Great nurses aren’t just compassionate and kind – they also have the medical smarts of a doctor. Despite the stress, a career as a nurse can offer a sense of personal satisfaction second to none because they have the ability to impact people’s lives on a very personal level.

What makes a great nurse?


An effective nurse is caring, understanding, nonjudgmental and has a strong ability to empathize with patients from all walks of life. Having sympathy for someone else’s suffering without judgment is the root of compassion. But nurses are in a profession where they can actually make a difference in a person’s life. Research shows that a nurse’s compassion can ease the suffering of a patient.


Solid communication skills are important for any career but for nurses, it’s crucial. They have to be able to communicate with doctors, patients and co-workers in a very fast-paced environment with little or no margin for error.

Attention to Detail

When dealing with potential life and death situations every day your actions will have major consequences. A great nurse pays attention to detail and leaves nothing to chance because details matter, especially in the field of medicine.

Calm Under Pressure

People who make great nurses are naturally level-headed because when they know the details of their job like the back of their hand, they’re better equipped to make calm, rational decisions even in the face of high stress and adversity, serving as a steady guide when patients go through rough waters.


There’s a lot of technical and clinical information nurses need to know. There’s critical thinking and communication skills, patient assessment skills, understanding disease management protocols and development of care plans – just to name a few.

Rolling With The Punches

Being flexible and rolling with the punches is important for any career, but it’s especially important for nurses. A great nurse is flexible with her/his working hours and responsibilities. Nurses, like doctors, are often required to work long periods of overtime, late or overnight shifts, and weekends so they have to be able to go with the flow and adapt to situations as they arise, often at a moments notice.