With every career, some qualities make people a better fit for the positions available in those fields. These characteristics make it easier for the people who possess them to fill available positions. The same applies to medical professionals who should possess some qualities that make them a great fit for the positions they hold and therefore successful in their fields and positions. Nurse practitioners are invaluable to our healthcare systems as they are responsible for almost everything that pertains to patient care. Nursing is very challenging and so if you do not have the qualities it demands, it can be difficult to thrive in this challenging field. If you are considering becoming a nurse practitioner, here are some of the qualities that make for successful nurses.
Empathy is a quality that is demanded of every medical practitioner and it particularly applies to nurse practitioners. Nurses deal with patients and families at various levels of physical and emotional pain. The best nurses consider the pain and needs of their patients and their families, are sensitive to their patients and their families, and can put themselves in their shoes.
Empathy is so important because it is very difficult to put yourself in someone else’s situation if you have never been in it before. Empathy helps nurses do exactly that. Empathy allows nurses to respond to their patients’ needs appropriately, gently, and with a lot of care. Empathy does not always come easy for everyone but there are ways to practice empathy if this is an area you do not feel particularly strong in.
Mental and Physical Endurance
Nurse practitioners must have the psychological and physical endurance to handle their jobs. Nurses are always dealing with emotional patients and their families. They also have to deal with pain and death sometimes and all of these things can cause emotional burnout. Nurses have to also try to provide the best care no matter the situation. Dealing with difficult patients while trying to give the best care and handle stress all at the same time can take a huge toll on anyone.
The best nurses have the psychological and emotional fortitude that helps ensure these things do not get to them. One thing to remember is that we are all humans and there is no problem with taking a break when you are emotionally burnt out. The best nurses can recognize when they are close to their breaking points and step away for a few hours or even days.
Nurses are sometimes required to work long hours. Because most of their work involves a lot of standing and walking, nurses are required to have the physical endurance to get through some of the more challenging shifts.
We all feed off each other’s energy. When our energy is down, other people feel it and this can cause their energy to be down as well. A lack of enthusiasm can be a downside, especially when working in a hospital setting. Nurses have to be energetic, positive, and enthusiastic, especially when dealing with patients. Enthusiasm makes others feel great about the situations they are in, makes people smile, and can be the difference between a patient not feeling too bad about their situation and them giving up.
Because patients pay attention to how you carry yourself and for indicators that you love your job, the energy that comes from positive enthusiasm can go a long way. Enthusiasm can be combined with positivity when interacting with patients or asking questions.
It can be difficult to remain enthusiastic all the time as nursing can be very demanding, physically and emotionally. In these cases, a break to gather oneself before seeing another patient is always encouraged.
Outstanding Communication Skills
In healthcare, the ability to communicate clearly and listen intently can make a huge difference. It takes a lot of skill to listen to patients and understand exactly what they need. There is a lot of information to be gleaned from what patients say even when they do not say it straightforwardly and the skill to extract this information is one that successful nurse practitioners have.
Patients have better outcomes sooner when they know that their concerns have been listened to, heard, and are being taken care of. Active listening goes hand in hand with great diagnostic skills and nurse practitioners should practice therapeutic and diagnostic listening at all times.
Once the information is heard and processed, nurse practitioners should be able to communicate in a clear, kind, meaningful, and empathetic manner. Although communication challenges like language barriers, difficult emotional and mental states, pain, fear, confusion, and others exist, nurses should be able to leap over all of them to ensure their patients understand the information being passed.
Mentorship is one component of great leadership, where leaders cater to the needs of the people working directly below them. This can be through empowering and guiding them in their roles as new nurses and nurse practitioners. It is also about creating an environment conducive for continuous learning as well as personal development in all areas including theory autonomy, physical, mental and emotional development as well as their knowledge.
Nurse leaders also understand that even though they have to identify and provide learning opportunities and guidance to their mentees, they must also give them the autonomy to do all this on their own terms. This helps nurses avoid feeling micromanaged and the resentment that often stems from this.
Nurses who want to provide the best patient-centered care often treat and care for patients throughout their lifetimes. Providing care across multiple demographics is getting increasingly challenging due to the ever-changing environment. Nurses who want to thrive in these positions must be highly adaptable so they can deal with all the challenges they will encounter in their practices. Remaining adaptable requires that nurses are equipped with the skills to provide the best patient care no matter the circumstances, environment, or setting.
