuing education is important in the healthcare field and will help you keep your skills sharp. Explore different professional organizations that align with your interests and specialties. These organizations offer valuable opportunities for networking, continuing education, and professional development. For example, we provide our nurses with access to Conexus Academy, with personalized learning opportunities that align with your career advancement and growth ambitions, to support your goals as a healthcare professional.

Be inspired by your colleagues

As a newly-graduated nurse, you can be certain of one thing: your colleagues will all have walked in your shoes when they began their career! They will have plenty of advice and stories to share with you, based on their personal experience. Michael moved from Nigeria to study nursing in the U.S., and he’s now excelling in his career as a critical care registered nurse, a role he found through Conexus MedStaff. You can read his story here. Mia is another exciting example of a student nurse who found the perfect nursing career with Conexus MedStaff after graduating. Read her story here.

Entering your first nursing role can be an exciting, yet challenging time. Launching your new career in the U.S. with the support of an experienced agency can help you get off to a great start. Conexus MedStaff helps newly-graduated international nursing students secure their ideal roles in healthcare facilities across the country, with competitive salaries, opportunities for enticing bonuses, and access to continued education units that enable you to refine your expertise while you work. As a member of the Conexus MedStaff international healthcare professional community, you’ll have our full support every step of your career journey with us, right through to getting your Green Card and starting your new life in the U.S.


Conexus MedStaff is a top employer for international student nurses on an F1 visa looking to start a U.S. career, with exciting opportunities to work in healthcare facilities throughout the country. Find out how we can help you start your career as a nurse in the United States.