What Makes a Great Nurse?

by | Apr 7, 2017 | Critical Care Nursing | 0 comments

If you’re thinking of pursuing a career in nursing, it’s important to make sure you have the right characteristics to be a good nurse. Nursing is a rewarding and inspiring career, but it comes with long hours and plenty of stress. Here’s a look at just a few of the important traits that make a great, successful nurse.

Caring and Empathy

The best nurses really care about the patients they’re working with, and successful nurses are able to support and comfort patients who are scared, ill, and vulnerable. Since being hospitalized or heading to the doctor can be emotional or traumatic for many patients, the ability to empathize with patients is also important. The ability to form an empathetic connection with your patients can be life-changing for a patient going through a difficult time.


Nursing takes patience, especially since many patients engage in behaviors that make their conditions worse. Many patients cannot or will not follow instructions that can help save their lives. Getting frustrated with patients doesn’t work, but working patiently with patients to explain their care can make a difference and increase compliance to care.

Physical and Mental Endurance

Being a nurse often means long days with little or no time for a break. You need physical and mental endurance to make it through the day. Exercise can be key in helping your body have the endurance needed to deal with long days on your feet.

Solid Communication Skills

Communication is essential for succeeding in any career, but it’s one of the most important aspects of being a nurse. You need to have great communication skills, which includes both speaking and listening skills. It’s important to ensure that patients understand you, but a stellar nurse will also ensure that his or her patients are clearly understood as well.


Every day on the job is different for a nurse. You’ll never know what will happen. This means you’ll need to be flexible and adaptable. Being prepared for anything is essential, and you need the ability to act quickly, even under pressure.

Organization Skills

Giving the right medications, at the right time, and in the right doses is one of the foundations of the job, so it’s essential that a good nurse have great organization skills. You must be on time and keep track of everything with no excuses.

Nursing is all about providing excellent care to your patients, and the above characteristics are ones that make nurses successful and special. Focus on developing these characteristics as you go through nursing school and you’ll be sure to have a successful career in this field.


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