Do you have memories of “fixing” your teddy bear with bandages? Or were you inspired to be a nurse in high school after a positive experience? Whether you’ve always wanted to be a nurse or considered becoming one later, ask yourself if you match these qualities of a good nurse.
Like many jobs, nursing is about problem solving and thinking ahead. Nurses assess the situation by picking up on clues about a patient’s health. Then they act on those clues. Good nurses use critical thinking while monitoring patients, providing care, contacting physicians and calling emergency situations.
Have you ever seen a nurse with years of experience who seems to know exactly what to do? It might seem effortless, but it’s because she’s able to pick up on the right clues and act accordingly.
If you’re looking into healthcare education, check to see if the school you’re considering includes a critical thinking course.
Nursing includes problem solving, but there’s also a people factor. Nurses address problems that not only impact patients, but also patients’ families. Because of this, qualities of a good nurse include patience, listening, compassion and acceptance of diversity. You’ll need these attributes to help patients and their families through difficult health problems.
Dealing with life, death and emergencies is a part the job as an RN. Remaining calm under pressure and keeping emotions under control is necessary to care for patients. Nurses develop coping mechanisms and talk to other healthcare colleagues to get through the tough situations. This is a nice thing about a team-oriented environment. However you achieve emotional stability in stressful situations, you’ll need to employ these strategies as you work as a nurse.
Wherever you choose to work as a nurse, you’ll need to be organized. This helps ensure that patients receive accurate care. For example, a newly licensed RN working in a medical/surgical unit of a hospital may have to care for seven patients on his or her first day. To handle this patient load, a good nurse needs to be organized and efficient right from the very beginning.
Communication (Written and Verbal)
Nurses regularly write notes in electronic health records (EHR), present at staff meetings and speak to physicians about sudden changes in a patient’s health. Because of these job requirements, RNs need to communicate clearly and succinctly. Communicating accurately, from spelling to medicine dosage calculations, is essential to providing error-free nursing care.
Your registered nurse training should help you grow and develop these skills and others. When you consider becoming a nurse, ask yourself if you have the qualities of a nurse—and if you don’t, if you’re willing to learn them.
Interested in learning more about becoming an RN? Find information through the Bureau of Labor Statistics.