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.

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.

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

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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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  • 10 Qualities That Make a Great Nurse - July 5, 2016
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  1. 10 Qualities That Make a Great Nurse - Minority Nurse (3)

    LSGon August 16, 2016 at 11:11 am

    (Video) Step Forward to 2030: Turning the Future of Nursing Report into Action

    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)

    duckon August 22, 2022 at 6:00 am

    Gоod day! This is kind of off toρic but I need some heⅼp from an established blog.
    Ӏs it ᴠery hard to set up y᧐ur own bⅼog? I’m not
    very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where
    to begin. Do you һavе any ideɑs or suggestions?
    Thank you

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

    Vein Center Manhattanon October 18, 2022 at 8:11 am

    It was a wonderful time while going through your article and I’ve got what I was looking for. Best Wishes and have a good day ahead.

    (Video) Nursing Supporting Individuals, Families and Communities

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What is the most important quality in a nurse? ›

Excellent Communication

One of the most essential qualities of a nurse is the ability to be an effective communicator. Communication in nursing includes any measure by which messages are sent and received between patients, their loved ones, nurses, and other members of the interdisciplinary team.

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 values make a great 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 my qualities as a nurse? ›

Among the top qualities of a nurse, characteristics like empathy, flexibility, and time management stand out as elements that make performing duties and connecting with patients much easier. Paired with a quality nursing education, you will be prepared to make a difference in patients' lives.

What is an excellent nurse? ›

An exceptional nurse is compassionate

They may feel as if they have lost control of their situation and that they are either too ill or not informed enough to speak for themselves. Nurses must be their patients' voice, anticipate their needs and advocate for them when they are unable to do so for themselves.

What are 5 responsibilities of a 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.

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.

Why are qualities important in nursing? ›


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. This allows them to form meaningful relationships with their patients.

What are 3 good qualities of a good school nurse? ›

  • Caring About Others. A school nurse should be caring and compassionate, especially concerning children. ...
  • Healthy Role Model. A school nurse can do so much more than apply bandages and dispense doctors' prescriptions. ...
  • Good Communicator. ...
  • Detail Oriented. ...
  • Involved in School. ...
  • Lifelong Learner.

Why nurses are the best? ›

Nurses not only assist their patients with their issues, they also assist them with bodily functions. Anyone who has been through a major surgery appreciates nurses willingness to help you do daily activities with grace and kindness.

What are the 10 nursing ethical values? ›

The search yielded 10 nursing ethical values: Human dignity, privacy, justice, autonomy in decision making, precision and accuracy in caring, commitment, human relationship, sympathy, honesty, and individual and professional competency.

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 the 6 nursing values? ›

Why were the 6 Cs of nursing introduced? The 6 Cs – care, compassion, courage, communication, commitment, competence - are a central part of 'Compassion in Practice', which was first established by NHS England Chief Nursing Officer, Jane Cummings, in December 2017.

What are great nursing skills? ›

Time-management. Critical thinking and problem-solving. Maintains patient confidentiality and upholding professional ethics. Teamwork skills displayed through experience collaborating with other nurses and doctors to improve patient and family education programs.

What is the full meaning of nurse? ›

noun. ˈnərs. : a person who cares for the sick or infirm. specifically : a licensed health-care professional who practices independently or is supervised by a physician, surgeon, or dentist and who is skilled in promoting and maintaining health compare licensed practical nurse, registered nurse.

What are the four roles of a nurse? ›

Key Responsibilities
  • Perform physical exams and health histories before making critical decisions.
  • Provide health promotion, counseling and education.
  • Administer medications and other personalized interventions.
  • Coordinate care, in collaboration with a wide array of health care professionals.

What are the 3 roles of nursing? ›

Nurses play an essential role in society today by being advocates for health promotion, educating the public and patients on preventing injury and illnesses, participating in rehabilitation, and providing care and support.

What are the 10 patient responsibilities? ›

Patient's Responsibilities
  • Providing information. ...
  • Asking questions. ...
  • Following instructions. ...
  • Accepting results. ...
  • Following facility rules and regulations. ...
  • Showing respect and thoughtfulness. ...
  • Meeting financial commitments.

What 2 roles does the nurse have? ›

What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Nurse?
  • Assisting doctors with physical examinations and care plans.
  • Informing patients and their relatives regarding what's happening.
  • Taking patients' temperatures, checking their blood pressure and pulse rates.
  • Taking blood samples.
22 Oct 2020

Why is it called nurse? ›

The term nurse originates from the Latin word nutire, which means to suckle. This is because it referred primarily to a wet-nurse in the early days and only evolved into a person who cares for the sick in the late 16th century.

What are nurses called now? ›

Registered nurse (RN)

Registered nurses (RNs) play a central role in helping healthcare organizations provide quality care to a diverse and growing patient population.

