11 Qualities of a Good Nurse

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Here are 11 qualities of a good nurse. Nursing is much more than just taking care of people; it is made up of the little things that make it such an important profession. From time management skills and being a hardworking individual, to empathy and curiosity.

two Madonna ABSN students in sim lab

It is beneficial for someone interested in becoming a nurse to be aware of what qualities make a good nurse. Knowing the qualities you already have allows you to improve on the ones you lack. As a student in Madonna University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, you will have the opportunity to hone these skills and understand why they are so important.

Registered nurses (RNs) are the largest healthcare profession in the nation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 3.2 million RNs, with an expected growth of 6% between 2021 and 2031. Understanding the qualities of a good nurse will help hospitals and healthcare centers hire the right people for job retention and satisfaction. It can also help the right candidates understand if they have what it takes to become a nurse. Read along as we discuss 11 qualities of a good nurse and see how this can apply to your career and life.

1. Empathetic

With the high volume of patients that nurses treat daily, it can be easy to think of them as tasks on a list instead of people with moods and feelings. Being able to show empathy to each patient and treat them with dignity and patience will help the patient emotionally and can lighten the load of stressful shifts. Being empathetic can be as simple as taking the time that each patient needs to assess their condition and being able to move on and do it again and again.

2. Time Management

Each shift as a nurse can be completely different from the previous one. With multiple patients and tasks to fulfill, nurses are always on the go, which can be very stressful. A great nurse understands the importance of managing tasks efficiently, achieving patient satisfaction, and still finding time for a break.

3. Flexibility

Science is constantly changing and improving thanks to newly published research or updated technology. One of the qualities of a good nurse is always being open and adaptable to improved procedures and systems. They must be receptive to new methods and practices, which can help improve their job and the overall patient care process. Flexibility is valuable when applying for jobs in a different specialty than the one you may be used to.

Madonna nursing student working with stethoscope on sim manikin

4. Effective Communicator

Nurses are the liaisons of communication in healthcare settings between physicians, patients and their relatives, and other nurses. Good communication will prevent errors and misinformation, which improves patient care and the overall flow of the work environment. Among the qualities of a great nurse is communicating clearly and efficiently to convey the intended message to each party.

5. Optimistic

As mentioned before, hospitals can be very stressful settings, not only for nurses but also for patients and their relatives. A nurse that can be optimistic in challenging situations will feel less overwhelmed and help keep the work environment less heavy. Nurses that find humor in stressful situations can light up people’s days because positivity is contagious.

6. Critical thinking

When you participate in Madonna’s ABSN program, you will learn and be tested; but the real test is how you respond in high-stress situations. In-person skills and simulation labs for ABSN students can provide mock clinical scenarios to hone responses to different patient care situations. Clinical rotations at leading local healthcare facilities provide opportunities to practice your in-the-moment judgment. One of the qualities of a good nurse is being able to think clearly while assessing the situation and choosing the right solution. Critical thinking within a nursing context is not learned overnight; it takes practice and patience to develop.

two Madonna ABSN students sitting reading a textbook

7. Hardworking

Being a nurse is no small task, and good nurses keep themselves busy. One of the qualities of a great nurse is going above and beyond, not only for the good of the patient but for the overall success of the workplace. A good nurse will not drag their team down – they will lead and ease the load.

Madonna ABSN student working with sim manikin

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8. Detail-Oriented

Nurses are constantly on the go, and it can be easy to rush through tasks. A good nurse pays great attention to detail; even if they are working at a fast pace, they know how to be careful and what to look for. They ensure everything is done correctly before moving on to the next item.

9. Problem-Solving

Nursing students in Madonna’s ABSN program can practice their newly gained knowledge at the simulation and skills labs and implement it during their clinical rotations. Even though the program seeks to prepare students for various scenarios, there are always unexpected situations in the workplace. One of the qualities of a good nurse is being able to think on the fly, assess the situation, and figure out the best execution plan to have excellent problem-solving skills.

10. Willingness to Learn

No matter how many years a nurse has worked, there is always something new to be learned. A great nurse is not afraid to ask questions, do research on their own, or seek guidance from other nurses or physicians. In the same way, they are willing to share their knowledge with others.

nurse checking child patient's heartbeat

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11. Practice Self-Care

While nurses care for others, it’s easy to neglect caring for oneself. Nurses must manage their time, take breaks, rest, and eat to provide the best care possible. In addition, they should try to rest on the days they don’t work and do something that they enjoy to return to work recharged and ready to face any challenges that arise.

Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Nurse?

Do these qualities sound like something you might already have? Madonna’s ABSN program will give you the knowledge, skills, and experience required to become a nurse. These, along with the qualities of a good nurse you may already possess, will set you on the path to a successful nursing career.

Call Madonna University today to find out more, or fill out the form to have an admissions representative contact you.