The benefits of becoming a nurse are commonly talked about, with perks like high job demand and great pay being the most obvious advantages. However, not many people talk about what it takes to be a good nurse, and while nobody is “born with what it takes” and everyone can learn the skills needed to get the job done, it helps to know which qualities are good for nurses to have before you seriously commit to that career path. For example, veterinarians have to deal with animals, so you might want to be good with animals for that to be an enjoyable career choice. Likewise, if you already have any of the following 5 qualities, you might find that becoming a registered nurse (RN) will suit your existing personality traits:

1. Ability to Work Flexible Hours

Just like doctors, nurses are often called in on the spot, with many RNs working full-time on call. This means that you could be called into work at any time of the day or night to cover a staff shortage. Luckily, the process of obtaining an entry level nursing degree or even a master of science in nursing online is a bit more flexible, as you’ll be able to study and work on your own time.

2. Great Communication Skills

Of course, being that you’ll be dealing with dozens of co-workers and patients, you’ll need to be an effective communicator. Nurses are often called upon to provide comfort or explain important facts about the patient’s treatment. Being able to relay information in a friendly and accurate manner is therefore paramount, especially when working in an emergency care setting where even one small miscommunication could result in a serious mishap.

3. Emotionally Stable

As a nurse you’ll inevitably encounter a wide range of personalities and attitudes when dealing with so-called “problem patients,” some of whom can become irate and express irritability, anger, grumpiness, and a  range of other negative emotions that sick or injured people often experience. It’s your job as a healthcare professional to keep your cool regardless of the circumstances. Many newer nurses have a bit of trouble with this initially, which is why most hospitals prefer to hire nurses with experience. On the other hand, somebody who is pursuing a master of science in nursing is probably already very familiar with how to handle these types of situations.

4. Care and Empathy

Patients wants to feel comfortable and doctors want their patients to be relaxed and in a good mood to facilitate smooth procedures and a higher chance of healing. For this to be a routine occurrence it is important for the nurses to exercise care and empathy for their patients, showing through words and actions that they genuinely care about providing the best service possible.

5. Pays Attention to Detail

In a hospital setting even one small mistake could be disastrous, and overlooking something or failing to recognize a symptom is certainly considered a nursing error. Nurses need to pay attention to more than just the patient’s vitals. They must have a strong memory in order to recall proper dosage amounts, names, room numbers, and a plethora of other small details that make huge differences. Of course, this is a trait that can be learned as well.

Building on the Above

In closing, if you’re feeling a little less confident about some of the qualities listed above, don’t fret because you’ll have 2-4 years to strengthen them during the pursuit of your degree, depending on whether you choose to pursue an entry level degree or take the longer, yet more ambitious route of obtaining masters of science in nursing. The point is, it is a gradual process, so you’ll have time to build on the above areas.


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