Nurses have the honor of being among the top most respected professionals and having a deeply rewarding career. Over time, this profession has only grown in popularity and still has a high demand. With so many people entering this field, the job market is getting highly competitive and challenging. Therefore, those who wish to succeed in their careers must work on themselves and adapt certain qualities that set them apart from their rivals.
A good nurse works hard to ensure their patients’ outcomes improve and does everything to provide them comfort, relief, and ease during their stay at a healthcare facility. They advocate for their patients by helping them understand their treatment or illness and also acknowledge their emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.
If you ask people what a successful nurse is, you’ll find a range of opinions and answers. Some might say patient satisfaction, while others might respond with a lucrative salary or high job prospects. But on the whole, everyone respects this profession and wants nurses to succeed personally and professionally.
So, if you’re looking to be successful in your nursing career, having traits like the ones below can prove highly beneficial.
1. Willingness To Learn
With new studies, discoveries, and technological advancements coming to light each day, nurses must stay updated regarding all recent breakthroughs in healthcare. This industry is constantly evolving, and the only way to be successful at it is by transforming yourself along with it.
Although the benefits of nursing certification are various, they primarily include improving care, better job opportunities, and advocating for big changes in the healthcare sector. The best way to do this is by enrolling yourself in programs or courses that effectively increase your knowledge and skills in providing patient care. You can even register for certain certification classes online without putting your career on hold.
2. Effective Communicator
Nurses work on the frontline in healthcare. They are the primary communication link between patients, families, doctors, and anyone involved in providing patient care. Since they work in a setting where every little mistake can result in drastic and severe consequences, they must work on communicating clearly. This communication can be as notes or verbal instructions to other healthcare workers in the facility.
Additionally, these skills are highly beneficial when making patients understand their illness or prognosis. Since they’re not well-versed in medical terms, as their nurse, you must avoid jargon as much as possible and explain everything in plain words.
Effective communication is the key to identifying health concerns at the early stages and, consequently, improving patients’ outcomes.
Being empathetic means placing yourself in someone else’s shoes and feeling their pain, emotions, and reactions. This quality is critical as it helps nurses better connect to their patients by building trusting relationships. When nurses try to understand their patients’ feelings and experiences, they can better provide them with the necessary care.
Empathy is not necessarily a natural trait. But, you can practice it by consciously training your mind to think of every situation from the patient’s perspective. You can also inspire your coworkers to practice empathy in the workplace. Collectively, all healthcare workers can significantly reduce a patient’s stress levels and pave their way toward improved recovery.
A typical day as a nurse consists of doing multiple tasks and activities simultaneously. Nurses become versatile by working in various disciplines and performing different job roles. This is the ability to switch or adapt to another function or responsibility when the situation asks for it.
While creating a plan and sticking to it is essential to work in a healthcare setting, you don’t always get to carry out your duties according to the schedule. Medical emergencies aren’t uncommon, and you must leave everything behind to address these as soon as possible. Without the ability to be versatile, you can’t handle the rapid changes in the healthcare sector, and your patients will suffer as a result.
5. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is an essential skill for many professionals across various industries. It’s the ability to use logic and reasoning to solve problems that may otherwise seem impossible. While it’s not something you can learn in a classroom, you can still develop it through practice and experience. Nurses face challenging situations every day. You can’t find the solution to every problem in medical textbooks, so you must rely on your experience and reasoning to provide the appropriate care.
During emergencies, hospitals have limited resources, and you must make every decision quickly or risk losing your patience. Critical thinking skills are beneficial in allowing nurses to prioritize each task and develop innovative strategies that provide urgent care, regardless of available resources.
6. Time Management
Time management skills help nurses complete more tasks, stay productive, and reduce the chances of missing deadlines. Since they perform several tasks a day and treat multiple patients back to back, managing time is the only way to get it all done. Checking up on their patients, answering calls, managing medication, updating health records, and conducting the necessary tests—are all part of a day’s work. If a nurse misses the time for any of these, all the following tasks will also suffer.
Therefore, you must give particular importance to developing time management skills. These won’t just come in handy in improving patient care but will also make you more eligible for better job positions in the industry.
7. High Physical And Mental Endurance
As a nurse, you must constantly be on your feet—literally and figuratively. Despite having to move around from one ward to another, you can’t afford to get exhausted or take long breaks to decompress. However, you also can’t push yourself to the limit and become so burnt out that working every day becomes impossible. So, to improve your physical and mental endurance, you must take care of your health first. Exercise regularly, get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and eat a healthy diet to ensure your well-being doesn’t get compromised.
Besides physical exhaustion, working in healthcare can also take a heavy toll on your mind. Being constantly surrounded by sickness and death can heavily impact your mental health, so you must recognize its signs early. Seek professional health, or talk to someone so you can stay focused on treating your patients.
Several other qualities can help nurses become successful in their careers. But even if you focus on strengthening the abovementioned ones, you’ll have better chances of becoming a successful nurse.
Many employers look for these traits in potential recruits, so if you want to climb the career ladder, this might be an excellent way to do so.