7 (more) habits of highly effective nurses


Thinkstock | Michaeljung

Thinkstock | Michaeljung

Nurses are always in demand, but even more in demand are nurses who cultivate good habits that lead to success.

For a nurse to move forward in his (or her) career, he needs to take advantage of every edge he can get his hands on, and sound advice that leads to good practices is one of the most precious things a nurse can get.

The first part of this article discussed seven habits of successful nurses, but the words of wisdom don’t stop there! Here are seven more habits of highly effective nurses:

They Stay Human
A demanding schedule, difficult patients and other factors can pile on the stress for nurses. Still, successful nurses bear in mind that their profession is about helping others heal, and they can do this more effectively if they have a compassionate attitude.

There is a tricky balance involved here. Too little compassion can make nurses become careless on the job, while too much can drain their emotional resources and leave them exhausted.

They Practice Patience
A huge pile of paperwork is building up; that patient just doesn’t seem to understand what is going on; and the boss is giving out assignments like there’s no tomorrow. In such a situation, it’s easy to lose patience and go into panic mode, but successful nurses know how to stay calm and keep their patience with their patients. Most of the time, there is no need to hurry—even if it seems like pressure is coming from all sides. Rushing leads to potentially harmful mistakes.

They Think Like Leaders
Successful nurses recognize the role they play in the community and the power they have to influence others. They cultivate strong leadership skills even if their job description does not give them official authority over others. There is no limit on how far this leadership can go!

They Communicate Well
Effective communication makes things easier for everyone, including patients and their families, nurses and doctors. Nurses who develop good communication skills can make the clinic or hospital environment more pleasant for everyone because misunderstandings occur less frequently.

One of the most important keys to good communication? Choosing to listen instead of dominating a conversation. Also, good communicators know how to guide a conversation by asking the right questions.

They Laugh
You know all too well that nurses must deal with some unpleasant stuff…stuff that can suck the pleasure out of work if it goes unchecked. Successful nurses learn how to laugh even during the tough times. A good sense of humor is a useful trait that can keep nurses going and helps them stay focused on the good they accomplish. Plus, as everyone in the medical professional knows, laughter is a great medicine.

They Stay Flexible
People don’t stop getting sick or hurt because the nurses at the hospital or clinic are exhausted. Successful nurses stay flexible when they must adjust their schedules or stick around for a little while after their shifts end. When times are not hectic, they recharge their batteries so the next round of craziness doesn’t overwhelm them.

They Educate Others
This last stand-out nursing habit is perhaps one of the most important. Education is key in preventive care, and nurses who take the time to talk to patients about their vital statistics, habits, etc. play a huge role in getting people to think about their life practices and perhaps make adjustments. Helping people make wise choices saves money for medical facilities and improves the quality of life for patients.

Successful nurses also educate coworkers. This does not mean they are annoying know-it-alls, but it does mean they are happy to share ideas and methods that can contribute to a more effective workplace.

Nursing is a profession that can deeply affect both those who engage in it and the community around them. Nurses who incorporate the above habits into their everyday activities will stand out on the job—and they will have an edge when they are in line for a promotion.

JT Ripton is an RN and freelance writer. In his free time, JT loves to write on a myriad of topics, everything from nursing to technology. You can check out more of JT’s articles on Twitter @JTRipton.

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