Nursing has been and remains to be, one of the most respected professions in the world. They work hard every day to support and treat patients, provide doctors with essential information, and help with their workload as well as managing and completing their tasks during the day. It’s a demanding job, and not everyone is right for this profession, but it’s also easy to see why so many people choose this career path. If you have been considering becoming a nurse, first ask yourself, do you have what it takes?
There is a lot that goes into becoming a nurse and the training can be tough. After that, life on the ward can become even tougher. Every day you will be caring for sick and vulnerable people, and you will also come into contact with worried family members and friends who will be asking you a lot of questions. Sometimes these situations can be difficult, so part of being a great nurse is having the determination to carry on every day and cope with these circumstances in a calm, professional manner.
As you’re responsible for the health and well-being of patients you must be able to communicate effectively with other members of your team. Getting the right information across quickly and clearly could be the difference between life and death in some circumstances, so you must have strong communication skills. These skills will also be important and useful when you’re talking to the loved ones of patients or anyone else outside of your team of colleagues.
As mentioned above, part of your job will be communicating with the relatives and friends of your patients, and there will be times when you won’t be able to deliver positive news. Being able to show compassion and understanding for those coping with grief and distress is an essential quality that every nurse should have. You will need it for your patients, too, as they will likely be scared and concerned about their health and whether or not they’re getting better. It might be difficult at times, but you will need to stay strong for them and become part of their support network in the hospital.
Working as a nurse means you won’t always be working the most sociable hours, and often shifts are very long and tiring. You must be willing to show some flexibility if you want to pursue this career path, and accept that you might not have every Friday night off and that some weekends you will have to work. You’ll also have to work the night shift sometimes, so be prepared to give up the usual 9 to 5 structure that some of your friends and family might have.
A Willingness to Learn
There is a great deal to learn on the road to becoming a nurse, and you will continue to learn on the job, too. The first step you will need to take on this career journey will be to receive the right education. You will need to enroll in an accredited nursing program, such as a bachelor’s degree or nursing diploma. These courses will take a few years to complete, so you need to be prepared to stick to your studies for a lengthy period to achieve your career goals. If you want to develop further once you have become a registered nurse and become a nurse practitioner, you will have to study further to complete this qualification.
You must be able to work as part of a team if you’re going to become a nurse. Working in healthcare centers and hospitals can become very stressful and frustrating, and this is why everyone must work together as a team to make those tough times a little easier. You don’t have to become everyone’s best friend, but you must be able to treat your colleagues with respect and be able to step up to the plate when you’re required to.
Finally, although being a team player is a vital quality, you should also be able to use your initiative and work independently. Everyone else on your team will have their workload to manage, and while you all need to support each other that doesn’t mean expecting people to hold your hand or do your work for you. You need to have self-confidence and initiative to make it as a nurse.
There are many other qualities that nurses need to have, but the ones listed above are key. It’s not an easy career to follow, but it is one of the most rewarding. If you think you have what it takes to make it as a nurse, why not start your journey today?