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How to Be Successful in Nursing

While all jobs are demanding, nursing involves split-second, life-and-death decisions under difficult conditions. Nurses need formal preparation to be able to perform their duties at the highest level. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) prepares registered nurses (RN) to provide quality patient care in a complicated and evolving healthcare system. Along with educational preparation, there are other ways nurses can succeed in their careers.

What Qualities Do Nurses Need to Excel?

Nothing stays the same in nursing. Nurses are constantly faced with patient turnover, a multitude of medical conditions, updated technology, revised procedures and shifting health policies. That is why nurses need these attributes to maintain their competency and professionalism:

  • Diligence
  • Confidence
  • Compassion
  • Cooperation
  • Patience

What Skills Help Nurses Perform Optimally?

Dr. Diana Mashburn, program chair for the RN to BSN program at Northeastern State University, says, "Critical thinking is a skill that serves a nurse well. No matter the setting, in our profession it always comes back to critical thinking in the form of the nursing process."

Dr. Heather Fenton, NSU assistant professor and MSN program chair, believes that one of the biggest challenges nurses encounter is working with colleagues. She says, "Collaborative skills are essential for nurses to be an effective team member and facilitate better patient outcomes."

Nurses must possess strong critical thinking and reasoning skills to adapt to changing situations. You have to be a good problem solver to adjust your delivery of care. Additional crucial skills include:

  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Ability to multitask
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Cultural sensitivity

How Should Nurses Approach Patient Care?

Skilled nurses think about the best choices for each patient because everyone has different healthcare requirements. According to Dr. Mashburn, "The successful nurse applies the nursing process to the care of individuals, families and community groups. Nurses also adapt the nursing process to leadership, research and evidence-based practice opportunities." Thus, nurses have to consider the following when providing patient care.

  • Assessment
  • Nursing Diagnosis
  • I Interventions
  • Evaluation
  • Available resources
  • Patient preferences

How Does Technological Expertise Aid Nurses?

Patient care is often linked to technological equipment and electronic documentation. Helpful information is easily accessible through computers and handheld devices. Nurses can quickly find patient records, scan medications or retrieve other useful data. Nurses with a sound grasp of technology use have the ability to improve patient care.

What Is the Significance of a Formal Education?

A BSN program prepares nurses to take clinical knowledge into their nursing practice. Dr. Fenton hopes that her students graduate with the preparation they need to immerse themselves in the delivery of patient care. She says, "I want students to fully understand the content and applications so that they can take it to their workplace and immediately apply it."

What Can You Do to Be a Better Nurse?

The key to being an excellent nurse is lifelong education and active support of your nursing profession. These are ways you can become an outstanding nurse:

  • Attend nursing conferences and seminars so you can expand your nursing expertise and keep your practice up to date
  • Subscribe to nursing journals to stay current on new developments and research in your field.
  • Join committees to be part of conversations and negotiations about instituting new protocols, policies and procedures
  • Participate in meetings to make suggestions or prevent any potentially dangerous accidents.
  • Mentor novice nurses because they are the next generation of caregivers
  • Ask for assistance when needed to ensure the safety of your patients

Being a successful nurse is not about your position, specialty or the amount of money you earn. Instead, it means you have the necessary competencies and dedication to provide your patients with superior care. BSN-prepared nurses are properly prepared to overcome obstacles, take input from other healthcare professionals and remain lifelong learners. And, most importantly, they exhibit a passion for nursing.

Learn more about NSU's online RN to BSN program.


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