Nursing is a challenging and rewarding field. Nurses are in high demand, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted just how vital these talented medical professionals are.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing says nursing is the United States’ largest health care profession, employing more than 3.8 million registered nurses. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that registered nurse jobs are projected to grow by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. The Canadian Institute for Health Information says that, as of 2019, there were 439,975 regulated nurses in Canada.
Many people interested in nursing careers may wonder if they have what it takes to be a nurse. Certain qualities can help nurses thrive in this challenging field.
- Trustworthiness: For nearly two decades the American public has ranked nursing as its most trusted, admired and ethical profession, as indicated in Gallup polls. Nurses hold high ethical standards and 84 percent of respondents ranked nurses’ honesty as “very high” or “high.”
- Empathy: Being able to feel what another person is experiencing from the patient’s point of view is a skill nurses must hone. This may require nurses to put themselves in their patients’ shoes and adapt care to make patients feel more comfortable and secure.
- Emotional stability: Nurses often have to shelve their emotions so they can offer their patients the most effective care. Each day can bring powerful emotions. Nurses are not robots, but they have to perfect the balance of being empathetic while remaining strong in challenging situations. According to Daymar College, research has shown that nurses who are emotionally stable are more capable of solving problems and keeping their patients safe.
- Effective communication: Great nurses are good communicators who can absorb information from their patients and communicate health care initiatives back succinctly. Nurses also must be able to effectively share information and care plans between doctors and other staff.
- Problem-solving: Professional nurses see problems and find solutions. They know when certain situations may be challenging and seek the input of others to come to a satisfactory outcome.
- Team player: Nurses need to work seemlessly with health care teams, patients, families, and all individuals involved in a health plan. This may require nurses to don many different hats while remaining flexible and being willing to adapt to changing situations on the fly.
Demand for nurses is surging and the profession can make for an exciting and rewarding career. Prospective nurses can take inventory of their personalities and skill sets to determine if nursing is the right fit.