What words best describe the nurse? ›

Here are 11 words to describe nurses who took care of you:
  • 01Attentive. An attentive person pays close attention to things and who is always on alert. ...
  • 02Caring. ...
  • 03Empathetic. ...
  • 04Energetic. ...
  • 05Friendly. ...
  • 06Knowledgeable. ...
  • 07Honest. ...
  • 08Optimistic.
28 Mar 2020

Why are good qualities important? ›

The way that we manage ourselves is a central part of being an effective leader. It is vital to recognise that personal qualities like self-awareness, self-confidence, self-control, self-knowledge, personal reflection, resilience and determination are the foundation of how we behave.

What are 3 positive things about being a nurse? ›

Top 7 Pros of a Nursing Career
  • Helping Others. Whether they're caring for patients at the bedside or fighting for patient rights, nurses are in the business of improving and saving lives. ...
  • High Demand. ...
  • Earning Potential. ...
  • Diverse Opportunities. ...
  • Flexible Schedules. ...
  • Trusted Profession. ...
  • Work Wardrobe.
10 Oct 2018

How can I be a successful nurse? ›

How to Have a Successful Nursing Career
  1. Be Reliable. Many jobs emphasize the importance of punctuality and reliability. ...
  2. Put Others First. As a nurse, patients are your primary responsibility. ...
  3. Be Willing to Learn. Continuing education is one of the most important elements of a successful nursing career. ...
  4. Invest in Yourself.
15 Nov 2016

What motivates you to be a nurse? ›

Many nurses are drawn to the profession because of a sincere desire to help others. These professionals can get a renewed sense of job satisfaction very day as they continue to provide caring and compassionate service to the patients to whom they are assigned.

Who is the mother of nursing? ›

Florence Nightingale: The Mother of Nursing.

What makes a nurse a hero? ›

Caring, empathy, mental and physical strength, and resolve are just a few of the qualities that a great nurse must possess in addition to their formal education, which is a lot more than most jobs require.

What is the most important quality of a healthcare worker? ›

Empathy and compassion. Above all else, a good health professional can show compassion to their patients and provide comfort when they need it. At times, your patients may find themselves in difficult or frustrating situations and they need someone to listen, to understand and respect their wishes or point of view.

Why is quality important in nursing? ›

The Importance of Quality and Safety

As any form of healthcare and nursing should be practiced with accuracy and precision, keeping patients safe and protected with quality care is the number one aspect of the profession.

What is the most important aspect of quality patient care? ›

Patient-centeredness - High-quality care is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensures that patient values guide all clinical decisions. Timeliness - High-quality care minimizes wait times and harmful delays for both those who receive and those who provide care.

What 5 habits make you a good healthcare worker? ›

One of the best ways to lead a healthy life is to simply make a habit of it.
5 Habits of Highly Effective Nurses
  • Never Skip Breakfast. ...
  • Make Exercise a Priority. ...
  • Avoid Junk Food. ...
  • Schedule Regular Checkups With Your Doctor. ...
  • Find a Workplace Confidant.
29 Jul 2016

What are the 10 qualities and skills of a health care professional? ›

Interpersonal Skills for Health Care Management
  • Empathy. In health care, it's important that you can empathize with patients and the difficult situations that others are facing. ...
  • Communication Skills. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Work Ethic. ...
  • Stress Management. ...
  • Positive Attitude. ...
  • Flexibility. ...
  • Time Management.
24 Sept 2019

What makes good quality care? ›

Quality health services should be: effective; safe; people-centred; timely; equitable; integrated; and efficient.

What is nursing Short answer? ›

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

How can a nurse improve quality? ›

How Can a Nurse Promote Quality Care in their Profession?
  1. Effective care: Services should be based on scientific knowledge and evidence-based guidelines.
  2. Safe care: Quality health care should minimize risk of harm to users. ...
  3. Timely care: Delays in providing and receiving health care should be minimal.

What is quality of life in nursing? ›

Definition/Introduction. Quality of life (QoL) is a concept which aims to capture the well-being, whether of a population or individual, regarding both positive and negative elements within the entirety of their existence at a specific point in time.

What are the 7 pillars of nursing? ›

The seven platforms:
  • Being an accountable professional.
  • Promoting health and preventing ill health.
  • Assessing needs and planning care.
  • Providing and evaluating care.
  • Leading and managing nursing care and working in teams.
  • Improving safety and quality of care.
  • Coordinating care.

What are the 7 standards of nursing? ›

  • American Nurses Association (ANA)
  • ANA Standards of Practice.
  • Standard 1. Assessment. ...
  • Standard 2. Diagnosis. ...
  • Standard 3. Outcome Identification. ...
  • Standard 4. Planning. ...
  • Standard 5. Implementation. ...
  • Standard 6. Evaluation.

What is the 3 most important qualities of a healthcare worker? ›

Mar 24, 2022 | 1 min read. Some personality traits, like respect, patience, and punctuality are valuable skills at work and in life. And other traits, like inflexible thinking and emotional whimsy, make any job harder. Healthcare is different.

What are the six characteristics of high quality care? ›

Don Berwick describes six dimensions of quality in health care: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity.

What are all the 6 key elements of high quality care? ›

The six domains of healthcare quality outlined by the Institute of Medicine are patient safety, effectiveness, patient-centred, timeliness, efficiency, and equity. Each of these is important for ensuring that patients receive high-quality care.


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