The 5 Skills You Need to Excel as a Nurse
Nursing careers are some of the fastest-growing, most rewarding jobs available these days, and the demand for nurses is only expected to grow in the years to come as the population gets older and the need for health care increases.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of jobs for registered nurses will increase by nearly 20 percent over the next several years, while jobs for licensed practical nurses should go up even more quickly (25 percent), as will opportunities for nursing assistants (21 percent).
If you are considering a career in nursing, but unsure whether you would enjoy the work or be able to do it well, here are the five qualities that recruiters at the Mayo Clinic look for when hiring a nurse:
- A passion for the job – Nursing is about caring for those who are sick or injured, so the desire to help others is first and foremost when it comes to the attributes needed to be a good nurse. The primary value at Mayo is that “The needs of the patient come first.” People who understand this value and the reason for it, and those who strive to live it each day, will make the best nurses. Nursing should be more than just a job.
- Team players – A career in nursing is not for those who like to work alone. Good care is given using a team approach, and good nurses are comfortable working with others to provide it. There will be times when work is fast-paced, and nurses need to help their colleagues to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently. Nurses also commonly work in shifts, so showing up on time is essential and dependability is a must. Mayo looks for nurses who excel in a team setting and add value, working together to identify what’s best for the patient.
- Professionalism – Doing the job in a professional manner is important because it shows co-workers and employers that you respect them and the work being done, and it also makes patients feel confident that they are in good hands and receiving the best care possible. Being professional means doing what you say you will do, going above and beyond the basic job requirements and taking pride in yourself and your work.
- A desire to learn – While values such as empathy, compassion and concern will always be part of nursing, the tools and techniques used to provide the highest levels of treatment available are constantly being refined. People who enjoy learning new things, and are curious by nature, will do well within a nursing career because continuing education is an important part of the job.
- A willingness to teach – With learning playing such a crucial role, the ability and enthusiasm to share that new information with others is very valuable. The approach used at Mayo is for experienced staff to coach those around them in a respectful way. Mentors share what they’ve learned and help develop their co-workers while raising the standard of care at the same time.
Students who enroll in one of the nursing training programs offered by Lincoln Technical Institute often talk about their desire to help others as the reason they pursued nursing as a career. If you share this desire and have the other qualities listed above as well, consider learning more about how Lincoln can help you join the nursing profession. Programs are available for training as a practical nurse.
A nursing career is challenging, but it's also extremely rewarding. There will be plenty of opportunities available for those who pursue it.