Registered Nurses (RNs) play one of the most critical roles in the healthcare field. These professionals are on the frontlines of care, coordinating and administering treatment to sick, injured, and disabled patients. They help to save lives. They calm and educate concerned family members. RNs are the backbone of the medical team and, for this reason, must be highly skilled at what they do.
If you are thinking about becoming a Registered Nurse, you may be intimidated by nursing school or the daily demands of the job. You may be wondering, “Would I be a good nurse?” and “Do I have what it takes to be successful in this role?” The truth is, if you are considering a nursing career, you likely already have the potential to be great. You are likely compassionate and have others’ best interests at heart. You likely have a strong desire and will to help people in need. These qualities are the foundation of a good Registered Nurse.
Questions to Ask Before Becoming a Nurse
Before diving into any career, you want to be set up for success. To find out if you would make a good nurse, start by asking the questions below.
- Am I kind, compassionate, and passionate about helping people in need?
- Can I empathize with others, no matter their background?
- Am I a good listener and communicator?
- Can I stand the sight of blood?
- Am I observant and detail-oriented?
- Can I deal with long shifts and hours on my feet?
If you answered yes to the above questions, you already have the fundamentals of nursing nailed down. You have what it takes to be a good nurse—your next step will be to develop the practical and technical skills of nursing. This involves problem-solving, using medical equipment, managing multiple cases, administering medications, analyzing medical results, and mastering the other day-to-day duties of a Registered Nurse. These can be learned in nursing school.
Qualities of a Good Registered Nurse
There are more than three million Registered Nurses employed throughout the United States. Each RN has their own traits that make them great at what they do. However, great Registered Nurses also have a lot in common. Below are some of the top qualities Registered Nurses possess in their role:
- Compassion and empathy. Above all else, nurses must have a desire to help people in need. They will want to care for people during difficult and vulnerable times, whether that be patients or family members. Nurses must carry out their careers with compassion and the ability to empathize with others. This can help nurses connect with their patients and provide the highest quality of care.
- Communication. Registered Nurses must also be able to communicate effectively. On a daily basis, they interact with patients, patients’ families, as well as the larger medical team. A great RN will be able to clearly explain a condition to a patient, or a treatment to a family member. They will also be able to communicate about cases with physicians and other nurses or provide clear instructions to other medical staff.
- Attention to detail. Registered Nurses are often responsible for recording patient symptoms, administering medications, or writing case reports. In situations like these, nurses need to pay close attention to detail – For example, what dosage does a patient need? Are they allergic to any medications? What (perhaps seemingly minute) symptoms are they displaying? Details are critical to developing the most effective treatment plan.
- Critical thinking. Nurses need to be able to think on their feet, solving problems that come their way. When examining a patient, nurses often need to make note of the symptoms and come up with a solution. Especially in critical situations, where patients’ lives are at stake, decisions sometimes need to be made quickly. Nurses must be able to make rational, critical decisions in the best interests of their patients.
- Adaptability. In nursing, no day is the same. You will always encounter new patients, new conditions, new treatments, even new technologies that apply to medicine. That is the beauty of healthcare. It is an exciting, ever-evolving field. However, it requires you to adapt. As an RN, you will need to stay flexible and open to change. Those who can adapt to any situation are bound to make a great Registered Nurse.
The above skills are some of the inherent qualities that nurses often have. If you possess these skills, or even a desire to develop these skills, take that as a tell-tale sign that nursing is right for you. Take that as a sign to start your journey in nursing, and begin a rewarding career.
In addition to your question, “Would I be a good Registered Nurse?”, you may also be wondering if nursing is a good career for you. With this career path comes great reward. Nurses get to help people in need every day. They also have great salary potential, career stability, and upward mobility in the field. It’s no surprise that Registered Nurses rank among the top 10 best healthcare jobs in the nation. They also rank within the top percentile of the best 100 jobs in the United States, ranked at #13!
If you have checked off the boxes and are ready to begin a career in nursing, you will need to earn a college degree. An associate degree in nursing is the standard requirement for entry-level RNs, and will position you to take the NCLEX-RN board examination and earn licensure. It will also equip you with the fundamental and advanced nursing skills needed to carry out this role, deliver quality care, and help patients of all backgrounds.
Goodwin University is a leading nursing school in Connecticut, with flexible programs for aspiring RNs. If you are interested in becoming an excellent, qualified Registered Nurse, please do not hesitate to contact us. Call 800-889-3282 or visit us online to learn more.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.