Nursing is a hard job, and for those who are new to the area, or want to train in it, it can be hard to know exactly what is needed to become a great nurse.
This is not a checklist exercise; many nurses are good at their jobs for different reasons and, depending on the area you work in, your skillset will be slightly different from other nursing professionals.
However, there are a few key things that all good nurses need to succeed in this area, and in this article, 5 of those will be discussed.
As a nurse, you will need to be interested in the academic area of nursing. Whether you got your nursing degree from a distance ABSN program or the top university in the state for nursing, you will still need to show dedication to ongoing learning as part of your job. That way, you will keep your skills up to date, be well versed in the most modern nursing practices, and will be aware of upcoming changes in legislation.
A confident nurse is a nurse who can deliver good care to their patients. As is the way though, confidence in nursing comes with practice, so if you are a bit nervous out of the gate in your first placement, don’t panic.
One thing listed in countless articles and surveys about what makes a good nurse is compassion.
Consider that whether you are working in a hospital or a doctor’s surgery, your patients are there to seek your help. In some cases, they will be frightened, especially if they are in discomfort. So, to ease their anxiety, you will need to showcase empathy and compassion. This will help your patients to feel heard and will benefit and increase their rate of recovery.
You will also need to show compassion to the nurses who are working alongside you and, of course, show compassion towards yourself. Take care of yourself, as this will help you to be a better nurse and will prevent burnout or mental fatigue.
As someone who doesn’t work as a nurse, a 12-hour shift can seem like an eternity. However, that is not the case. For most nurses, as soon as they step on shift, they have a mountain of paperwork to do, ward rounds, and other responsibilities.
So, one of the key skills you will need as a nurse is time management. You will need to be able to break up your day into chunks, each dedicated to getting a different task completed.
Nurses who are like Nurse Ratchet rarely do well in their lines of work. Of course, they are skilled professionals, but their inability to connect with other nurses and their patients means that they are often regarded as cold. It is worth noting, however, that being shut off from patients can be a sign of burnout, so if you were once caring and compassionate and no longer are, it may be worth taking some time off.
As a nurse, you will need to connect with your patients and your colleagues, to ensure that the patients receive the best care, and to make sure that your team is all on the same page.