7 habits of highly successful nurses

Fuse | ThinkStock

Fuse | ThinkStock

Given the current state of our economy, I’m pretty sure no one would mind some additional tips for success. Our nursing profession is not exempt. While there is this supposed “nursing shortage,” climbing the nursing corporate ladder is still challenging.

A successful nurse isn’t the one who is the most popular, the highest paid or even at the top of the decision-making tree. I believe a successful nurse is one who makes an impact on his or her patient’s care. A successful nurse accomplishes the goal shared by every nurse by advocating for patients when they need it the most. And such a nurse would never admit to being “successful,” because he or she is simply doing his or her job.

Here are seven habits that some of the most successful nurses posses:

They Pay Attention to Detail

They notice everything, down to the smallest detail. Everything from the overflowing trashcan in a patient’s room to the outdated IV tubing, all the way down to the error on their home medication list. Not only do they recognize the details, but they address them in the most timely manner. They leave nothing to chance.

They Don’t Take Shortcuts

Shortcuts are those dastardly things that reduce time spent by skipping steps. Most would admit that shortcuts are harmless and ultimately are for the good of the whole process, but the most successful nurses will not only never take a shortcut, but also they will be the first to correct another nurse’s. Patient safety cannot be ensured when any step is skipped. Period.

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5 Responses to 7 habits of highly successful nurses

  1. Sophia99

    That is what is needed to be an excellent nurse. But I was harassed for doing so….. Nurses can be the worst kind of bullies, jealous, or non-supportive colleagues.I have been a RN for 40 years. Nurses can never be the great professionals they are meant to be unless they support each other and work together as a team.

    • sondoc

      True, after 30 plus years, the phrase nurses eat their young is practically a standard of practice. I don’t do it because I still remember where I came from, but a lot of us forget that when the diploma is put in your hands…

      • Jone Steverson

        I am a first semester nursing student who also works as a CNA in LTC. I am so discouraged by the bullies and negativity of the staff that I am doubting my career choice. This is a mid life career change and I don’t want to waste my time if this is what Nursing is about. My options are becoming clear…I think I want to work in a doctors office because I sure don’t want to be surrounded by the harpies I currently work with for the rest of my life. Why are these women like this? It’s an embarrassment to my gender…but it’s not just women either….mostly the LPNs not the RNs..Why are they in this field? Is it possible to make a difference in this industry?

  2. Carol McShane

    Thanks Sean- I think I might include these in a “Nurse of the Month” launch I’m working on for retention!!

  3. Nelly47

    As a first year RN student, I am learning a lot more about paying attention to detail – the tiniest missed detail could mean so much to a patient. Additionally, I’ve met a wide variety of nurses in my clinical rotations, from the amazing nurses who show so much care for their patients, are diligent in what they do, are willing to take me under their wing and answer the bombardment of questions I have AND do all these with a smile on their face, to those who see nursing as a job where they come in and put their time in, and leave. They couldn’t be bothered to answer my questions or help me, so I find other nurses who are happy to share their knowledge. When I become an RN, I definitely feel a responsibility to help those, especially students because that is how we all learn and how we all get better.

    Like Jone Steverson, I also work as a CNA in a LTC and I do my best to provide the best care I can, but it seems none of the LPNs or RNs really show much of an interest in their profession, nor do any of them really delegate to the CNAs or ensure the CNAs are doing what is required of them. Unfortunately, this trickles down onto the CNAs and some of the CNAs I work with are unbelievable in terms of the level of care they provide and not following proper hand hygiene. Yikes! Being both a CNA and a nursing student, I will definitely appreciate my CNAs and won’t be afraid to get my hands dirty once I start that first shift as a new RN grad!