become a nurse

Ever wonder if you should become a nurse? Here’s the good news: When it comes to job security, nurses have it made. The United States is currently in the middle of a nursing shortage. This is partially a result of baby boomers retiring from nursing positions while simultaneously increasing the demand for nurses in retirement homes and other settings.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the registered nurse workforce will grow by 6 percent between 2023 and 2031. If you’re looking for steady employment, nursing could be a great option—but are you cut out for the profession?

Nursing is not one-size-fits-all. It requires a unique combination of qualities and strengths that enables you to care for patients in high-stress environments.

7 Key Qualities of good nurses

1. Empathy and Compassion

In any nursing environment, the ability to establish meaningful connections with patients and exhibit genuine compassion is of utmost importance. Cultivating empathy allows nurses to understand and resonate with the experiences and emotions of their patients. Also, you can create an atmosphere of trust and comfort, reassuring patients that they are in capable hands.

Compassion in nursing extends beyond basic medical care. It involves recognizing the individuality of each patient, acknowledging their fears and anxieties, and tailoring care to meet their specific needs. This may involve taking the time to explain procedures, providing emotional support during difficult moments, or advocating for patients’ rights and preferences. Ultimately, the ability to relate to people and demonstrate compassion not only enhances the quality of care provided by nurses but also contributes to positive patient outcomes.

2. Energy and Stamina

Nurses often find themselves working extended hours and being on their feet for extended periods. Having appropriate footwear is crucial in such situations. However, it’s equally important to maintain the energy and mental alertness required for the demands of each shift.

It’s worth noting that not all nursing positions entail 12-hour shifts. Once you’ve secured a job, you might discover that you can handle long workdays better than expected. Nevertheless, it’s wise to be aware of your personal limits to ensure you don’t pursue a specialization, like intensive care, that exceeds your physical capabilities.

3. Resilience and Emotional Health

Nurses often find themselves at the forefront of traumatic situations on a regular basis. The nature of their work exposes them to intense emotional experiences, which can lead to emotional burnout if not properly addressed. However, with the implementation of healthy coping strategies, nurses can effectively navigate these challenges and mitigate the risk of burnout.

To avoid emotional burnout, nurses must prioritize self-care and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Engaging in regular self-reflection, seeking support from colleagues and mentors, and participating in activities that promote well-being are essential. Additionally, practicing mindfulness and stress reduction techniques can help nurses manage the emotional toll of their work.

Related: Are you suffering from compassion fatigue?

4. Detail-Oriented

Reading patient records, administering correct dosages, crossing the Ts, and dotting the Is—if you’re working as a nurse, you need to sweat the small stuff. Make sure everything is done properly and on time so that patients get the best care possible and nothing is overlooked. You could say nurses provide quality control—in fact, quality assurance nursing is an entire field in its own right.

5. Science-Minded

Nurses need a solid grasp of human biology and basic biochemistry to understand the cause-and-effect relationships in the human body. This knowledge is crucial for administering drugs and immunizations effectively and supporting patients’ health. It should be actively applied in their daily nursing practice for years, going beyond exam preparation.

6. Interest in Continual Learning

For nurses, education is not a one-time event but an ongoing and integral part of their profession. Once you’ve obtained your BSN or MSN, it is necessary to continue your education to stay current with evolving medical practices and maintain your skills and knowledge.

By staying updated on advancements in healthcare, you ensure that your skills remain relevant and aligned with the changing landscape of medicine. Continued education empowers you to adapt to new technologies, treatment modalities, and evidence-based practices, ultimately benefiting the well-being of your patients.

7. Communication

Part of putting patients at ease is clearly explaining what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Communicating is vital in building rapport and understanding their needs. Nurses should possess excellent interpersonal skills to establish open lines of communication, actively listen to patient’s concerns, and address any questions or fears they may have. This ability to clearly communicate helps you get on the same page as your patients. Furthermore, it supports your collaboration with doctors and other medical personnel.

Have what it takes?

If you have these qualities and are interested in the medical field, nursing may be right for you. Whether you aim to complete your BSN or earn an MSN or advance to a DNP, we offer programs tailored to your needs and ambitions.