Skills and qualities of competent and successful nurses

A nurse must be caring

Many nurses decide to pursue a career in nursing because they value job security and wish to utilize it as a springboard for another profession or because they want or need new ideas or opportunities, but patients are most likely to notice the caring aspect of nurses. How naturally motivated a nurse is to sincerely care about their patients’ feelings and how well they carry out their duties will significantly impact how well they do in the nursing sector.

A nurse must be empathetic

Since they may care for so many patients over their careers, nurses may find they lose their empathy or forget what it means to be a “nonclinical” person. The ideal nurse possesses compassion for each patient and makes an honest effort to put themselves in that patient’s shoes.

Empathetic nurses view patients as human beings and focus on a person-centered care approach rather than merely following protocol. Patients are more likely to be satisfied with their care overall when they are fortunate enough to interact with a nurse who possesses these skills.

A nurse must pay attention to details

Nurses experience tremendous stress as they must balance adhering to physicians’ orders with using their knowledge, skills, and critical thinking to provide the best care for patients. Human error is almost inevitable when multiple patients are cared for at once.

A competent nurse is aware of the hazards and that, in contrast to many other professions, they are responsible for their patients’ health and, more importantly, their lives. The ability to pay careful attention to detail is one of the nursing qualities that will quickly and easily define how productive they will be in their work.

A nurse must have good stamina

The physical demands on nurses is one of the most underappreciated aspects of their work.

Few other occupations require workers to maintain their emotional and physical stamina during a standard 12-hour shift. Having this skill under control is essential to excelling as a nurse as it affects the patients, the nurses’ colleagues, and indeed the nurses themselves. Having enough stamina is one of the essential qualities of a good nurse.

A nurse must have a good sense of humor

Nurses who can find time for humor tend to do better in their physically and psychologically demanding profession. Because nurses deal with a variety of complex and high-stress situations, taking advantage of the ability to unwind and have fun may be a great stress relief.

A strong sense of humor may be used to express enjoyment and positivity with patients, their families, and other healthcare workers. A nurse leader should have a sense of humor since it encourages more openness and confidence when it comes to sharing ideas and issues because it helps patients and their families realize that nurses are also people. Patients and their loved ones appreciate every attempt to convey a little joy during trying and difficult times.

A nurse must be adaptable

During a nurse’s career, they might encounter countless situations that will require them to be adaptable. This means they should be able to mold themselves according to the situation as quickly as possible. Being able to manage difficulties and adjust their practices and demands in the face of fast-changing and unpredictable conditions is made possible by adaptability and resilience, two essential qualities that nurses must possess to succeed in their careers.

A nurse must be adaptable because the world is changing faster than ever due to rapid advancements in technology, diversity, and society. As a result, medical facilities need nurses who are welcoming to new ideas and adaptable enough to deal with difficult problems, like juggling competing priorities and workloads.

A nurse’s ability to respond to a crisis will improve as they develop more flexible skills. Every medical setting seeks a nurse who can blend in with the current workforce and has the daily flexibility to foresee, adapt to, and manage change.

A nurse must be professional

One attribute that makes an excellent nurse is professionalism. Effective nurses exhibit compassion, understanding, and devotion, and devote their careers to advancing themselves professionally and personally regardless of their degree in nursing.

In nursing, professionalism implies giving patients the finest treatment possible while upholding the values of accountability, respect, and sincerity. You can exhibit professionalism while on duty in six different ways. The first method is to keep a positive attitude at work, and although this might seem easy, it can be very challenging considering the hectic schedule that a nurse must follow. The stress from all the workload can get to you, but if you can maintain a positive front for your patients, then it shows that you are truly professional.

The second step is to advocate for your patients. Knowing your patients’ rights and fighting for them is another trait that shows your commitment and professionalism as a nurse. The third and fourth ways to show professionalism are communicating effectively and working as a team. All nursing staff members should use a clear and effective communication style. While conversing with patients, use straightforward language they and their carers can understand.

Additionally, be prepared to provide for an individual’s language and communication demands by making reasonable accommodations. Effective communication includes keeping accurate patient records, cooperating effectively with other professions, and devising effective handoff mechanisms.

