I'm not a nurse, thinking about going into nursing, though, and I thought I might answer your original question, about how you could become a good nurse. I read some of the other posts here, and they remind me of the one negative experience I had while dealing with my son's heart condition. The nurse who posed that problem was reported, and action was taken, believe me! Our family has been in and out so many times, that we are well respected where we've been, especially by the higher ups and the nurses who are in supervisory positions. So, persons who behave in that manner, maybe they can also learn from what I am going to say about what made a good nurse in our eyes.
Our nurses while my son was hospitalized (many lengthy, times in his not-quite 8 months of life), were (all but one) wonderful!!! Yes, they were overworked, they were tired, and they were very busy. No, they were not at our beck and call, but they did apologize if something took an awfully long time, they truly seemed to care for my son, and they were respectful when we had a request (such as holding him, despite the fact that he was on the ventilator, but it had been a week and a half at that point).
The good nurses did not treat you like an idiot, they helped you to become informed about what the equipment in the room was, what it was there for, and how to read all the #s. They didn't assume that you didn't care, or assume that you already knew. They asked on about EVERY visit to the room if there was anything they could do for us, get for us, etc.
They treated my son as if he was their own. They would talk to us as humans, and not just another person taking up their time. They made sure if we had questions they could not answer, that they paged a doc. or wrote it in my son's file for someone to answer later.
I truly felt comfortable letting my son stay overnight with the nurses, and us going back to the Ronald McDonald House. The only time this didn't happen, was with the negative experience, and then, I wouldn't even leave his room to go to the bathroom or eat, unless someone else from my family was on watch. My only son's life was in their hands, and if someone had the attitude like the ones I've seen here... I asked to have them removed from my son's room and not to be returned.
In less than 8 months, we've racked up over $200,000 in medical expenses... with that kind of money going out, he ought to have the best care, and most times, that's exactly what we got. The only thing else I can say, is treat these patients (and their families) as if they're people you know. Treat them as you'd hope your own family would be treated if put in that predicament, and you'll be one of the nurses whom people like me call the big boss' and say "You know Nurse ______....he/she was absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!!! Let me tell you what he/she did for my child......I hope that you can find some way to positively recognize his/her work."