Earning a Doctorate in Nursing Practice is the best way for nurses to prepare for patient-centered roles that require a lot of adaptability and flexibility. To prepare for these roles, nurses can complete courses that equip them with the skills required to provide the best care for their patients regardless of the circumstances.
Nurse practitioners must embody integrity by being honest and transparent all the time. Integrity is a key component in getting both patients and co-workers to trust you as is remaining ethical and honest. Because of the nature of nursing, nurse practitioners often encounter situations that test their ethical standing. Nurses should no follow the rules in these circumstances and ensure they do it with their patients in mind.
Nurses are highly trusted and so it should be in every nurse’s nature to always be honest, ethical, and transparent and to do the right thing at all times. Integrity breeds trust and dependency from the people around you and this ends up impacting your job positively as well.
Most people do not see how creativity applies to nursing but creativity can be very important especially in circumstances where nurse practitioners have to come up with solutions to difficult challenges. Being able to use your imagination to come up with new ideas that move healthcare forward or afford patients better care is very important.
Creativity is also a key component of both problem-solving and communication. Nurses have to come up with creative ways to solve the problems they encounter every day. That may be dealing with rowdy patients or dealing with family members who may not be understanding. There are no strict manuals that guide nurses on how to deal with situations they have not been trained on or encountered before and this is where creative thinking comes into play.
Nursing is also very stressful. This can be daunting, especially for new nurses, but this type of stress gives nurses the chance to use their creativity to get out of or sort out challenging situations. Nurse practitioners thrive in environments where they are allowed to use their creative abilities to come up with solutions, innovations, as well as new ways to use existing technologies and equipment.
A Yearning for Continuous Learning
Nursing is always changing and this is one of the reasons why nursing can get so complicated sometimes. There are new procedures, technologies and leadership styles, and patient approaches coming up all the time. Successful nurses always stay ahead of what is happening in the field of nursing so that they can be the best nurses possible. Staying ahead in this way requires that nurse practitioners have a strong yearning for continuous learning.
This is perhaps the reason why there are so many certifications and degrees available for nurses who want to continue learning and level up their skills and knowledge. Many of these certifications and degrees are available online so that nurses can keep learning while working. For example, nurses can complete DNP programs online that endow them with leadership skills, evidence-informed patient care skills and so much more that makes them better nurses.
Nurse practitioners who work autonomously must always keep their patients in their minds. They should be aware of the responsibilities they have towards their patients at all times. If they have other nurses working under them, then they have to also ensure that these nurses understand their responsibilities towards their patients and their families.
Nurse practitioners and the nurses who work under them must be mindful of the medications, treatment options, and medical options available to their patients at all times. Doing this is important because it helps nurses understand the weight of the responsibilities they have to bear. Additionally, being mindful and remaining responsible at all times is important for autonomous nurses because they often do not have any physicians supervising them, and so any mistakes they make would go unnoticed.
Prioritizing and Compartmentalization
There are medical and patient care issues that require a lot more attention than others. Nurse practitioners should learn how to weigh the importance and significance of the issues in front of them and prioritize them accordingly. Identifying both primary and secondary concerns can make a huge difference in the level of care providers as well as patient safety and mortality.
Compartmentalization is the ability to deal with one issue at a time, ensuring that any issues or thought processes in the mind do not interfere with each other. Prioritization is a key component in compartmentalization because a nurse can focus on one thing at a time once they know the order to deal with the issues and challenges in front of them. Compartmentalization also allows nurse practitioners to pay closer attention to individual patient care and needs which leads to better outcomes for everyone involved.
Ability to Deal with Stress
Nursing can be very stressful and nurses who are not able to deal with their stress often get overwhelmed. One of the best ways to ensure nurse practitioners do not get overwhelmed is by providing options for reaching out to colleagues and mentors. In many cases, talking with a neutral third party about what a nurse is going through can be a great way to help nurses deal with stress. It also allows nurses who feel overwhelmed to gain their perspective back and maintain a positive outlook.
Another way that nurse practitioners deal with stress is by remaining organized. If a nurse spends a lot of time looking for things or is constantly late due to organizational challenges, they may start feeling overwhelmed. This is another reason why being organized is such an important quality for nurse practitioners.
If you are interested in becoming a successful nurse or are already a nurse looking for more success in your career, there are some qualities that you should have. You can pick up on these qualities by observing successful nurses, talking to your mentor, or even working on developing these qualities. Doing so will benefit not only your career, but also all the patients you end up caring for.