10 Qualities That Make a Great Nurse - Minority Nurse (2023)

Few would disagree that nursing is one of the most underrated professions in modern times. Being a nurse isn’t easy. In fact, it is a field that can be extremely demanding—and even unforgiving—to those who pursue it. Being around the ailing and the frazzled for long hours and dealing with them patiently day after day can be challenging, to say the least.

Nurses are required to be not only compassionate and helpful, but also capable of making difficult decisions and administering the right medical care to patients in the absence of doctors. Of course, education plays a big role in ensuring this, but there are certain innate qualities that make one nurse better than the other.

Here are 10 qualities that make an exceptional nurse.

1. High Standards of Professionalism

Nurses need to be professional in their approach towards their work. Whether it is meeting with and attending to patients, administering medication, or maintaining patient records, they need to do all of it in the most skilled and ethical manner.

As a nurse, you’re bound to deal with patients coming from different age groups, genders, races, communities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is important not to make assumptions or generalizations with respect to their appearance, and instead focus on their illness, injury, or that which ails them.

There may be times when you may have to deal with difficult patients. Do not let that experience get to you. View each patient as an individual who deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.

2. Never-Ending Diligence

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Nurses are extremely hard working, which is why diligence is an important attribute they need to possess. While we may think that theirs is a 9 to 5 job, the truth is far from that. More often than not nurses end up working long hours, thanks to the nature of their job.

To be an exceptional nurse, you need to have it in you to work long hours and be up and running to (possibly) do it again the next day.

3. Exceptional Communication Skills

One of the most critical traits to be good at any job is outstanding communication skills. This applies to nurses as well. In fact, this skill is a necessity rather than an option. A great nurse has exceptional listening and speaking skills. The rest of his or her work depends on these two factors.

Nurses can solve problems only if they’re able to effectively communicate with patients and families. Patients expect nurses to understand their troubles perfectly well before administering any medicine. An effective nurse is one who can not only fulfill, but also anticipate patients’ needs.

4. Effective Interpersonal Skills

Apart from excellent communication skills, nurses need to have remarkable interpersonal skills. After all, they act as the link between doctors and a variety of patients. Further, they also need to work well with other nurses and members of the staff.

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For patients, nurses are the face of the hospital and doctors depend on them for carrying out several tasks. A great nurse is able to strike the right balance between doctors’ and patients’ needs.

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5. Attention to Detail

Good nurses realize that every step they take in providing patient care can have grave consequences. This is why all effective nurses pay careful attention to detail and make sure they do not miss any step.

Whether it is reading and understanding a patient’s chart or memorizing the details of a case, nurses take nothing for granted. In a profession where a tiny mistake can ruin another’s life, attention to detail is one quality that can either spell the difference between life and death.

6. Quick Problem-Solving Abilities

The ability to mitigate problems quickly is a must-have quality in a great nurse. An even better quality would be to anticipate and address problems before they arise. You never know when a tricky situation will arrive at the time of dealing with emergencies or trauma cases.

A nurse always needs to be prepared with solutions, whether it is speaking to patients’ families, comforting patients, or communicating with doctors and other administrative technicians.

7. Action-Oriented

Patients who come to a hospital or clinic typically need remedies that are not only effective, but also administered quickly. A great nurse understands the importance of responding promptly to emergencies and sudden incidences and is prepared for all sorts of surprises with a composed mind and a calm attitude.

8. Empathetic Disposition

More often than not, patients happen to be enduring or have endured immense pain and suffering. Remarkable nurses have empathy for them and are able to be compassionate to provide comfort. Of course, nurses can experience their share of mental and physical fatigue too, but they’re able to get past it.

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The atmosphere in a hospital can be a formal one. However, nurses can add the humane touch with their kindhearted attitude. This can be instrumental in improving patient care to a great extent.

9. Solid Stamina

Nurses work long hours. Further, they’re also required to frequently carry out various physical tasks, lift heavy equipment, provide physical support to patients, stand for long periods of time, and carry out other demanding drills on a daily basis. In short, they’re always on their feet.

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This is why nurses need to be energetic enough to make it through the shift, irrespective of whether they’re in a surgery or looking after a patient.

10. Sense of Humor

Finding humor in difficult situations isn’t easy, but the nurses who can do it are able to mitigate stressful situations better. It is perfectly okay to mix the elements of fun and humor into your work to be able to enjoy it better. After all, this combination will keep you going in the tough times!

As a career, nursing can be a difficult, yet rewarding one. The satisfaction of being helpful to those in need can be tremendous. All you need is the right personality to deal with the stresses that come with it and you should do well. If you aspire to become a nurse and think that you possess all of the above qualities, you should definitely pursue nursing as a career.

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Swati Kapoor

Swati is a qualified dietitian at Practo. She has a Master’s degree in Dietetics and Food Service Management. She is a strong believer in spreading the goodness of ‘nutrition through healthy eating’. As a responsible dietitian Swati examines her patients’ health history carefully before recommending any diet or workout regimen, because everybody has different requirements. Swati has also taken it upon herself to debunk myths in diet and fitness through practical advice in her articles. This helps her readers learn the essence of health eating and make the right choices in their daily diet. Swati has been helping people live healthy and active for the past 4 years, by recommending diet plans that fit individual preferences and health parameters.

