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12 Characteristics of Brilliant Registered Nurses

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a great nurse? Maybe you’ve always wanted to enter a healthcare career, but you’ve always questioned if you’re the right kind of person for the job. You don’t have to wonder anymore – if you tick off these twelve characteristics, then you have what it takes to be a brilliant registered nurse. 

1. An Eagerness to Learn 

Becoming an RN takes a fair amount of education. While you don’t need to pursue a master’s or a doctorate like you would if you were to become a nurse practitioner or a doctor, you still need to work hard and attain excellent grades during your degree. 

If you already have a bachelor’s in a non-relevant subject, you can find an online nursing degree for non nurses. Just because a course is shorter doesn’t mean it’s any less challenging, though. As long as you have a genuine eagerness to learn, you should do just fine.  

2. Genuine Compassion 

The best nurses are those who genuinely care about their patients – not those who put on an act, impatiently waiting to take off the mask at the end of the day. With real compassion, you are more likely to work hard and put effort into care no matter how the day is going. Plus, it’ll help you push through the tougher shifts, as you’ll have a real investment in how the patients are feeling.

3. Endless Patience 

Patience is a must for any great nurse. Patients aren’t always easy to deal with; in fact, some of them can be incredibly difficult, making a nurses’ job even harder. It’s important, though, to stay patient and calm at all times. After all, nurses are there to provide care, even to those who don’t seem to want it! 

4. Self-Care Skills 

Nurses need self-care skills due to the amount of work they have to put in each day. It’s no walk in the park – they have to care for, clean up after, and calm patients while making sure all their other tasks are complete. With the right amount of self-care skills, registered nurses avoid getting too stressed about work. That involves eating well, exercising regularly, and making time for yourself. 

5. A Sense of Humor 

Working with sick patients every day can become overwhelming, especially if you let it get to you. It’s crucial, then, for nurses to have a sense of humor, even in the darker moments. By telling a patient a joke or having a laugh with your co-workers, you bring light to even the most challenging shifts. 

6. Professionalism 

As important as it is to stay positive and friendly with both patients and workmates, nurses must also always maintain a high level of professionalism. After all, vulnerable patients rely on them for healthcare. Some simple ways to be more professional include always wearing the right outfit, addressing everyone politely, and always being reliable. 

7. Interpersonal Skills 

Nurses have to communicate with lots of different people every day, and they must be good at it. Think about when you last received treatment at a clinic or hospital – did you feel more comfortable around the nurse that smiled and held a pleasant conversation or the one that didn’t look you in the eye? By having great interpersonal skills, you will be able to put the patients at ease, which is always helpful when providing healthcare. 

8. Unwavering Stamina 

Nursing shifts are longer than the average office day. While you might spend eight hours at a desk in an office, as a nurse, you could spend up to sixteen hours on your feet and tending to patients. For registered nurses, twelve-hour shifts are often the norm. For this reason, nurses need unwavering stamina, both physically and mentally. 

9. Excellent Time Management Skills

Nurses are endlessly busy. As soon as they are on top of their work, another bunch of patients comes in to make sure they never have a moment to rest. For this reason, nurses must have excellent time management skills. That means creating a schedule, following to-do lists, and keeping track of the day. By knowing how to manage your time, you’ll find the shift goes much smoother, and you might even have some extra moments to spare. 

10. Great Focus 

The focus you need for completing your nursing degree is only the start. If you want to be a brilliant registered nurse, you need to have great focus. No matter what you are doing, how much sleep you’ve had, or when you’ve last eaten, you must be able to focus solely on the task at hand. After all, the patient’s care is in your hands, so there’s no room for slipping up! 

11. Emotionally Strong 

Nurses play an excellent role in society, as they help care for the sick and injured. It’s not an easy role by any means and requires someone who is emotionally strong to face the upsetting situations that often occur. As a registered nurse, you are likely to witness loneliness, crippling sickness, and death. Don’t worry – being emotionally strong doesn’t mean completely switching off your emotions. Instead, it means being able to act professionally in these situations and not let them overwhelm you. Nurses often have to distance themselves from the sad parts of the role. Otherwise, it would become too much to handle. 

12. Truly Passionate

Being truly passionate is possibly the most important characteristic to have if you want to become a brilliant nurse. It’s not enough to like the idea of caring for others – to succeed, you must be genuinely invested in providing the best care you possibly can. With enough passion, you will go the extra mile and provide patients with the best care they’ve ever seen.

Becoming a great nurse isn’t as simple as getting a degree and finding a hospital or clinic to work in; it takes genuine passion, endless drive, and sincere compassion. If you possess most of these eleven characteristics, you may have the kind of personality that makes a brilliant registered nurse.

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