Nursing isn’t just a job, or a career path; Nursing is a calling. in order to become a successful nurse you must possess certain qualities that put you, far and away, among the best of the best. Obviously, a successful nurse is one who exhibits compassion. That’s a given when working in patient care. If you’re not a caring individual who wants to help people, you aren’t going to make it as a nurse. But, in order to rise to the demands, and reap the rewards, of the profession, you need to recognize, and hone, these specific qualities.
Qualities of A Successful Nurse
A successful nurse, above all else, must have an empathetic nature. Being able to recognize another person’s discomfort, pain, fear, sadness, and myriad emotions, is at the core of all else it takes to be a successful nurse.
Hospitals can be scary for most people. They’re a hive of efficiency and cool professionalism. Your patient, and their family members, need to feel someone cares, beyond the tasks required to aid in recovery. Offer a kind and soothing word, and a caring attitude. These small acts show you really do understand what’s happening, not only from a medical perspective, but an emotional one as well.
Pain and vulnerability are great equalizers. When even the most powerful person is suffering they simply want someone to help and to care for them. Your ability to show respect and allow for dignity, in all situations regarding your patient, is a prized quality and one which will make you a successful nurse.
Calm and Steady Presence
Nurses are counted on to make quick decisions, with confidence, remaining calm under pressure. You already know you have the knowledge to provide medical care and support to your patients. Use that understanding to calmly do your job, and make yourself a steadying presence for those around you, colleagues, patients, and their loved ones.
Attention to Detail
Focusing on the details is never more crucial than when you’re providing care to someone, and carrying out the instructions of their physician. A successful nurse knows the importance of even the smallest detail. It can literally mean the difference between life and death.
A well-honed ability to communicate won’t just make sure your voice is heard, it will make you a successful nurse. You are the one person on whom your patient relies to communicate what’s going on. You are tasked with helping your patient understand the often-complex nature of their medical care, and you are your patient’s advocate as well. Far more than a “go-between”, a successful nurse is the one spokesperson for both the doctor, and the patient. Excellence in your ability to communicate is essential to your career.
A successful nurse understands the importance of the job. You have been given a huge responsibility and your patients, and colleagues, place the utmost trust in you. You never want to do a haphazard job when it comes to patient care, or medical responsibility. As a successful nurse you need to be able to work your 12 hours, plus, and be ready to repeat the next day. Your job is a demanding one, one you can’t afford to perform in an irresponsible manner. Remember, however, to make self-care a responsibility as well.
You don’t need to be Speed Racer at your nursing duties, as that may lead you to be careless. Your swift response, however, is something that makes you a successful nurse. Your shift is going to be anything but calm and predictable. More often than not, you will be called upon to respond to emergencies and sudden incidences with knowledge and professionalism, strength, and composure.
As a nurse you will likely miss breaks, need to forego the occasional lunch, and power through backaches, sore feet, and sheer exhaustion. You’ll do it, though, because that’s the kind of superhero that makes a successful nurse. Just about the time you feel you’re going to give out, a patient needs you, and you rise to the occasion. Nurses must possess a great deal of stamina. Even if they spend their time off binge watching TV from the couch, there’s a special “nurse’s stamina” that’s called upon at every shift.
A Successful Nurse, or Nurse-to-Be
There you have it, all the most important qualities that make you a successful nurse. If you’re already on the path to your nursing career, you likely have these qualities and more. If you’re still in school, take the time to recognize these strengths in yourself.