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  1. 10 Qualities That Make a Great Nurse - Minority Nurse (3)

    LSGon August 16, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Nice article and very correct but my only concern is that the person who wrote the article is actually not a nurse.
    Critical thinking skills and clinical decision making is also a hallmark of exceptional nurse – but all nurses must have these skills Another quality is they must have great time management skills as well.

  2. 10 Qualities That Make a Great Nurse - Minority Nurse (4)

    Joyon August 29, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I thought the same thing when reading the article. Someone should have wrote it who has personal experience as a nurse. It would have been different if they wrote from a patient/client perspective.

  3. 10 Qualities That Make a Great Nurse - Minority Nurse (5)

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  4. 10 Qualities That Make a Great Nurse - Minority Nurse (6)

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Submit a Comment


What is the most important quality of a nurse? ›

Compassionate. One of the most important qualities of a good nurse is compassion. In their career, nurses will see patients suffer. Beyond simply offering a solution, they must be able to express compassion for patients and their families.

What are 10 roles of a nurse? ›

Nurses care for injuries, administer medications, conduct frequent medical examinations, record detailed medical histories, monitor heart rate and blood pressure, perform diagnostic tests, operate medical equipment, draw blood, and admit/discharge patients according to physician orders.

What do you think is your quality that made you an exceptional nurse? ›

Dedication to the job. Patience when dealing with difficult situations. Communication skills with patients, family and staff. Attention to details.”

What are the three most important traits of a good nurse? ›

Like all career paths, it is important to research the qualities that allow someone to thrive in it. Nursing is no different. Before starting your career in nursing, you should know the qualities that will make you a great nurse, such as compassion, empathy, and patience to name a few.

What are your strongest skills as a nurse? ›

Having empathy to interact with the patient and their family and helping them to cope with problems is very important in a nursing position. Having the ability to understand and share those feelings with the patient and their loved ones is an essential strength for a nurse.

What is a successful nurse? ›

“A successful nurse, in addition to having sound clinical skills, is compassionate, and has the ability to listen to their clients and peers,” said Cynthia Stadler, MSN, APRN, CHPNA, community liaison for BAYADA Hospice in Vermont.

Who is a nurse in simple words? ›

A nurse is a person who is trained to give care to people who are sick or injured. Nurses work with doctors and other health care workers to make patients well and to keep them fit and healthy. Nurses also help with end-of-life needs and assist other family members with grieving.

What are the 5 key roles of nurses? ›

Five Basic Duties You'll be Most Likely to Perform as a Nurse
  • Administering medication. ...
  • Recording and monitoring patient vital signs. ...
  • Maintaining a detailed medical record. ...
  • Drawing blood samples. ...
  • Providing emotional support for patients.
27 Apr 2022

What are the roles of a good nurse? ›

General Nurse Duties
  • Conduct physical exams.
  • Take detailed health care histories.
  • Listen to patients and analyze their physical and emotional needs.
  • Provide counseling and health care education to patients.
  • Coordinate care with other health care providers and specialists.

What makes a good leader in nursing? ›

A nurse leader demonstrates tireless devotion to providing the best care. They also foster the same passionate commitment in new trainees and all team members, while conducting performance reviews on a regular basis to ensure that the highest standards of quality and safety are consistently met.

What is the most unique characteristics of nursing as a profession? ›

Caring. The most unique characteristic of nursing as a profession is that, it is a CARING profession.

What is quality nursing care? ›

Quality nursing care entails meeting client needs and expectations, through conformance to relevant. standards/requirements. Itis the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the. likelihood of desired health outcomesand are consistent with current professional knowledge (Neil H. P, 2015 ...

What are the 7 characteristics of a good nurse? ›

What Makes Someone a Good Nurse?
  • Caring. ...
  • Communication Skills. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Attention to Detail. ...
  • Problem Solving Skills. ...
  • Stamina. ...
  • Sense of Humor. ...
  • Commitment to Patient Advocacy.
25 Feb 2020

What is the full meaning of a nurse? ›

Definition of Nursing

Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings. Nursing includes the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people.

What are values of a nurse? ›

Core values of nursing include altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, honesty and social justice [3]. The core ethical values are generally shared within the global community, and they are a reflection of the human and spiritual approach to the nursing profession.

What are the 5 core values of nursing? ›

Caring is best demonstrated by a nurse's ability to embody the five core values of professional nursing. Core nursing values essential to baccalaureate education include human dignity, integrity, autonomy, altruism, and social justice.

What are 3 important characteristics of the nurse patient relationship? ›

The five key components of the therapeutic nurse-client relationship are professional intimacy, power, empathy, respect and trust. Regardless of the context, length of interaction and whether the nurse is the primary or secondary care provider, these components are always present.

What qualities must a nurse possess to be a good leader? ›

5 Effective Leadership Skills in Nursing
  • Decision-Making. ...
  • Guidance. ...
  • Conflict Resolution. ...
  • Effective Communication. ...
  • Change Management or Adaptability. ...
  • Commitment to Educational and Professional Development.
7 Dec 2021

What are values of a nurse? ›

Core values of nursing include altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, honesty and social justice [3]. The core ethical values are generally shared within the global community, and they are a reflection of the human and spiritual approach to the nursing profession.


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