Have you been thinking about joining the nursing profession? If you have, you have made a wise decision. Nursing careers are among the most lucrative occupations today, and BLS predictions indicate that the demand for qualified nurses will continue to increase for many years in the future.
But just what types of skills and personal characteristics do you need to become a successful nursing professional? While there are actually many skills and personal characteristics that make a great nurse, described below, you will find the top five strengths necessary for success in the nursing profession.
Communication and People Skills
First and foremost, to be a truly successful nurse, it is highly essential that you possess both communication and people skills. While working as a nurse, you will be interacting with many different types of patients. Because of this, you need to be able to speak to them effectively as well as understand what they communicate to you.
You must also be able to understand and carry out the directions given to you by your superiors. Finally, since you will be working with a large variety of patients and coworkers, it is important that you are able to steer away from conflicts and handle difficult situations should they arise.
Empathy and Compassion
Another area of strength that is necessary for success in the nursing profession is possessing empathy and compassion for others. No matter where you may choose to work as a nurse, you will encounter patients experiencing a wide range of physical or psychological issues.
Because of this, you will need to interact with patients who may display a variety of emotions including fear, anxiety, depression, resentment and anger. To interact with them effectively and help them cope, you need to show them you care, try to understand them and help them to cope with their concerns.
Reliability and Flexibility
Reliability and flexibility go hand-in-hand as an essential area of strength necessary for nursing careers. Patients need specialized care every day, and your supervisors will count on you to show up on time each day that you are scheduled to work. Even if you are just a few minutes late for work, a critical task may not be completed on time.
Flexibility is extremely important in the nursing profession because you may often need to work overtime or on your days off. At times, you may also be asked to work on weekends or holidays. There may be occasions when you will need to work a different shift or in a different department as well.
Honesty and Trustworthiness
Nurses who are honest and trustworthy are some of the most valuable nursing professionals in any medical facility today. If you make a mistake during your shift, it is essential that you are honest and speak with your supervisor about the situation. The same goes if you notice a coworker make a mistake.
It is also of the utmost importance that you do not disclose any personal or medical information pertaining to your patients. Doing so not only goes against the nursing code of ethics, but there can be severe consequences for these types of behavior including, but not limited to, reprimand, the loss of your job or legal action.
Time Management Skills
There may be times while working as a nurse when you just feel overwhelmed with your work load. This can be especially true in medical facilities that are understaffed or located in areas with large populations. With that said, to be successful in your career, you will need to strengthen your time management skills.
The best way to handle a heavy work load is to look over your work agenda early in your shift and determine what tasks cannot wait. Perform these tasks first. If you encounter a task that you cannot handle on your own, do not be afraid to ask for help. Likewise, if a coworker seems to be struggling with a difficult task, offer your assistance.
To be successful in the nursing profession, there are many areas of strength that you will need to possess. In addition to those described above, you will also need such skills as critical thinking, good attention to detail and a strong desire to learn.