Congratulations on your interest in one of the most trusted and respected professions—nursing. Nurses can make huge differences in people’s lives. Conversely, patients and their families can make huge differences in nurses’ lives. Nurses are privileged to share in the lives of others at important human events; for example, birth and death. Sharing in these moments can be life-enhancing for nurses. Nurses are essential to the health care team. In hospitals, nurses spend far more time with patients and their families than do physicians. For most nurses, close contact with patients and their families wherever the nurse works is one of the many rewards of a nursing career that helps offset the sometimes high stress levels of the job.
Nurses need to have the following characteristics and abilities:
- Willingness to work in close contact with people
- Ability to interact without prejudice with a wide range of individuals
- Quick learner and in some situations, ability to make rapid decisions
- Lifelong learner
- Good with science
- Organized, multi-tasker, and ability to prioritize tasks
- Skilled, competent, and able
- Interpersonal communicator
- Stress management skills
Don’t worry if you feel you do not possess all of these characteristics. Education and experience will help you develop these characteristics and skills. However, if you are not willing to work towards attaining these characteristics, then nursing may not be the best choice for you.