Nurses are the unsung heroes of the medical profession. While nurses may not often bask in the limelight, their roles are indispensable, and that fact figures to garner considerable attention in the years to come.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, a nursing shortage is expected to intensify as the Baby Boomer generation ages and the need for health care grows. That looming shortage may compel many people to consider careers in nursing. Such a consideration should include recognizing some of the many qualities that can make a great nurse.
• Effective communicator: Nurses often serve as conduits between patients and their doctors. As a result, nurses must be effective communicators. Nurses may be tasked with explaining complex medical issues and protocols, oftentimes doing so when patients may be at very low points in their lives. The ability to effectively communicate at such times can serve nurses and their patients well.
• Professionalism: Nurses often confront stressful situations while on the job. In such instances, nurses must be able to maintain their professionalism so they can calmly confront any obstacles they may encounter. That professionalism in the face of adversity can inspire others to remain calm, helping to ensure patients in need get the care they require and deserve.
• Time management: Many nurses work long shifts, and during those shifts, they are given a host of responsibilities. As a result, nurses must be skilled at the art of time management.
• Adaptability: No two nursing shifts are ever the same. As a result, nurses must always be ready to adapt to new and unique situations. That flexibility can help nurses to effectively confront and manage challenging scenarios, oftentimes while patients’ lives may be on the line.
• Critical-thinking skills: Some situations nurses confront are more urgent than others. In situations when nurses are not tasked with making quick decisions, they still need the ability to think critically and solve problems that can improve and inform patient care.
The nursing profession can be fulfilling and rewarding and is always challenging. Successful nurses meet those challenges by relying on a host of traits that make them uniquely qualified to handle the adverse situations they face each day.