Just by wondering, “Am I fit to be a nurse?” you already demonstrate that you might make an excellent nurse. Nursing is a caring profession, and by asking the question, you show that you care about whether you can do the job well. Perhaps a nursing career is right for you. 

Before you invest in the education to become a Registered Nurse or a Nurse Practitioner, it is helpful to consider whether you will find it a fulfilling career. But read on to consider whether good nurses’ main traits fit your personality and strengths. 

Nurses are caregivers who use their empathy to understand the needs of patients and work to help them feel cared for. Compassion inspires nurses to have sympathy for the suffering of patients. If you find that you are a person who genuinely feels for other people and tries to help them, then you have the motivation that could make you an effective nurse. 

While caring is a necessary trait of nurses, listening and communicating well are also high on the list. If you have the foundation of good communication skills, you could turn into a terrific nurse. Getting a nursing degree will allow you to improve on your basic gifts of the gab.

One aspect of training to become a nurse is to practice “active listening” to ensure you are fully hearing what a patient is trying to get across. You will also have a chance to hone your communication skills so that you can clearly explain procedures and instructions to patients. 

Do you observe the small details of life around you? Are you capable of juggling many tasks at once? 

As a nurse, you would care for multiple patients at once, paying attention to the doctor’s orders and your own observations to best care for your charges. It is critical to get the details of medication right while you also attend to whether a patient is warm enough, answer a page from another department, and keep an eye on the other patients you oversee. Not every nurse works bedside in a hospital, but all nurses have to be very mindful of many details at once, prioritizing tasks for the health of their patients. 

Can you change plans on a dime and keep your cool when unexpected events happen? In nursing, you need to be flexible enough to handle changing circumstances and priorities, working with the needs of patients and the tasks at hand. You will experience stressful situations where your calmness under pressure will allow you to think rationally about the most beneficial course of action. You need to keep your cool even when patients are frustrating or challenging to deal with, continue to communicate clearly, change your approach, and get the job done well.

In nursing, you can expect the unexpected to happen quite frequently. If you find this stimulating and it motivates you to solve the problem, you could put your energy to work in a nursing career. People and their health are complex, variable, and unique. Each person in front of you will pose new and interesting problems to solve. In nursing school, you will sharpen your critical thinking skills to apply sound nursing principles to the task of solving problems. 

Everything in life takes energy, and you always have to work hard to do something well. Nurses can get a sense of accomplishment by devoting their energy to caring for people well. But nursing can be tiring and require you to pace yourself, know your limits, and take breaks when you can to have energy reserves ready when needed.

As you multitask, can you keep a sense of your priorities? Along with many details, nurses need to understand the overall situation around them to use their time and attention well. Although you need to remember details, you must also judge which tasks are most important. Doling out your limited time in the most useful way is part of the job.

Now that you have read some of the top qualities of excellent nurses, what do you think? Of course, you don’t have to be perfect at all the skills required, as you will learn many tricks and tips in nursing school. But if you care about people and want to improve the health of your community, you might make a capable and compassionate nurse.