Qualities and Habits That Make You a Great Nurse


Before you choose to take on a career as a nurse, you need to make sure that you have the right habits and qualities to help you succeed with this job. There are many different aspects that come with nursing, but no matter which career you choose to pursue, there are some qualities that seem to be relevant across all of them.

But what qualities and habits tend to do well in helping you succeed in the role of a nurse? Some of the best qualities and habits to consider include:


Empathy is just the ability to feel what another person is experiencing from their point of view. As a nurse, it means that you will put yourself in the shoes of your patient and try to understand how they are feeling and thinking.  

Not everyone is going to have the amount of empathy to others that is necessary to be a nurse. It takes quite a bit to understand the full range of circumstances that others may experience in life and how it will affect them. As a nurse, you need to see where others are coming from and be able to step in and provide the assistance they need 

Emotional Stability 

If you struggle to handle a lot of different things at once and aren’t good at managing stress and your emotions, then working as a nurse is not the best career choice for you. Nurses have to face a lot of tough situations all the time and if they can’t handle this while reigning in the emotions, it can just make the situation so much worse. 

Keep in mind that emotional stability doesn’t mean that you are lacking in emotions or empathy. It simply means that for nurses to give the right care and support that their patients need, they must be good at controlling their responses in order to focus on the tasks at hand. 

The good news is that emotional stability is a skill that can be learned, but it does take time and nurses need to be patient with themselves as they do this. They can remain mindful, balance perspectives, and reframe expectations to get the best results with their emotional stability.  

Communication Skills

All nursing professionals will find that good communication skills will help them to be successful in their careers. As a liaison between family members, patients, and doctors, a nurse will never stop collecting and then relaying very important information. If they are not good at communication, it could lead to dire consequences. 

The nursing professional needs to be good at communication through many different methods, including written and oral communication. If they put the wrong information on the charts, it could lead to a horrible reaction in the patient. If they are not good at sharing information with others, then they could say something that hurts a patient or their family. 

As a nursing professional, you can consider working on your communication skills. This will help you to take control and present information in a professional and helpful manner as well, giving you the best results possible. 

Desire to Learn

Nursing requires you to have a professional license so that you have the skills and knowledge to take care of others in a safe manner. When you graduate from your schooling though, you don’t need to know everything. You are expected to learn new things along the way as you get into your job and start working with other patients. 

The healthcare industry is one that is always changing. While nursing programs will make sure that you have all the right clinical skills, it is likely that most graduates will still need continuing education and practice to help them be successful. This is even more true if you plan to go into some kind of specialty field like infusion therapy, emergency medicine, and critical care. 

If you want to do well in this industry, you need to have a good desire to learn something new often. Each day on the job can bring about a great challenge and can help you to learn something new. Being open to learning new things and exploring everything in the industry will help you succeed. 

Critical Thinking

When you are a critical thinker, you have the ability to evaluate facts and come to some objective rational conclusions. It is a disciplined and self-directed way of looking at things, allowing nurses to prioritize the needs of the patients, troubleshoot issues quickly, and interpret data. 

For example, during triage, these critical thinking skills are going to be how a nurse will use normal diagnostic results to help determine if a patient with chest pain can wait a bit because they suffer from indigestion, rather than a heart attack. This allows the nurse to move on to patients that may need more help. 

This is a critical quality to have because while nurses are going to work as part of a team, their decisions need to be professional. Nurses may need to do a wide variety of tasks and making quick decisions to help the patients who need it the most is critical. This can also be a high-paced and stressful job, so the nurses must always be on their toes. 

Although not all healthcare settings are going to be fast-paced all the time, making decisions is something the nurse will need to do all the time. The good news is that while critical thinking will come naturally to some people, it is something you can learn to help you do better in this field. 

Choosing to Become a Nurse

Choosing to become a nurse is a great occupation. It allows you a way to help out those in need, have a great deal of diversity and challenges each day that you go to work, and can provide a good income. Take a look at some of the qualities and habits that make a great nurse to see whether this is the right career choice for you. 




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