The 7 characteristics of a nurse bound for success

Professions like nursing are rewarding, especially for the altruists at heart. As a nurse, you get immense satisfaction in helping those in need of professional care.

Together with flexible work hours and the potential for continued advancement, nursing is, as a whole, a great career choice. A study revealed that NPs, RNs, and LPNs on average had satisfaction rates of 94 to 96%.

However, as rewarding as it may be, the profession is also intensely demanding. To truly make the most of your job, you must have the necessary characteristics that set you up for success. We will now review those in this article.

  1. Passion to learn

For a nurse, learning is a life-long process. Healthcare never stops developing and to maintain ones’ competence, it is important that you keep your knowledge up-to-date.

With every passing day, technological advancements and developing treatment options are modifying healthcare provision. When you graduate, you possess only the necessary skills needed for basic-level nursing jobs.

To advance in your career, you should avail new learning opportunities through mentoring programs, multidisciplinary training, preceptorships, personalized courses, and degree programs.

Doing so lets you provide the best quality care to your patients. Secondly, with more advanced knowledge, you can progress further in your career.

For instance, with the RN to BSN Degree Online program degree, graduate nurses can enhance their clinical reasoning ability and gain knowledge about social justice practices in nursing.

With such degrees, you can aim for higher-level nursing career choices like case managers, health educators, and care coordinators.

The best and most successful of nurses are those most passionate about learning.

  1. Good emotional stability

Research shows nursing is a very emotionally demanding job. According to UK health and safety statisticsthe risk of anxiety, depression, and work stress is much higher in nursing than in other professions.

Since working with patients means a great deal of worry, frustration, sadness, and also joy or surprise, does it mean that nurses are bound to suffer mental distress?

Not at all. Good emotional stability ensures that nurses can manage their emotions and channel them appropriately. It is perfectly okay to feel sad or frustrated; successful nurses are just able to stay focused on the tasks at hand and redirect their emotions.

Research suggests that nurses who are emotionally stable can concentrate on important things to resolve clinical issues and ensure patient safety.

Although some are more emotionally stable than others by nature, this skill can also be acquired over time. There is a strong correlation between emotional stability and patient safety predictions.

  1.  Critical thinking ability

While it’s true that nurses operate as a member of a team, there may be high-stress situations where they have to think independently.

Critical thinkers are best positioned to make rational and independent decisions concerning the healthcare needs of their patients. When working with patients, you must be able to think on your toes about the best solutions to new challenges that arise.

You should possess the ability to think rationally and evaluate facts to come to objective conclusions about different solutions for clinical issues. Further education and training are the best way nurses can develop such practical clinical reasoning.

  1. Assertiveness

In a profession like nursing that depends on team participation, it is important that you have the assertiveness needed to express your thoughts. Assertiveness is the ability to put forth your ideas in a mutually respectful manner and to get others to consider them.

It is not to be confused with aggressiveness; as it is a manipulative attempt to benefit at the expense of others. Be assertive so that you can get your ideas across and earn their respect. In some situations, assertiveness is necessary.

For instance, if you suspect that a child is being abused at home, you need to report it to authorities without falling under pressure or being silenced by others.

Also, in a collaborative work environment, assertiveness indicates an eagerness to grow and learn.

  1. Efficient time management

Although nurses have a certain degree of flexibility in their schedules, nursing itself is a very demanding job. Nurses have loads of tasks to deal with; from checking on each patient numerous times, and responding to calls, to completing the necessary paperwork, and charting details.

Handling large patient caseloads in particular takes time and requires thorough scheduling. To work efficiently, you must have good time management skills.

One effective strategy for managing your time is to keep a checklist of all tasks that need to be done and to divide your time accordingly.

Research by the International Journal of Caring Sciences shows that effective time management improves productivity, minimizes stress, enhances efficiency, and provides greater opportunities for success and career achievement.

  1.  Open-mindedness

As a nurse, you’re bound to encounter people from all walks of life, and people whose values might be contradictory to yours.

There may be patients who refuse certain medical interventions like blood transfusion because of their religious values. You might have to convince parents who refuse vaccination for their children because of their supposedly irrational fears.

A terminal patient may not be willing to undergo an important surgery. In all such scenarios, you need to remain open-minded about the patient and tolerant of cultural diversity.

You should have the ability to deal effectively with patients from different backgrounds in order to provide effective patient-centred care.

  1. Compassion

Compassion encompasses both empathy and the willingness to play a role in resolving others’ problems.

A compassionate nurse is one who considers the unique physical and social needs of the patient and goes beyond their responsibility to help them out in every way possible.

Compassion can be expressed in something as simple as a smile, a comforting touch, a few words of encouragement, or pleasant eye contact.

Emotionally intelligent nurses are best positioned to offer compassion to their patients. Emotional intelligence here refers to the ability to detect others’ emotional states and to deal with them empathetically.

The foundation of any career focused on helping others is compassion.

Final words

Passionate, emotionally stable, compassionate, organised, and open-minded nurses are in the best position to succeed in this highly demanding profession.

The long list of characteristics that make a good nurse might seem daunting but it really isn’t as difficult as it seems. Engage in continuous self-evaluation and make a conscious effort to develop such traits.

Also, with experience, you’re likely to acquire compassion, time-management ability, and critical thinking skills unconsciously as well. So work hard and strive for the very best.

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