Getting the First Result from EntityFieldQuery

EntityFieldQuery returns an array of nodes indexed by nid, so to grab a specific one (say, the first one) it’s easier to dump the ids into an array so you can pop the first one. Like:

  $node_query = new EntityFieldQuery();
  $node_query->entityCondition('entity_type', 'node')
    ->entityCondition('bundle', 'article')
    ->propertyCondition('status', NODE_PUBLISHED)
    ->addMetaData('account', user_load(1)); // Run the query as user 1.

  $query_result = $node_query->execute();
  if (isset($query_result['node'])) {
    $nids = array_keys($query_result['node']);
    // now you can grab $nids[0];

This post was helpful in figuring this out.