Qualities of a Good Nurse?


  • Specializes in Med/Surg, Dialysis. Has 5 years experience.

Hi Everyone,

I am currently a pre-nursing student just accepted to an RN program to start in August.

I just wanted to find out what qualities nurses possess that make them a great nurse? What are some good personality traits to have...?? What are some good skills to have...?? I am really curious to see what everyone thinks....

Also, any good tips for nursing students starting clinicals??

Thanks! :)

Nurse Hatchett

82 Posts

common sense and willingness to learn all the time :)

:balloons: Qualities of a good nurse! That's a great question! The number one quality I believe makes a good nurse is that the patient is your priority! Keeping them safe and being their biggest advocate! Show compassion and true caring for them; they and their family will love you forever!

Technical skills and knowing what you're doing is great but you never hear patients and families say "Wow, she/he really knows how to program that pump!". They always talk about how much you cared for them or their loved one!

Congrats on getting into school for a rewarding profession! It's not always rewarding and you may go home days saying, what have I done! But that is with any job!

Good luck to you!


22 Posts

Tn Nurse Jane too funny! :chuckle ...about the pump

My best teachers/Nurses have been the ones who totally stand up for their patients and don't judge. I think the Nurses I've admired the most are the ones who go head to head with the Residents because a patient needs something for break through pain (up and beyond what they are already getting for pain ) sometimes a patient just really needs that extra dose to take the edge off and make them comfortable. Some Dr's are reluctant and even "mean" when you bug them for such things, especially if the patient has a hx of subtance abuse. Subtance abuse or not, if you've just been cut open from head to toe you might need a little extra pain medicine here and there.

I think also giving the same quality care to all the patients on your assingment is critical. Keep personal opionions about people and thier lifestyle to yourself.

Sometimes sad to say the patients with families with them, whom are very articulate and cultured get more attention, while the ones from low incomes, other races and lifestyles get the bare minimum. I think giving 100% to all the patients on your assignment is soooo important, no matter what we think of them. Whom else will provide the Professional care they so much need???

z's playa

2,056 Posts

Woohoo! Way to go! Congratulations!



541 Posts

Congratulations! I would say a very important quality for a nurse to have is the ability to listen. It's amazing how much you can learn about your patient if you just take the time to stop and listen and truly hear them.


1,060 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry, ICU, Resource Pool, Dialysis. Has 11 years experience.

I agree with all the above, but I'll make a list:





assertiveness (NOT aggressiveness)

self-confidence/respect (not to be confused with conceit)

respect for other's opinions/beliefs

willingness to admit error - and learn from it

willingness to forgive error in others

ability to forgive yourself

look for and embrace positive changes

empathy, empathy, empathy

Congrats and Good Luck!

Oh, tips for nursing students starting clinicals? Ummmmm, do whatever your instructor tells you to do and exactly the way she wants it!!!:bowingpur

Tweety, BSN, RN

32,997 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

pricklypear sums it up nicely.

flexibility along with organization and prioritizing


an attitude of nonjudgement of their lives or lifestyle, race, religion, etc. etc. :)


232 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Dialysis. Has 5 years experience.

Thank you for all the input!!! Very interesting!!!

:) :) :) :)


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 26 years experience.



passion about his/her work

timeliness (I hate chronically tardy people)


tendency to be quick learners/self-starters

always being willing to learn/never too stubborn or "set in their ways" to learn something new

willingness and ablility to be a preceptor/mentor for new nurses (they are our future ya know)


I really like the comments about being non-judgemental. This day and time you run up against so many different lifestyles. I live by the opinion that I treat my patients with as much respect and dignity that I would want someone to treat my mom, dad, brother or sister...no matter what the situation.

Specializes in ICU, CCU, Trauma, neuro, Geriatrics. Has 16 years experience.

A quality nurse also respects her co-workers and is their advocate also when needed.