Qualities a Nurse must have

10 qualities every great nurse should have

Susanna Kahr

If you’ve ever spent any time in hospital then you will know just how invaluable a great nurse is. They’re there for us when we’re sick, they’re our advocates and they become our friends. There aren’t many professions that offer the chance to make such a big impact on people’s lives, but great nurses do this every single day. Even more, a good nurse can help speed up your recovery. With this in mind, there are a number of qualities that every great nurse has, so here’s our top ten.


This is perhaps the most important skill that every great nurse has. Having empathy for patients and their families who are likely going through some of the worst days of their lives makes all the difference. Great nurses have compassion for those they care for and offer them comfort whilst giving them the best level of care.

Communication skills

 Communication skills are important in every job, but they’re even more important for nurses as nurses are the vital link between the doctors and the patients. Based on team and patient feedback, nurses have to be able to make quick decisions and communicate effectively with their patients and families about what is going on. A great nurse also acts as an advocate for their patients by anticipating their needs and making sure that these are truly understood by everyone else.

A sense of responsibility

The best nurses truly care for the patients they work with, but that’s not to say that things don’t go wrong sometimes. A great nurse is able to shoulder the responsibility for a patient’s care and take ownership of some of the decisions. Equally, if something goes wrong, they know how to communicate this clearly and empathetically to either the patient or their family.


Sick or elderly patients tend to be a lot slower, so having patience is really a virtue when working as a nurse. A great nurse will allow their patient to take their time and assist them in communicating, with their clothing or with any other tasks that they may need assistance with, whilst making sure that they never feel like a burden.

Mental stability

Nursing can be a very rewarding job but it can also be very stressful. The ability to accept suffering and death without letting it get you down is critical. One of the best ways for nurses to work on their emotional stability is to talk about the way that they feel. Nurses have a wealth of understanding people around them every single day, from doctors to fellow nurses and so they should make sure to talk to them, whilst can also trying meditation, or exercise to relieve the stress.


Nurses work with people from all walks of life on a daily basis, so a little respect goes a long way. Great nurses respect everyone they work with, from their patients to other members of staff. They are impartial at all times and mindful of different cultures and traditions. Above all, they respect the wishes of the patient.


Every decision that is made in the medical field has far-reaching consequences for patients. A great nurse has a great eye for the details and is careful not to take shortcuts or make mistakes.Great nurses should have their eye on the patient’s chart, make note of all conversations and pick up on the nuances of sensitive or difficult cases. Nothing can be left to chance, so an eye for detail really can save someone’s life.


Making jokes in difficult situations isn’t always easy, but those nurses who can make light of the situation are able to navigate stressful situations better. It’s great when a nurse can mix fun and humor into their work as not only do they enjoy their job better, it can alleviate some of the stress for the patient and the family too and keep everyone going through the tough times!


Great nurses need to be creative to keep up spirits, manage situations and suggest solutions. A bit of creativity can help a nurse to look after a young patient by entertaining them or help them to come up with more creative ways to keep patients’ minds off things.


Nurses are the lifeblood of any hospital, as they are the crucial link between the doctors and the patients. A great nurse has excellent interpersonal skills and can work well in a number of different situations and with other nurses, doctors, and other members of the staff.For patients, nurses are a friendly face and for doctors they are dependable team members. What would a hospital be without them?



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