Four Qualities Every Good Nurse Needs

Health care is always in need of great nurses. As with any other profession, specific personality traits and coping mechanisms make some candidates well suited to nursing. Some of these, such as determination and a genuine desire to help others, come to mind right away. However, there are less-obvious traits every good nurse should work to develop.


A good nurse must be respectful of other nurses, physicians, and especially patients. Patients usually come to a clinic or hospital anxious about what is wrong with them and frightened of procedures. This can make them edgy, grouchy, or outright belligerent. While no nurse should be mistreated, respect and straightforwardness are keys when dealing with these patients. Be honest with patients – say what you mean and mean what you say. Help them maintain calmness and dignity throughout treatment.

Attention to Detail

The best nurses are the most detail-oriented. Every patient is an individual, so nurses must consider the details of their cases at all times. A skilled nurse is comfortable administering exact medication dosages, dealing with complicated medical equipment, and interpreting patient histories. In the same vein, a skilled nurse listens carefully to his or her patients, knowing the smallest detail of what they say could greatly influence treatment.


Nurses are there to help ease a patient’s suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally. The best nurses have empathy that grows over time. You can show great empathy in small ways, for example, by holding a nervous patient’s hand, offering to bring them water or food, or making sure their beds are comfortable. Additionally, you can build rapport with patients by talking about their families, hobbies, and other topics of interest to them.

Grace Under Fire

Nursing is one of the most stressful jobs out there. The hours are long, the workload takes a toll on the mind and body, and some patients do not recover. This can wear down the most confident and experienced nurses.

As a nurse, you must always remain calm under pressure. Certain coping mechanisms can help you do that. These include taking short but frequent breaks during a shift and making time for quiet hobbies such as reading, which help center your focus.

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