Being a nurse will also require you to work as a team member. Therefore, learning to appreciate other people’s efforts and having a cooperative mindset are essential. You should be open to considering advice and constructive feedback and be at ease praising and constructively criticizing your coworkers’ performance.

The fifth and sixth methods of exhibiting professionalism entail maintaining personal integrity and delivering high-quality patient care. Individuals in the nursing field must uphold their integrity by taking responsibility for their actions and accepting blame when they make mistakes. Not only should you actively participate in the caregiving process but also be conscious of your weaknesses and ask for help when you require it. Also, if you make a mistake, you should be able to offer suggestions as to how to fix it.

Skills necessary to become competent nurses

Hard skills

Possessing expertise in a few hard skills is extremely important as a nurse because it can help you advance in your career. Including your hard talents in patient care on your resume demonstrates to companies that you are an expert in your fundamental nursing skills. Soft talents, on the other hand, are a representation of your intangible, qualitative, internal abilities. Such skills can be learned through continuous education programs and direct entry MSN programs, such as the one offered by Elmhurst University. This university offers aspiring nurses a unique opportunity to gain advanced nursing education through an online delivery mode, making learning easy and flexible.

Effective communication skills

Communication skills are crucial for nurses because they must deal frequently with their patients and peers, including nursing colleagues, physicians, patient relatives, and other hospital personnel. For nurses, communication includes not only verbal communication and writing abilities but also different factors, such as a nurse’s capacity to provide and receive feedback. Moreover, they should also possess the ability to listen intently, be able to express themselves clearly, and be responsive. Additionally, nurses should be confident and have positive body language. Therefore, a good nurse cannot collaborate with others without effective communication skills.

Problem-solving skills

Nurses face multiple challenging situations daily regarding patient care. To tackle these tough situations, nurses must acquire practical problem-solving skills. These skills also help nurses in decision-making as well as in raising the standards and quality of care. Nurses are able to properly analyze the issue and find the best possible solution and treatment for the patient. As a consequence, patient safety will be enhanced.

Time management skills

Time management is very important in every field; no less so in nursing. An on-duty nurse carries out multiple daily tasks, such as taking care of patients, administering medicines, overseeing equipment, and many more. Moreover, they also manage and handle multiple patents simultaneously. Therefore, nurses require effective time management skills to handle these daily tasks successfully. If nurses want to manage their time correctly, they must plan, set goals, prioritize their work, and require dedication.

Patient advocacy skills

Supporting patient rights improves patient-and-nurse relationships and helps them understand their requirements. For example, a nurse advocate can ensure a patient receives recommendations and advice if they require transportation, financial support, or an at-home carer. Patient advocacy is also a major component for securing advanced nursing positions post-graduation as it is a part of the Code of Ethics provided by the American Nurses Association. Therefore nurses need to possess this skill to succeed in their careers as a nurse.

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills or social skills are essential for nurses as they assist nurses in engaging with patients and their family members, and other medical staff in a productive, positive, and efficient manner. By acquiring interpersonal skills, nurses feel confident and comfortable working with others and in a team. In nursing, registered nurses who possess interpersonal skills can forge close relationships with their coworkers. In the long run, they will find great benefits from these ongoing partnerships.

Teamwork skills

The main motive for working in a team is to discuss the current situation and find positive solutions that will help improve a patient’s well-being. Nurses must work with their nursing colleagues and other medical teams to provide high-quality care to patients. To work with one another, nurses need strong teamwork skills, which requires open-mindedness. Moreover, nurses should also have the ability to listen to others and understand the different points of view of other team members, as well as have the ability to share their opinions.

Ethical skills

Nurses are involved in thousands of essential tasks each day. The choices they must make occasionally put their integrity as people and professionals to the test. The nursing Code of Ethics helps carers maintain a secure atmosphere for healing and take a comprehensive approach to patients’ needs. Ethics standards remind carers to treat each person with fairness and individuality while protecting patients’ right to privacy in ways that may not be immediately obvious. These principles exhort caretakers to speak up for people in their care and seek justice, in addition to accepting full responsibility for the tasks they perform as nurses. To be a good nurse, it is crucial to have ethics. Nurses must be able to recognize ethical dilemmas and reach moral conclusions while complying with the rules that govern them.


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