What Makes an Excellent Nurse

Posted On February 18, 2013

As a nurse, it’s easy to lose track of why you chose the profession of nursing when times and the work get hard. You can, if you like, choose to be good at your job and that’s that. And being good at one’s work is fine. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

But if you do choose to take the harder road—the road to excellence—you’re going to have to be better than good enough.

Here are some principles that make excellent nurses. See if you’ve got what it takes:

Excellent Nurses Provide Patients with the Best Care Possible

Nurses aren’t doctors. That is to say, while it’s the doctor’s job to figure out what’s wrong with a patient and try to cure them, it’s the nurse’s job to provide the patient with care while undergoing treatment. Sometimes, because there are a million and one things that nurses are responsible for, some of them tend to skip care that might be perceived as unnecessary. It’s probably because they’re too tired or understaffed or swarmed with paperwork. Excellent nurses don’t skip care. They always make sure their patients are taken care all the time.

Excellent Nurses Are Passionate about Nursing

Good nurses do their jobs. Excellent nurses do their jobs and then some. They volunteer and join local neighborhood organizations. They don’t pass off work to their fellow nurses. They look forward to going to work every day and provide an honest day’s work to their employers.

Excellent Nurses Are Curious

To excellent nurses, there’s no such thing as “none of my business”. It is their business to be curious about not just their profession but others as well. When they don’t know something, they aren’t afraid to say so and ask for clarification, especially if their patients’ health is at state. Excellent nurses seek understanding about even the most complicated things. They’re eager to learn.

Excellent Nurses Don’t Take Themselves Seriously

Contrary to what might be perceived looking at this list so far, excellent nurses are not humorless. They know how to laugh at themselves and see humor in everyday events. What’s more, they know their limitations and recognize their shortcomings.

Excellent Nurses Understand the Value of Work/Life Balance

While the temptation to earn more pay by picking up extra shifts is strong, excellent nurses know when they’re too tired and say so. They know that if they’re too exhausted they won’t be able to function a hundred percent during those extra shifts and, as a consequence, won’t be able to provide the best patient care possible. So instead of taking those extra shifts, they use their free time to bond with friends and family.

Excellent Nurses are Leaders and Motivators

Excellent nurses are sharers of knowledge and experience. This means taking new and inexperienced nurses under their wing, not to feel superior over them, but to help them through that rough start. You know that sharing what you know can only make everyone’s lives easier.

Excellence is not easy. It takes a lot of time, effort, energy, and sacrifices to be more-than-just-good-enough, whether it’s being a parent, playing tennis, or doing the job you’re hired to do. Unfortunately, there are more people who settle for mediocrity than people who aim for excellence.

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