Quiet nurse?


Hi everyone,

I am a pre-nursing student and I am really excited about starting my nursing classes and being a nurse! However, my personality has always been more on the quiet side. I've never let it affect any of the jobs I've had. I don't let it stop me from doing what I need to do, but I'm worried that people will preceive my quietness in the wrong way. I am especially worried because I want to go into OB more than anything, that's why I am even going back to school for nursing because I want to be in OB and Labor and Delivery. I know I wouldn't let my quietness affect anyone's health and safety but I don't want people to think I don't know what I'm doing or am just stupid because I'm quiet. I know I will be fine as soon as I learn what I am supposed to be doing, but I am worried if I don't tackle the quiet part of my personality I will encounter problems. I also strongly believe that certain personalities respond to certain personalities better than others, and it's all very individual, so having a variety of personalities in a unit would be helpful. I don't know though, what do you all think?



58 Posts

I am an RN and I am a naturally private person similar to quiet.....it is tough sometimes because the environment calls for a lot of COMMUNICATION and INTERACTION not just with patients but other nurses, doctors, techs, and other departments. I have seen many types of personalities in the medical field and I personally think the more friendly, outgoing, and approachable nurses/students do well in the field. Now not saying being quiet automatically cancels these other traits but it certainly doesen't help. I feel it is most important to be professional, compassionate, and safe and if you are those things you will be fine regardless! Just remember nursing is a team effort and in order for a team to be successful, everyone has to be involved! Good luck on your education and future career!!!!!:)


213 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatric Nursing. Has 1 years experience.

Your quietness more then likely will turn out to be one of your strengths. So few nurses are able to sit back and listen, we all want to manage the situation, be in charge, and get in the last say. Being able to sit back and hear what others are saying to you will make you a better nurse.

fuzzywuzzy, CNA

1,816 Posts

Specializes in LTC. Has 3 years experience.

I'm quiet too, but in my case it seems like everyone perceives it as "laid-back." It amazes me when people make comments about how I never seem to get stressed out, because I'm actually very high-strung!

Specializes in cardiothoracic surgery. Has 6 years experience.


You sound just like me when I started nursing school. There are all kinds of personalities in nursing, including the "quiet ones". I think it is important to remain confident and professional. I have found that a quiet personality works wonders on calming some patients and making them more comfortable, as long as you remain confident. Don't worry, after a few years in nursing, you won't be afraid to speak your mind and stand up for your patients!


50 Posts

Specializes in PACU,Geriatrics,ICU. Has 25 years experience.

being quiet it allows you to observe more. Quietness is not interchangeable with weak or passive. I agree that it could be a strength


1 Post


I understand you very much. I am extremely quiet person, plus a foreign graduate. When I started working in this country I was terrified. Being quiet and language barrier didn’t help.

But nursing is a kind of job that makes you learn communication skills fast and I wouldn’t believe 5 years ago that I would still be a nurse and love it. It actually changed my personality a lot, I love working with people. I am in ER now and patient flow is very high, plus lots of doctors and other nurses around, we have a good team. Most important are your colleagues, if you have good people around it will not take much time to adopt. It amazes me how much I changed. I am still quiet, but at my job nobody would say that.

You don’t have to change much; it will happen without you noticing when you learn your job and get confident. Just give it a little time and don’t be hard on yourself J

Specializes in L&D.

I tend to be quieter too, but I've found that my job is easier when I force myself to be outgoing and talkative with my patients. It seems to put most of them at ease when I'm willing to sit and chat (as much as time allows, of course) with them about their concerns.

That said, I went to school with someone who was so quiet and shy that she wouldn't even talk to her patients. She had to be prompted to introduce herself, and often our instructors would introduce her instead because she rarely spoke. She would assess the patients without saying anything to them and her instructions and answers to questions were painfully minimal. I know because we did our OB rotation together, and she had really serious problems with it. The patients didn't appreciate it, and our instructor pulled her aside over and over to discuss with her that she needed to talk more, that she could not be a success as a nurse if she NEVER spoke. I don't know where (or if) she's working now but I hope she's managed to move past her shyness, because it really did limit and handicap her when we were students.

So I think that if the issue is as extreme for you as it was for her then it's probably something you really need to work on. Otherwise, it's not that big a deal and there's nothing wrong with being a quieter nurse, any more than there's anything wrong with being a very boisterous and outgoing nurse. :)

Tweety, BSN, RN

32,939 Posts

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

If you are able to communicate appropriately when necessary, then I wouldn't worry about it. However, if you're shy and don't have the ability to confront patients, family members, coworkers, doctors and management when necessary it's going to have to be a skill you learn.

Just accept the fact that people are indeed going to make presumptions about you and fill in the blanks when you are quiet. If this is the way you've always been then you're probably already used to it and can let it roll off your back.

JB2007, ASN, RN

554 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Med-SURG,STICU. Has 5 years experience.

There is not one thing wrong with being a quiet person. God gave you two ears and one mouth, so maybe He intended for us to use our ears more than our mouths. As the other posters stated if you seem to be confident and are able to communicate with your patients there being quiet is a good thing. I find that I am able to learn a lot about what is going on with my patient/resident if I let them do most of the talking.

One word of advice is even if you do not talk much be sure to make appropiate eye contact. This will help to show confidence.

Jo Dirt

3,270 Posts

Has 9 years experience.

I'm a very quiet person. Not exactly soft-spoken, but I don't talk much. This is okay, but the thing is you can't confuse being quiet with being shy. Shyness will probably make things uncomfortable, because there will be times you will need to be assertive.

Has 20 years experience.

As long as you are able to speak intelligently when it is necessary, I don't think being quiet is a particular hindrance. Nursing is such a varied field; it certainly has room for many different types of personalities. You may find that certain aspects of nursing appeal more to a quiet nature than others, but in general, you should be fine. If everyone were loud and speaking constantly, nothing would ever get done. The ability to listen is a huge asset, in my opinion.

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