‘Every nurse was drawn to nursing because of a desire to care, to serve, or to help.’ -Christina Feist-Heilmeier

Nursing is a work of heart and it’s more of a calling than a career. There is no doubt that nurses should have sufficient knowledge, good education and practice. However, there are other qualities and traits of a great nurse which are more interpersonal.

The best thing which could happen to you in a professional plan is to love what you do for a living. It cannot be more accurate when it comes to the nursing profession. Working as a nurse is not easy and it can be really demanding and unforgiving. Therefore you need to have your internal motivation and drive (apart from getting your paycheck) as well as personality qualities which make an exceptional nurse. 

Here Are The Top 6 Qualities And Characteristics Of A Great Nurse:

Empathy

Empathy is the number one quality of a great nurse. Being empathetic means being able to feel and understand what the other person is going through from their point of view. Putting yourself in your patients’ shoes and trying to understand their experience through their perspective is really important for nurses. Nurses work directly with vulnerable people on a daily basis. In most cases, those people are helpless chained to their hospital bed and need more than physical help. A good nurse has the ability to read those signals on their faces, pause their chores for a minute and understand what is going on. It could be just a one minute chat with the patient which could brighten up his/her day and change the entire experience in the hospital. Great nurses use their superpowers of reading other people’s feelings and use it to help them with their journey – physically and mentally. 

Solid Stamina and Strong Character

Another great quality of a nurse is having a solid stamina and staying strong in difficult situations. Nursing is a great profession which brings many positives, but it also has its cons and down moments. Long day and night shifts can be draining and exhausting, for instance. It required a lot of energy in order to make it through the shifts as they are almost constantly on their feet. Apart from the physical stamina, nurses need to have strong character and stable personality. There will be situations which are not so pleasant to watch and experience, but nurses are always on the frontline. It is a bit illogical to want to become a nurse when you blackout after seeing a few drops of blood, for example, or if you’re getting disguised from unpleasant views.

Communication Skills 

Without any doubt, communication skills are crucial in the nursing profession. Whether you communicate with your coworkers, senior staff or patients, you need to be able to express yourself clearly and be confident in your words. When it comes to patients, effective communication can sometimes be the only way of solving a particular health issue. Patients and their families rely mainly on their nurse. Some of the traits of a great nurse are being supportive and able to effectively advocate for the patient in case of a problem or concern.

Desire to keep learning

If you expect that the theory you were taught in years 1-4 of uni is enough, you’re not ready for a nursing profession. Medical knowledge, new discoveries and experiments, the rapid advance of technology, are fast changing factors in the healthcare field. This industry is constantly changing, and a great nurse should be able to change with it. Being a nurse means being flexible. Have the desire to know more, to read more, to observe more, as there are always new things to learn about and improve your skills.

Problem solving skills

Another characteristic of a great nurse is to have a clear mindset and ability to think quickly in problematic situations. Anticipating problems and providing an adequate solution is a great trait of a nurse and it will be extremely helpful in difficult and complicated situations. Two days in a hospital are never the same, therefore flexibility in the way of thinking and a solution oriented mind are some great assets for nurses to have. Creating a solution for every issue that pops up on a daily basis is a hard job. If done in a right and adequate manner, however, it will ease both nurses and patient’s lives. 

Commitment 

Being extremely hard working, nurses are known for their never-ending diligence. This is an exceptional characteristic of a great nurse which is highly required having in mind the essence of the nursing job. Nurses know that a 9 to 5 job is far away from the truth and their responsibilities are constantly changing and ongoing. Sometimes they need to stay longer hours when the situation requires and be up and running to do it again the next day.
In order to be a great nurse, you need to be committed and connected on a deep level with your job.

There are things which could be learned and developed in time, but it is really important to have a good understanding of yourself before getting into this great but hard profession. Nurses need to be not only caring and compassionate, but also capable of handling difficult situations, providing solutions and understanding what is right for the patient.

Nurses, you are one of a kind and we love you for all your efforts and hard work! Thank you for being!

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