Becoming a great nurse takes a lot more than just a good education. Although that is important too, so here are just some of the educational requirements you need for various nursing jobs, as well as winning qualities of any successful nurse.
You Need That Undergrad Degree
Every nurse needs to be licensed to practice in the U.S. But, there’s more than one educational path you can take to get there. First, there’s the undergraduate degree. This diploma is available through hospital-based schools of nursing. An associate degree in nursing is a two-year degree that’s offered by smaller community colleges and specialized nursing schools.
A bachelor of science in nursing is a four-year degree that prepares you for the full scope of the profession and includes two years of heavy concentration in psychology, human growth, and development, biology, microbiology, and organic chemistry.
You also learn about nutrition, physiology, and anatomy.
You don’t have to attend a traditional school to get these degrees though. In fact, many nurses today attend a college in Florida online.
You need A Graduate Degree To Advance
If you want to go further in your study, go for the masters or doctorate programs offered by universities. These advanced degrees focus on administration, education, and clinical practice.
You Need To Communicate
Communication is an essential skill set for a nurse. You have to be able to speak with patients, co-workers, and your boss about your job, medications, and job duties. A breakdown in communication could cost someone their life.
You Must Be Detail Oriented
Keeping detailed records of a person’s medical chart is also important. Medications need to be accurately recorded so that patients don’t overdose or under-dose on their meds. You also need to be able to accurately record patient history.
You Must Be Compassionate and Empathetic
Knowing how people feel, and being compassionate about patients’ medical conditions is part of the job. But, more than that, you need to genuinely feel for them without it compromising your position as a nurse.
You Need To Think On Your Feet
Sometimes, being a nurse means you need to think fast, especially if you work in a triage or emergency room setting. Even if you don’t, life-threatening reactions to medications or food come on fast and you need to react quickly with a plan.
You Need To Be Respectful And Patient
This is a lot harder than it sounds. They say patience is a virtue. It’s also a skill. Respect and patience in the face of adversity will make you a greater nurse than everyone else who has all of the other necessary skills but lacks these two important qualities.
There will be times when patients try your patience. You will run up against cultures and beliefs different from your own, especially in a medical context. You will have things thrown at you, people break down in front of you when confronted with their medical problems, and parents who plead to you for help when you can’t help them.
The best nurses take it all in and are able to offer comfort when no one else can. And, that’s probably the most important skill you can have as a nurse.
Lynette Hall is an experienced medical professional. She likes to be able to share her experiences and insights online. You can find her articles across a range of relevant websites.