For several years, you’ve given up a social life, time with your family, and personal time in order to focus on your goal of completing nursing school. Well, congratulations to the Class of 2019 – your hard work and dedication have paid off, and you’re well on your way to becoming working nurses! [TM1] You may be just beginning to apply for nursing jobs, or you might have already received a few offers; either way, we’d like to discuss some important attributes for nursing success that will serve you well whether you’re at the beginning of your career or a seasoned nurse with many years’ experience.
1. Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity
These are both qualities essential to providing quality nursing care. Understanding, respecting and accommodating patients’ preferences and needs with regard to their customs, beliefs, and practices should be an integral part of your nursing care. The first step to providing culturally competent care is recognizing your own biases. Once you have done this, you can learn more about cultural sensitivity through employer-based educational opportunities, or through organizations such as the Transcultural Nursing Society.
Compassion is a quality essential to providing good nursing care. Nurses are on the front lines of health care and often must help families and patients at their most difficult moments. Avoiding nursing fatigue is integral to providing compassionate, skillful nursing care. Self-care goes a long way toward helping us care for and be our best selves with others. Take time to meditate, exercise, take a class learning about something you enjoy and volunteer your time to a cause close to your heart. The better we take care of ourselves, the more care and compassion we are able to show others.
3. Critical Thinking
The Foundation for Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as the intellectually disciplined process of actively conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, and evaluating information gathered from observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication. In its exemplary form, “it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.” Critical thinking is an essential skill for nurses in that it integrates information, observation, experience, and outcomes, and translates them into effective patient plans and solutions. Increased critical thinking skills translate into improved patient outcomes, so honing these skills is vitally important to your nursing practice. Becoming involved with your facility’s quality improvement processes and keeping up to date with the finding of professional journals are two ways to keep your mind sharp and hone your critical thinking skills.
Professionalism is a word that encompasses a lot of different things: it means always maintaining a neat, presentable professional appearance. It means the realization that everything we say and does reflects our moral principles and ethical values. Nurses must always behave in a professional manner, both with colleagues and in front of patients. Professionalism means that nurses display competence, specialized knowledge, honesty and integrity, and self-regulation. Professionalism doesn’t mean having all the answers; what it does mean is committing to finding out the answer if you don’t have it. Professionalism means believing in a standard of excellence and trying to adhere to that standard. By continuing to hone our skills, finding the answers when we are asked a question to which we don’t know the answer, and by being unfailingly polite and respectful of others’ viewpoints, we are helping set the standard for a culture of professionalism in the workplace. Behaving with professionalism in the workplace reflects the dedication to the caring, selfless ideal of the nursing profession.
5. Attention to Detail
Attention to detail doesn’t just help avoid potentially dangerous mistakes in your nursing practice but also helps you provide the best patient care. Focusing on active listening, the practice of observing both verbal and non-verbal cues, helps patients feel acknowledged and understood, and not merely heard.
We wish you success and fulfillment in your professional career.
California Southern University’s School of Nursing offers a CCNE accredited BSN or MSN 100% online programs. Take advantage of our interest-free, “E-Z” monthly payment option of $250.00 for Undergraduate Studies and $350 for Graduate Studies. For more information on our BSN or MSN 100% online programs please CLICK HERE.