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12 traits to develop as a new graduate nurse

  • Date: Jul 26, 2022
  • Author: Alastair Tulloch
  • Tags: Graduate Nurse,Nursing,Nurse recruitment,Vetro Recruitment

As a newly qualified nurse, you’re entering a profession that’s changing faster than ever. Developing these traits will help you successfully navigate and thrive in the fast-paced world of modern healthcare.

1. Caring

Not every nurse enters the profession because they want to take care of people, but every good nurse needs to develop the compassion to genuinely care about how their patients feel and to sustain that compassion through difficult times. It’ll make all the difference to your performance and success.

2. Communication Skills

You’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and families, other nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals. Good communication skills will not only support mental health and keep patients informed but also prevent dangerous medical errors.

3. Empathy

You’ll care for thousands of patients during your career, and it’s easy to become desensitised. A good nurse can show empathy to each patient, see things from their perspective, treat them as a person and take a person-centred approach to their care.

4. Attention to Detail

Nursing is a high-pressure job where mistakes are easily made and can be deadly. If you’re a stickler for the details, you’ll make a great nurse. If not, it’s time to start developing a keen eye for detail, as it could save someone’s life.

5. Problem-Solving Skills

Nothing hones your problem-solving skills like on-the-job training, so don’t expect yourself to be fantastic at this straight out of the gate, but do take every opportunity to learn and practise. A lot of decision-making will depend on you, and patient outcomes can depend on seemingly minor decisions.

6. Stamina

Nursing is a physically demanding job–during an average 12-hour shift, you’ll walk 4-5 miles and lift 1.8 tons (about the weight of a hippo), all while coping with emotional strain as well. Developing your stamina is vital.

7. Sense of Humour

A good sense of humour will not only boost your patients’ and colleagues’ morale, but also your own. The ability to laugh will help you stay afloat during stressful times and get more joy out of your career.

8. Commitment to Patient Advocacy

Being a patient is a distressing and disorienting experience that leaves many unable to advocate for themselves and their safety. A good nurse keeps patient advocacy at the forefront of their mind throughout the day with every patient.

9. Willingness to Learn

As the pace of change in the healthcare industry keeps accelerating, it’s never been more important for nurses to be willing to learn. It’s nurses, not doctors or any other role, who spend the most bedside time with patients, so the impact of your ability to keep up with change is immeasurable.

10. Critical Thinking

Putting the knowledge you’ve learned into practice will require critical thinking, especially in stressful situations. Leaders, colleagues and patients will quickly notice whether your critical thinking skills are good or not so good.

11. Time Management

During a 12-hour shift, you’ll need to balance the needs of multiple patients and competing priorities, focus on critical issues first, resist giving all the grease to the squeakiest wheels, and also make time for self-care. Good time management will make all the difference.

12. Leadership

If you stay in the field of nursing for long enough, you’re likely to be promoted to a leadership role–often suddenly and unexpectedly. That means you need to start developing your leadership qualities early and learning from the leaders around you.

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