Though some careers in the health care industry may spike from time to time, nurses are pretty much always in steady demand. The field of nursing is set to grow 16 percent by 2024, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and those figures have been above the national average for quite some time. It's easy to see why hospitals and doctor's' offices will always need nurses: In many ways, these individuals are the glue of any health organization, assisting doctors, caring for patients and helping with administrative functions. As such, it takes a very specific personality to become a successful nurse.
"Registered nursing is set to grow 16% by 2024."
Here are four traits that all nurses exemplify:
1. They're adaptable
Medicine in general can be unpredictable. It's hard to determine what will happen on any given day, especially if you work in a fast-paced settling like an emergency room. Even your standard doctor's office can prove hectic, as treating or assisting each new patient proves to be uniquely challenging. As such, nurses need to be truly adaptable, able to go with the flow at a second's notice. That could mean running tests on a patient one minute and answering questions for another the next. Adaptability isn't just being comfortable with this ever-changing pace; it's about thriving under these unique conditions and finding ways to streamline efforts. A good nurse knows how to give each task the same attention every single time.
2. They love working with people
Nurses interact with almost everyone in a hospital or medical office. That includes not only doctors, patients and other nurses, but administrators, support staff and even the family and friends of patients. Working with so many different people involves a number of different skills. More than anything, nurses have to enjoy their work, celebrating the fact that they get to come across so many people's paths. A great nurse also knows how to bring people together, working alongside each other toward a mutual goal. From time to time, nurses must work with people who aren't so kind or accessible, and that takes a certain level of patience and diplomacy. Being a nurse means engaging people of all types with the same enthusiasm.
3. They are emotionally gifted
No matter what kind of setting you might work in, being a nurse can be emotionally trying. That's true if you're working with ill patients or those that are unhappy about finances or paperwork. A truly successful nurse has the emotional tools to handle almost any situation. In some instances, that means being empathic, finding ways to understand and relate to the emotions of patients and coworkers alike. This kind of connection is important to serving people and helping them through various issues. Other times, nurses need to be less available emotionally and instead put on a poker face. That skill is especially helpful as you deal with some of the downsides of being a nurse, like extra stressful days, ill patients and occasional issues with coworkers.
"Patience is a true virtue for all nurses."
4. They're good with details
Being a nurse isn't just about enriching the lives of patients. Depending on the field you've entered, you'll spend a lot of your time filling out paperwork and forms, transcribing doctor's notes, handling patient reports and myriad other administrative functions. This is where a keen eye for detail comes in handy. All the best nurses are able to work on tasks like these quickly and effectively, with a very small margin of error. This detail-oriented work is also about having enough patience; filling out paperwork for hours at a time can be mentally and emotionally taxing, and it takes mettle not to crack. This patience is also hugely important when it comes to interacting with patients.
Nurses are truly unique individuals. They have the emotional wherewithal, understanding and patience to help people during their greatest time of need.