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How To Be A Good Nurse

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If you’ve ever had to stay in hospital or visited a loved one who was unwell in hospital, you’ll know that not all nurses are the same. Some are just doing their job whereas others are doing something they love and enjoy; they are doing it for the right reasons. In other words, some nurses are better than others, and they cannot all be thought of in the same way.

If you are a nurse or considering training to be one, how can you ensure that your work falls into the ‘good’ category, and that patients and their families are always going to be pleased to have you around? Read on to find out what it takes to be a good nurse, and try to implement all of this into your daily working life.


Nurses need to learn a large amount of clinical and technical information; being a nurse is not just about being a good person and being kind and helpful to patients (although, as we’ll read later, this is also important). Having the right level of knowledge thanks to an online FNP program is the best way to start as this will give the you ideal grounding you need to build on your nursing techniques.

When you are a nurse, you will need to:

  • Be able to think quickly
  • Be able to think critically
  • Have good patient assessment skills
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Understand the human body
  • Understand how different conditions affect the patient

Not everyone is able to combine all of these skills together, but if you can then you will be a good nurse who is able to care for patients emotionally, mentally, and physically. 


When you are a nurse, you will need to treat someone’s physical symptoms and ensure their wounds are dressed and that they are being given the right medication. On top of these practical skills, which can be learned, you will need to be compassionate; this is something that is more difficult to learn, and if you are naturally able to feel sympathy for people who are going through tough times, and have an awareness of how they might be feeling, then †as long as you also have the practical knowledge †you will make a good nurse.

Being compassionate isn’t just something that is ‘nice’ for the patient. It is actually something that can help them get better more quickly. The mind is a wonderful thing, and it can help with physical healing; the more positive a patient is feeling, the quicker they will heal. So, if they have a great nurse who is able to understand what they are going through and make them feel better about the situation, their healing can be sped up.


When a doctor examines a patient to determine what is making them unwell, sometimes they will need to hear from the patient themselves as to what they have done (or not done) that could be contributing to their symptoms. In some cases, depending what it is and the beliefs of the patient, this can be embarrassing to talk about, yet it is vital for a proper diagnosis.

A nurse, with the proper respect, can often obtain this information. They are able to show that they understand the patient and that they won’t judge, no matter what the answer to the questions might be. This can literally save lives. Respect is also important when a patient is making a decision about their treatment.

Staying calm under pressure

One of the most important traits of a good nurse is the ability to stay calm under pressure. A nurse needs to be level-headed at all times as this will assist not only the patient, but also the family and friends who are at the hospital or who need to be given information, and the doctors and other medical staff who need the nurses to assist with procedures and helping the patient.

Being calm requires the nurse to have a high level of knowledge and confidence, and these traits together will ensure they are seen as a good nurse. When you know exactly what to do in any given situation and your knowledge is second to none, it will be much easier to stay calm because you know just what steps need to be taken. It must be remembered that nursing is a high pressure job and isn’t something that everyone can deal with.

Be good with details

A nurse needs to be good with details in order to be good at their job. They must be extremely detail oriented when it comes to giving medication, for example. Good focus here can help a patient get well in a more timely manner.

Good nurses will also be meticulous in their work, checking and re-checking to make sure everything is as it should be. The smallest details really do make a difference and a good nurse will know that right away.

Good communication skills

Working in a hospital or any other medical field requires a good level of communication. It can mean that difference between life and death, and is something that good nurses should know exactly how to do.

Patients will want to communicate with nurses, for example. They may simply need a ‘sounding board’ to take out their fears and frustrations, and this is something that a nurse can do, allowing the patient to feel better. However, patients may also tell a nurse something they wouldn’t have told anyone else, and this might be about their illness. Listening is crucial, and being able to determine what is important and what isn’t is all part of the job.

Nurses also need to be able to communicate with other medical staff such a doctors. Being asked to take some form of action by a doctor is a big part of their job, and if they don’t listen correctly or don’t ask the right questions, the patient could suffer as a result.

Communication should flow from and to a good nurse easily, making their job smoother to carry out.