It takes more than just a degree and a sense of compassion to become a nurse. The nursing profession is one of the most challenging careers, which requires a high level of skills to become successful. It is not a simple career path because you need an immense level of dedication, physical and mental endurance to become a competent nurse. There is a whole new world beyond the rigorous studying you did in nursing school, which requires specific personality traits and a unique set of skills. From respecting patients to having resilience against stress, the top skills are necessary to become a successful nurse.
1. Critical Thinking
In simple words, critical thinking is the ability to think logically, intellectually, and clearly to make decisions. It is one of nurses’ most highly demanded skills because it directly impacts patient care and outcome. Critical thinking offers self-sufficiency and the ability to analyze facts and challenges before settling on a final decision. Without thinking critically, nurses cannot reach objective conclusions, and they can struggle throughout their careers.
For instance, forensic nursing is a lucrative career path that requires an eye for detail and rational thinking. In the modern world, it is the most important field of nursing that offers enormous benefits. If we talk about forensic nurse salary, it can range anywhere between $59,000 and $90,000, which is exceptionally high. However, forensic nurses cannot offer anything worthwhile to evidence-gathering procedures without the ability to interpret, analyze, or even evaluate. Not just forensic nurses, but nurses, in general, should practice critical thinking and learn from their experience.
2. Strong Communication Skills
If we had to choose, communication is the most crucial skill required to become a successful nurse. It is critical in healthcare settings because miscommunication can put patients’ lives at risk. The nurses have to go through a massive amount of data throughout their careers that they have to collect and communicate back to relevant professionals. They cannot afford to make errors and must rely on their skills to interpret data as accurately as possible. Missing patient information, hearing the wrong orders, or misinformation can cause significant harm to a patient’s life.
Therefore, a successful nurse should have impeccable verbal and non-verbal techniques, especially when listening, writing, and presenting the information. The nurses should also be up to date with the latest technological tools and software, facilitating the information transmission from their end. Moreover, the nurses should also know how to break communication barriers with patients and their families.
3. Physical and Mental Stability
Nurses have to go through long working shifts with few to no breaks. The extended shifts and the challenging work environment can cause severe mental and physical strain on the nurses. Therefore, if you want to be a successful nurse, you must begin working on your mental, physical, and emotional endurance. At times the nurses may be faced with a traumatizing situation, but they must work on strategies that can help them manage their emotions. It is also essential to strike a work-life balance because working too much can cause mental strain, negatively affecting physical health. A competent nurse understands the importance of keeping track of one’s mental health and body activity through exercise, proper sleep, healthy eating, and meditation. It helps to have the stamina for physically strenuous tasks, especially during emergencies.
4. Ethics and Professionalism
When it comes to ethics, having a sense of right and wrong helps nurses make decisions in their patient’s best interests. For the nurses, ethics and professionalism are interchangeable because they are closely related to their profession. A nurse must advocate for the patient’s rights and point out things that don’t seem right. Their ethics gives them a moral compass, but it should not come at the cost of disrespect, unprofessionalism, and dispute. Professionalism for the nurses includes respectful communication with doctors, patients, families, and colleagues while upholding moral principles and prioritizing patient needs. They should also maintain the reputation of the nursing profession by preserving patient safety and acknowledging the gaps in their knowledge and skills. A successful nurse promotes professionalism through effective collaboration with other staff members and exhibiting good teamwork.
5. Commitment to Lifelong Learning
Careers related to medicine and health require dedication and commitment to lifelong learning. Since medical advancement is never stagnant, there will always be something new that current healthcare professionals must catch up to. Nurses play a vital role in improving patient care. Therefore, continuing education and being updated with the latest procedures and practices is critical. A successful nurse is dedicated to constant learning and pursuing higher education whenever possible. In the fast-paced healthcare environment, outdated practices can pose a threat to patients’ lives. The nurses are not expected to learn and know everything, but they should go for any learning opportunity, especially training programs.
6. Empathy and Compassion
A nurse’s profession is nothing without compassion, kindness, empathy, and sensitivity. Nurses are the primary caregivers of hospitalized patients, and they are equal partners in every patient’s medical journey. A nurse’s profession is incomplete without having the ability to feel what the other person is experiencing. A successful and competent nurse is non-judgmental, compassionate, considerate, and offers emotional support to patients. Empathy has considerable effects on patient outcomes and positively affects how they respond to the hospital environment. The nurse-patient relationship is based on trust, mutual respect, and kindness free from cultural, racial, religious, and social aspects. You may be an intelligent, talented, and ambitious nurse, but if you are unempathetic towards patients, you won’t make it much further.
The nursing profession requires strong will, dedication, stamina, and stability to make it to the top. You may have all the right qualifications, licenses, and training. Still, without a few essential skills, you cannot move up the ladder. A successful nurse has a special set of skills that make them recognizable in improving patient care. Strong communication, empathetic nature, commitment to learning, critical thinking, and professionalism are a few skills that are required to reach an important place in the nursing profession. Incorporating these skills ensures success in a career as well as best care for the patients.