Why Is Nursing Right for Me?

Why Is Nursing Right for Me?

Mar 21, 2015 | 12:00 pm

If you’ve considered a career in health care, you probably asked the question, Is nursing right for me? Let’s take a look at what attributes make a nurse successful, and find out if you have what it takes.

As one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, the nursing field continually pursues applicants who have what it takes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the most important qualities for a nurse include:

•Critical-thinking skills
•Ability to show compassion
•Detail-oriented personality
•Emotional stability
•Organizational skills
•Physical stamina
•Communication skills

Is Nursing Right for Me… Yes or No?

After reading each of the seven qualities below, decide if it describes one of your strengths. Then, tally your answers to discover if you’re making the right career move.

Critical-thinking Skills

Assessing the health of patients is only one of the tasks required of nurses on a daily basis. Based on their assessments, nurses may need to take action or make referrals. Ask yourself: When I’ve learned a new skill, do I feel confident executing on it?

Empathy for Patients

According to The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing article “Ethics: Beyond Patient Care: Practicing Empathy in the Workplace,” writer Christine Sorrell Dinkins, PhD writes that without empathy it’s “difficult for any of us to understand the needs and wants of others so that we may know how to treat them kindly and generously… .” Ask yourself: When I encounter the health concerns of others, do I put myself in their shoes and imagine the best way to help?

Attention to Detail

With the many important decisions that must be made in nursing, focusing under pressure and offering treatments can make the difference between the life and death of a patient. This is a big one: Am I a detail-oriented thinker who can move through a mental checklist quickly, even in an emergency situation?

Emotionally Stable Under Pressure

As well as healing and recovery, nurses witness suffering, death and traumatic injuries as a normal part of their work. Ask yourself: Can I stay calm and effective, even when facing a life-threatening injury or death?

Organized Thinking

Nurses encounter multiple patients with multiple issues—and each one requires specific care and treatment. For this reason, nurses must keep track of their patients’ needs, and more are turning to technology. DiscoveringNurses.com notes that today’s nurses are specializing in electronic medical records and more for efficiency. Ask yourself: Do I take an organized approach to multi-tasking by using technology or other systems for fast and accurate responses?

Physical Energy and Strength

From lifting and cleaning patients to moving equipment and changing patients’ rooms, nursing is not always a desk job. Though more tasks are becoming computerized, patient-facing nurses spend time at the bedside of patients, caring for their needs. Do I have the strength and stamina to physically care for the different needs of patients day after day?

Communication Skills

From talking with patients and their families to collaborating with doctors and other colleagues, nurses must speak with tact and compassion, solving problems quickly and advocating for patients’ needs. Am I comfortable working together with changing teams of professionals and communicating results in a way people can understand?

Is nursing right for me? Depending on how you answered above, you should be closer to answering this question.