Strong personality not good for Nursing?

  1. I am currently getting ready to start my first semester of Nursing school in January to be an RN. I currently work in a health care setting as a secretary. It's pretty stressful at times and I don't always agree with how things are done or how staffing is. I'm not shy at all about letting people know how I feel. I guess you could say that I'm not exactly popular at my job because of this but I am very dependable and organized.

    I recently have been told by a couple of supervisors that if I can not handle the stress of my job now that there is no way that I will be able to handle Nursing. I have family in the health care field and they said that it is a completely different situation. I am already nervous about starting in January and am having doubts that i can do it. Now listening to their comments makes me doubt myself even more. Sometimes I feel like my personality could be a hinderance and other times I don't. I have been this way my whole life and I can't completely change everything about myself now!

    I'm just not really sure how to feel anymore and I resent the fact that they are attacking my ability to attain my future goals.

    Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Visit Leesha profile page

    About Leesha, ADN, BSN, RN

    Joined: Aug '07; Posts: 84; Likes: 56


  3. by   traumaRUs
    Nothing wrong with being a strong person, you run into trouble when/if you tramp on other's feelings or rights.

    It is better to pick your battles - fighting over school rules, instructor's grades are not always winnable. Complaining in a structured, focused and organized and respectful manner will get you noticed but in a positive way.

    Good luck in school.
  4. by   caliotter3
    It takes a person with a strong personality to effectively advocate for their patients. Don't shoot yourself down before you even start. Give it a chance.
  5. by   ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    I have a very strong personality and I have gotten through find, it's all about knowing when to say something though and how to say it. There is that saying, "their is a time and place for everything" This is true. Also their is difference between having a strong personality and being a *****, you have to know the line between the two.

    No matter what though, don't let anyone else decide your fate for you. If this is what you want, go for it. It is a different experience for everyone.

    So far everyone has told me how hard it is and how it's the hardest thing you will ever go through. Thus far, I haven't found that to be true.
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Dec 19, '09 : Reason: changed to all **
  6. by   Leesha
    Thank you so much for the response!

  7. by   Isitpossible
    leesha dont worry about will probably be a great Advocate for your patients (as someone else said)...part of nursing is advocacy for your patients!!! i just started a nursing program and im 38...i have short tolerance for nonsense as well and dont mind one bit expressing it!!! yet, im very giving and nurturing for people who need assistance!! so im not going to change, and i really think ill be an asset to my patients!
  8. by   al7139
    I completely understand where you are coming from! I am a nurse with 2+ years experience. I have had the same job since I graduated. When I was in school my strong personality wasn't really an issue, since in class and clinicals we were students in a subordinate position. Once I graduated and was working, I found myself in a position where I encountered all different situations and personalities, and my own very outspoken and strong personality came out again. I occasionally got myself into situations that I wouldn't have if I had just thought before I opened my mouth. Unfortunately, restraint is something I had to learn, it wasn't automatic. I was lucky that I had supervisors who recognized that I am a good nurse, and that I wasn't being a B*#%$, but had to learn to think before I spoke. There were lots of discussions with my supervisors and constructive criticism to help me to learn how to rein it in. I learned to really stop and think about how to say something before I spoke and how to advocate for my patients without alienating the people I work with. I asked my supervisors and my coworkers to help me with feedback if I was coming on too strong in a situation. It worked for me, and while I am by no means perfect, it helped me to really take a look at how other people percieve me and to be calm in situations where I could easily get in trouble if I said what I really feel. This was especially helpful in dealing with some of our resident doctors who can be difficult to talk to and got me riled on a regular basis!
    I personally think that to be a nurse you must have a strong personality to deal with the daily stress, but you also need to be able to have compassion for your patients...even the most trying ones! Like I said before, it is a learned behavior that you need help and guidance with. You will learn when to hold back and when to let that personality out. Don't let the naysayers stop you from getting there! The best nurses I work with are just like me!
    Good luck!
  9. by   AOx1
    Much of this depends on how you approach things. With the staffing example, for instance, if you said:
    "This is ridiculous, we're short staffed again! I hate this place"
    It comes across very differently than offering a potential solution, such as:
    "I've noticed that it is always really busy at 2pm. I think a potential solution to improve work flow would be to _____________"

    As a manager, I hated griping and complaining. But I loved it when people would come up with ideas that really helped, or at least had a potential idea in mind to make things better.

    I'm not saying, of course, that you are griping and complaining because I don't know you or work with you. I am just saying to explore reasons why your comments are not well received. Some units are just toxic and it may have little to do with you personally.

    As many others have suggested, stength is necessary for a nurse!

    One of my students has a very strong personality and will make a wonderful advocate with great leadership potential. We have worked extensively on how to communicate in a strong but respectful manner. Find a good mentor that has a personality similar to yours, and model their communication style. I currently have an excellent role model and mentor, and she teaches me something new all the time.
  10. by   livinglighthouse
    As my husband so graciously likes to remind me it's not.what you say but how you say it. I have an extremely strong personality and have had to work hard to find the ways to say things to get my point across without being rude or condescending. I find overall that is an advantage to be strong as nursing can be a tough environment and those that can't speak up for themselves often are unhappy and tend to get run over. Be proud of yourstrength and focus on how you say things rather than compromising your ideas and thoughts.
  11. by   morningland
    Simpy put... don't listen to what your idiot managers say... you sound like you'll be a fantastic nurse!
  12. by   llg
    I agree with the others -- a strong personality is an asset in nursing, not a weakness.

    However ... to be successful, you will need to learn how to use that strength in a positive way and not to use it in a destructive way. It's all in how you use it. Using that strength wisely involves "people skills" -- such as tact, diplomacy, flexibility, the abilty to compromise, sensitivity to the needs of others, the ability to lead others so that they want to follow you.

    Are you strong enough to use your strength wisely? Are you strong enough to lead? Are you strong enough to learn the "people skills" you need to succeed?

    Some people with "strong personalities" become great leaders. Other people with "strong personalities" are simply demanding, insensitive to the feelings of others, and obnoxious. Which type of "strong personality" do you choose to be?

    I hope you choose to be the positive kind.

    Good luck to you.
  13. by   FowLaf24/7
    It may not be that you do not handle stress, it is how you choose to deal with stress. In the past, when your environment was chaotic, you let others know. You handled stress by being vocal. Maybe you can find another way of dealing with the stress. Please don't believe the way you were handling the situation was not good. Other people who are in the environment may be dealing with the stress in a less productive manner- being in denial.
  14. by   blueyesue
    I have the opposite problem. I have more of a gentle/softer personality. I tend to use rational self talk to help me overcome obstacles thereby avoiding some confrontations.

    I think each personality type has it's strengths and weaknesses, and it's all about which parts you let play out more.