Top 10 Attributes of a Great Nurse

At Horizon Healthcare Staffing, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with only the best nurses. Our nurses must have good communication skills, emotional stability, empathy, flexibility, among others. Here is our top 10 list of attributes of a great 10 attributes of a great nurse


1. Communication Skills

Solid communication skills are important for any career. But for nurses, it’s one of the most vital aspects of the job. A great nurse needs to problem solve and efficiently communicate with their patients and families.  In order to do this, they must have excellent communication skills, especially when it comes to speaking and listening.

2. Emotional Stability

Nursing is a stressful job.  Some days are filled with sad situations – pain, suffering, even death.  Having the ability to recognize and understand that it’s all part of the job without letting it get personal is crucial.  A great nurse is able to manage the stress of sad situations, but also draws strength from the wonderful outcomes that can and do happen.

3. Empathy

Great nurses have empathy for the pain and suffering of patients. They are able to feel compassion and provide comfort. Compassion is essential but occasionally, nurses will suffer from “compassion fatigue”.  Although quite common, it is very important to learn how to recognize the symptoms and deal with it efficiently.

4. Flexibility

Being flexible and rolling with the punches is a staple of any career, but it’s especially important for nurses. A great nurse is flexible with regards to working hours and responsibilities. Nurses, like doctors, are often required to work long periods of overtime, late or overnight shifts, and weekends.

5. Attention to Detail

Every action has a reaction and, in the medical field, can literally be the difference between life and death.  A great nurse pays excellent attention to detail and is careful not to skip steps or make errors.  Nothing can be left to chance because even a simple mistake can lead to lead to tragedy.

6. Interpersonal Skills

A successful nurse has excellent interpersonal skills and works well in a variety of situations with different people.  Nurses are the glue that holds the hospital together. They are the link between doctors and patients and will balance the needs of both.

7. Physical Endurance

Nursing is a physical job.  Nurses are always on the move and required to perform physical tasks like lifting heavy objects or maneuvering patients, as well as standing for long periods of time.  A great nurse knows how to maintain their energy throughout their shift.  It’s important to stay strong, eat right, and have a healthy lifestyle.

8. Problem Solving Skills

A great nurse thinks on their toes.  They are able to assess a situation quickly and solve or even avoid a problem before it occurs.  Whether it’s handling the family, soothing a patient, dealing with a doctor, or managing the staff, having good problem solving skills is a must for a great nurse.

9. Quick Response

Nurses need to be ready to respond quickly to emergencies and other situations that arise.  Being prepared for the unexpected while staying cool, calm and collected are great qualities in a nurse

10. Respect

Respect goes a long way. Great nurses respect people and rules. They are mindful of confidentiality requirements and different cultures and traditions. Great nurses respect the staff they work with and understand that, above all, the patient comes first.  Nurses who respect others are highly respected in return.