What makes a good nurse? You know your skills are in-demand and you have job security. But you’re worried about all the stories you hear about burnout. You want to be sure you have the qualities it takes to stay in this position for the long haul. What are the qualities that separate the best nurses from the rest of the team? We think there are 10.
What Are The Best Qualities in a Good Nurse?
#1 Caring and Empathy
Caring and empathy are key traits for anyone on the clinical team. While many nurses choose their profession because of job security, you must be able to empathize enough with patients to offer them the care they need. The nurses that have this quality will do better in their profession, score higher on patient satisfaction scores, and have more opportunities than those that don’t.
#2 Knowing Where Work Ends and Home Starts
When you’re a nurse, leaving work at work can sometimes be hard. But the best nurses know when to leave the office at the office, and go home and enjoy their life. That’s what the nurses who have been in the profession a long time share with their more junior colleagues.
#3 Communication Skills
Today, every profession requires communication skills. It’s even more true for nurses, who must clearly communicate with patients to understand their health. Then they must communicate with the rest of the care delivery team. Then back to the patient, to convey sometimes complex health-related care information. Without communication skills, the job itself falls apart, and healthcare outcomes suffer.
#4 Attention to Detail
This trait should be obvious to anyone going through nursing school. Failing to pay attention to important details can literally harm patient care. The best nurses come to their shift with a focused mindset and extreme levels of attention to detail.
Every shift and every patient bring problems you must solve. Learning to troubleshoot these obstacles is a critical part of every experienced nurse’s toolkit. This is a skill that also gets better over time. The more you know, the better you are at solving nursing problems.
Stamina is an important part of an eight or 10-hour shift. Nurses are on their feet, they’re lifting, they’re handling stress. Did you know most nurses lift an average of 1.8 tons (that’s basically a hippo) on every shift? It takes real physical and mental stamina to handle the typical nursing job.
#7 A Sense of Perspective—and Humor
If you can’t laugh about a troublesome patient (or doctor), you’re not going to make it. Nurses handle both mental and physical strain, but the best ones do it with humor and perspective. Bringing cheer to a tough job helps the entire team, patients, and their families.
#8 A Learning Mindset
Healthcare is changing. New technologies coupled with research into new best practices require that nurses keep an open mind about learning new things. Given that credentials must be renewed periodically and that procedures often change in hospitals, having the willingness to learn is a standard part of the job.
#9 Patient Advocacy
The unwritten rule of nursing is that you are an advocate for the best possible patient care delivery. You are there, after all, for the patient. Being a strong advocate for the best interests of your patient while mitigating any other circumstances affecting the situation is an important part of what makes a good nurse.
#10 Critical Thinking
This is a job that engages all of you; your skills, your experiences, and your physical and mental self. That’s why nursing is one of the best professions—boredom isn’t really much of a problem in this job. Having critical thinking skills is a cornerstone of this profession.
Do You Have These Qualities To Become a Great Nurse?
How do we know so much about the nursing profession? We are The Custom Group of Companies, the nation’s leading staffing agency for healthcare professionals. If you’re considering your next healthcare career move, call on us. We’re here to help.
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