Eight Qualities That Make A Good Nurse

Eight Qualities That Make A Good Nurse

The qualities that make a good nurse include dedication, humor, fast thinking, compassion, and strong communication skills, among others.

Nursing is a rewarding field for aspiring candidates – it offers advancement potential, flexible job opportunities, professional respect, and above all, a chance to make a difference in people’s lives.

While this profession is highly gratifying, it also has its fair share of challenges.

Therefore, before going into nursing, there are some defining attributes and characteristics you need to possess if you want to excel in the nursing career. Let’s check them out!

What Makes A Good Nurse?

So, if you’re considering pursuing a career in nursing, the following are some innate qualities that make a good nurse:

1. Willingness To Invest In Self-Development

Illness trends, technological advancements, and the aging population – all these factors make nursing a field that continuously evolves. These changes require the healthcare industry and workers to adapt.

Being that part of the healthcare industry that spends the most time with the patients, a nurse should be willing to learn, develop, and grow to put their skills and knowledge into practice at the right time.

While some skills are inborn, some can be acquired by enrolling in specific educational programs.

You can try considering a DNP program that equips you with particular nursing skills to ensure professional growth. To get the hang of it, try searching the term what is a DNP program on Google to see how it’ll benefit you in your nursing career.

2. Dedication Towards Patient Advocacy

There are times when patients are unable to express their concerns regarding their health. Perhaps they are confused or disoriented due to the healthcare setting.

This is when good nurses play their role and advocate for their patients, thereby reducing the chances of harm and errors to the patients.

Patient advocacy is crucial, especially when the patient is unconscious, impaired, illiterate, mentally ill, or underage.

A well-informed and experienced nurse understands the importance of providing quality care for patients and sets an example for new healthcare professionals.

3. Lighthearted Attitude

Nursing as a profession can be mentally and physically stressful, given how it requires nurses to deal with stressful situations at unpredictable times.

To cut back on this stress, a nurse needs to incorporate a somewhat lighthearted attitude during work. Having a good sense of humor can make nurses less vulnerable to mental breakdowns, exhaustion, and fatigue.

A good sense of humor can prove beneficial to other nurses, patients, and their families as well. That’s because such nurses give off vibes that make patients and their families comfortable within the healthcare setting. Their humor works as a distraction that interrupts the chain of thought resulting in stress.

Having a good sense of humor is a vital characteristic of a good nurse because nurses who work with a lighthearted attitude increase their patient’s openness and trust to share their concerns with them.

4. The Ability To Sustain

According to research studies, a nurse walks around an average of 4-5 miles in a single shift. What’s more surprising is that they lift an average of 1.8 tons per shift, with patients adjusting, lifting, and placing expensive hospital equipment.

Therefore, a nurse must have sufficient stamina to remain active for prolonged periods. This job keeps nurses on their feet and to be able to sustain emotional and physical energy is one of the many traits of a good nurse.

5. Problem-Solving And Critical Thinking Skills

Decisions, small or big, have significant impacts on nursing because even the most minor errors can lead to adverse patient outcomes.

Since nurses spend the most time with the patients, they’ve got to make the majority of decisions on their own to ensure the patient’s safety.

This is why problem-solving and critical thinking skills are considered crucial in the field of nursing.

Nurses equipped with such skills don’t look at problems as complications but as opportunities to improve their patient’s condition. Having these skills can significantly influence a nurse’s career and a patient’s health.

6. Detail-Oriented Skills

This profession brings about several nerve-wracking challenges; paying attention to detail is one of them.

Unlike other industries, nurses are working with people’s health and lives. The slightest error here and there can mess things up for the patient.

Documenting procedures and medication errors occur due to medical personnel not paying attention, and a severe medical error could lead to lawsuits.

Being vigilant and thorough with diagnosis and test results is one of the top qualities of a good nurse.

7. Strong Communication Skills

A nurse’s job goes above and beyond offering care to the patients. They have to check for vital signs, administer medicines, provide care to patients, and communicate with almost everyone in the healthcare setting. This is why communicating effectively is an integral part of a nurse’s job.

A nurse has to effectively communicate with the patients and their families, and discipline them across other units, physicians, and other nurses. Without proper communication skills, a nurse will face issues in climbing up the career ladder.

Why? Because misinterpretation makes room for medical errors and, eventually, a feeling of mistrust among patients.

A good nurse is equipped with brilliant communication skills that can benefit their career, hospital, unit, and of course, patients.

8. Compassion

The majority of people think that people choose nursing as their profession because they’re overly empathetic.

However, not all people who enter this field choose it because they like caring for others. Some prefer this profession because they don’t have any other option or want to join the healthcare industry, which was their only way in.

Regardless, having compassion for patients is a leading characteristic of a good nurse. Not only does understanding make patients feel at home, but a little care and kindness make their hard times and suffering bearable.


The above-mentioned are the qualities that make a good nurse. No doubt, the list is long, but these are just a part of the commitment to a promising career in healthcare.

However, these qualities are more related to a nurse’s personality and are usually inborn. Others can be attained pretty quickly and can ensure a stable and successful career as a nurse.

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