So you think you're a good nurse?

  1. Hello all,

    I am new here and I am sure that most of you here are good nurses. It's not surpising to say that nurses have different difinitions or different ideas of what a good nurse is.

    I am not a nurse yet, but i would like to learn more from guys--for those of you who are already nurses or going to be ones, what qualities do you think you have or hope a real good nurse should have?

    In your own eyes, what exactly is a good nurse? What does he/she have to do in order to gain your trust/approval that he/she is truely a good nurse?

    Everyone is welcome to give comments/suggestions this thread!
  2. Visit thida profile page

    About thida, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 30; Likes: 10
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience


  3. by   llg
    I think you are asking a great question. In fact, it is one of the standard questions I have used when I interview for a job -- especially when I am in the process of applying for a job. I ask the question of everyone I interview with so that I can find out what they value and so that I can be sure that I will be a good fit for the position. I also use it to find out if the different people I meet during the interview process have views that are compatable with each other. I wouldn't want to accept a job on a team that had a lot of disagreements within their group about what they valued in a nurse. Finally, I usually ask the opposite question along with it. I ask, "What qualities would lead to say that someone was a really bad nurse?"

    Anyway ... to give you my answer to the question ...

    I look for 4 major things when I am looking for a good nurse.

    1. Critical thinking skills. Call it what you will, but I look for a nurse with a good head on his/her shoulders ... someone who is smart and who can think through a situation well to problem-solve the situations that arise. I can teach a good nurse the factual information and/or the procedures necessary to do the job -- but I need a well-functioning brain to work with.

    2. I look for someone who puts her patients' needs above his/her immediate personal comfort, desires, or needs when on duty. While none of us should allow ourselves to be abused by our employers, coworkers, or patients, there is a need to "give" more than "receive" in being a good nurse. While on duty, a good nurse says, "It's NOT all about me."

    3. Interpersonal skills. Nursing involves working with people -- patients, colleagues, employers, etc. The interpersonal skills are critical to a nurse's success.

    4. Positive attitude. A good nurse maintains a positive attitude through adversity. That includes the basics, such as not being a b**** with your colleagues -- as well as things such as being able to respond positively to change, being able to counted on in an emergency, etc.

    Again ... I can teach facts and skills. The things listed above are harder to teach and often make the difference between success and failure as a nurse -- and they tend to distinguish the good nurses from the bad ones.

  4. by   thida
    llg, I must say you are good at this! Thanks for replying to this thread...^_^ Of course, I want to be a good nurse :P

    By the way, the above four major things you explained above can be learned, right?

    How about everyone else, do you agree or disagree with what Igg's reply?
  5. by   thida
    ehheeh sorry for the mistyped name, i mean llg, not lgg lol
  6. by   llg
    Quote from thida
    llg, I must say you are good at this! Thanks for replying to this thread...^_^ Of course, I want to be a good nurse :P

    By the way, the above four major things you explained above can be learned, right?
    I think they can be learned ... but they are rarely taught. Most people learn these "life lessons" over a period of many years as they are growing up -- or they never learn them. They are not the types of things that most people learn from a class or a class-related activity. Schools try to point students in the right direction in these areas, but the student either makes the effort to BE that type of person and practice these behaviors or they don't. I think it has to come from inside the student/nurse. "A school can't put it there," if you know what I mean.

    What I have just written may be a bit of an overstatement. People can work to improve their skills -- but it takes time and effort and must come from within.

  7. by   thida
    EXCELLENT explaination! I completely understood what you meant ^_^
  8. by   Daytonite
    A good nurse is someone who. . .
    • Puts the patient above their own needs
    • Is kind, even when those around them are not
    • Is cool, calm and collected in any situation
    • Is like McGuyver, can solve, or knows where to go to figure out how to solve, most any situation, a stamper out of small fires, an efficient problem solver
    • Respects and helps co-workers
    • Is sensitive to the needs of their co-workers
    • Doesn't take a break while others around them are struggling with an overwhelming workload
    • Respects and performs due duty to their employer
    • Takes the initiative to do what needs to be done while on the job and doesn't have to be constantly reminded of the job duties
    • Steps forward to take the reins of leadership as needed and without running over the rest of the staff in doing so
    • Delegates work fairly and equitably among the staff they supervise
    • Isn't afraid to be assertive and timely in dealing with discpline or personality conflicts in subordinate staff
    • Is willing to compromise and change to fit whatever the circumstances might be without being directed to do so
    • Is energetic
    • Has a positive nature
    • Doesn't gossip
    • Teaches throughout their day
  9. by   thida
    LOOK! we have another excellent reply, thanks Daytonite!!!
  10. by   rogramjet
    Im think a good nurse has to be caring and have a positive attitude. Critical thinking is important and unfortunately I think most nursing schools drop the ball here. They focus too much on how to be good test takers so we can pass the NCLEX and not enough on how to be a good nurse.