17 Qualities that Make a Good Nurse

Nurses play a crucial role in the modern healthcare system. Unlike most professions, nursing requires a type of personnel that is quick to meet the needs of others. The healthcare industry asks a lot of nurses, and having the right qualities is vital in ensuring they do the job well. 

Here are the traits of a good nurse:

1.      Compassion 

Compassion is showing concern for other people’s sufferings or misfortunes. Great nurses try to understand their patient’s pains and take pride in providing the needed comfort during times of suffering. Compassion and empathy help a nurse identify with the patients and make them understand they are in good hands.

2.      Emotional stability 

To remain as effective as possible, nurses must maintain a high level of emotional stability. If the nurses are overcome by emotions or remorse in adverse situations, their ability to take care of the patients could be negatively affected. 

3.      Good communication skills

The importance of good communication skills in the healthcare sector can never be emphasized enough. Nurses are the source of reference for doctors, family, and patients. Lack of communication can lead to serious consequences such as failure to document allergies, missing details on the patient’s discharge paperwork, and others. Also, communication therapy can make the patients feel better and convey their worries.

4.      Eagerness to learn 

With the medical field constantly evolving, nurses need to continue learning to reach their potential. This is especially true in specialty areas like emergency medicine and critical care. Most hospitals will allow new graduates to gain valuable experience from experienced nurses or mentorship programs. Great nurses should have the desire to learn and drive to stay up to date with the developments in their field of specialty.

5.      Flexibility 

Every employee wants to be off duty during weekends and holidays, which is great as it helps to reduce work-related stress. However, employees have to be flexible in sectors that provide around-the-clock services. Nurses might be required to do a few extra hours when things get busy.

6.      Open-mindedness

Nurses meet all kinds of patients. Some patients won’t take vaccines; others won’t accept blood transfusion – the list is endless. Great nurses understand that patients have the right to make their own decisions regarding their health. Modern nurses must also care for patients from different cultures and with varied beliefs.

7.      Problem-solving skills

The healthcare sector is quite challenging, and there are problems to be solved daily. These problems range from simple to complex ones, and nurses must be in the right frame of mind at all times to solve them. The best nurses find solutions to the problems and enjoy seeking the best solution and implementing it.

8.      Respect

The best nurses know their patients are people with hope, dream, and aspirations, just like the rest of us, and they are important to the community. Also, nurses deal with people from different backgrounds who may not be friendly or the best communicators. In these cases, they have to remain respectful.

9.      Multitasking skills

Nurses have to multitask when things get busy, and they feel like they are falling a bit behind. For instance, nurses might find themselves in situations where they have to assess the condition of a new patient, coordinate with co-workers and update their notes. Great nurses are comfortable doing more than one task at a time.

10.  Confidentiality 

The confidentiality of a patient’s medical data is very important. This information should only be shared between healthcare employees when needed. This means nurses must maintain utmost discretion by not exchanging or discussing personal information with co-workers who are not assigned to the patient in question or even family and friends. 

11.  Passion 

Great nurses are passionate about their job. Nurses who don’t have passion won’t last on the job as they will eventually feel out of place. They must also be passionate about working with others as it can be tricky at times. Sometimes nurses are under immense pressure, and in such situations, their passion will come out as they will know that making the patients feel healthy is what matters.

12.  Ethics 

Being able to differentiate between right and wrong helps to navigate challenges and make the right decisions that will eventually work in the patient’s best interest. Whether it’s finding the right way to fulfill a patient’s wish or telling them the truth about their health condition, nurses have to demonstrate ethical behavior at all times. 

13.  Reliability 

The healthcare industry requires nurses to do what they are expected to do consistently. Most importantly, they must do it in the best way possible. Nurses are required to pick up where their team members have left off. For instance, a nurse may have to postpone a date night when an emergency arises.

14.  Physical strength 

Nurses have to lift objects or even patients and usually spend most of their time standing. Hospitals often provide equipment and protocols to simplify these tasks, but it does not take away the need for physical strength on a busy day.

15.  Assertiveness

Assertiveness refers to confidently getting your point across in an honest and respectful manner. However, assertiveness should not be confused with aggressiveness. Assertiveness is based on respect and aims to find solutions that work for both parties. Nurses should learn to express themselves with confidence and more effectively.

16.  Organizational skills

The best nurses have great organizational skills, such as keeping their workspaces neat, prioritizing tasks, and managing time effectively. 

17.  Personal care 

The healthcare sector can be draining emotionally, mentally, and physically. Great nurses take care of their bodies, mind, and spirit. They understand that taking care of themselves helps them care for others better.

This list of qualities that good nurses tend to share is long, but it shouldn’t be intimidating. Prospective nursing students should be thoughtful and take the commitment to a career in healthcare seriously. While introspection is always a good first step, it’s also important to recognize that while being born with certain personal characteristics can make some things in life a little easier, or a bit more challenging, the qualities that make a good nurse can be learned, nurtured and grown. A vocational school is the perfect place to start.