Personality Traits of Registered Nurses

Nursing is a demanding field. The hours are long and grueling. The profession requires someone with a special personality for effective patient interaction. Before considering a career in nursing, Registered Nurse candidates should verify they have the following characteristics:

1. Compassion
Nurses must care about their patients. If they have ulterior motives or biases, they will not succeed as a nurse. Since nurses care for people when they are not at their best, they have to have the best bedside manner. Patients may be grumpy, sad, distraught or belligerent. Nurses should be able to deal with all types of patients regardless of their mood. Compassionate nurses can demonstrate their sincere care for people and express this care during the interaction.

2. Empathy
Nurses should be able to communicate with people by understanding their pain. If they imagine how the patient must feel, they can provide a better quality of care. Empathy is a personality trait that nurses should have.

3. Organization
Nurses should be organized and detail-oriented. They often must record items, such as vitals, on patient’s charts. If the information is recorded incorrectly, physicians will make an inaccurate diagnosis and lawsuits may follow. Nurses cannot make these types of mistakes. Detailed and organized people will perform well in a medical field.

4. Emotional Stability 
Nurses should be able to handle the stress and the range of emotions that he or she will feel on a daily or weekly basis. A nurse who is primarily delivering babies will mostly experience joy. Occasionally, there will be a breached birth or a death of a baby or mother. Nurses should be able to handle these emotions also.

5. Physical Endurance
Nurses are standing for 12 hours or more at a time. They rarely have breaks. Physical endurance is important to success on the job as a nurse.

6. Quick Thinker
Nurses should be able to think quickly and make sound decisions in critical medical situations. People who need to think a long time before making a decision may not be a good fit for the nursing profession. Even a fraction of second could mean life or death. Critical thinking and quick thinking are essential to the success of a nurse.

7. Hopeful
Nurses must remain hopeful even when the patient is not. When a difficult diagnosis or prognosis is delivered, nurses should be able to console the patient without being condescending or over-bearing. A nurse with a good attitude can help patients feel better about their situation.

8. Good Communicator
Nurses should be able to communicate with patients, doctors and their peers. Good communications skills are essential to the success of the patient.

9. Patience
Some patients will be obstinate. Nurses should be able to handle resistance and exhibit patience even when it is difficult. The patient may ask the same question over and over or be evasive in their questions. The nurse’s job is to serve the patient in a calm manner without showing signs of despair. The best nurses understand a patient’s situation.

10. Able to Deal with Bodily Fluids
People who are squeamish about bodily fluids are not a good fit for the nursing profession. Blood, mucus and other bodily fluids are a part of everyday life. Nurses must be comfortable around bodily fluids daily.