Nursing has long been a popular career choice, and it’s easy to see why. As a nurse, you can expect to enjoy a rewarding career where you help others on a daily basis, in an industry that offers good levels of employability and job security.

However, it’s important to recognize that this path is not for everyone. The job can be challenging, and it takes certain specific skills and personality traits to truly thrive in the role. So if you’re currently unsure about whether or not becoming a nurse is the right choice for you, the following advice is here to help.

Learn about the job

The first step to take is to find out everything you can about what the role of a nurse entails. Try to get as specific as possible about what nurses do on a daily basis, to determine if it’s the sort of role that would interest you. Some top tips for getting the inside scoop include:

  • Reading blogs by current nurses
  • Watching relevant videos on websites such as YouTube
  • Reading books about nursing
  • Speaking to people who are currently working as nurses

If you don’t know any nurses personally, you could always try reaching out to someone on social media. Most people are friendly, and would probably be more than happy to answer your questions, have a video call, or meet up for a chat in person. Just remember to pay for their coffee if you do! You can also work for free hospice care.

Research nursing courses

If you still find that the job appeals to you after doing your initial research, it’s time to begin investigating nursing programs. Firstly, take a close look at the curriculums colleges teach to see what you would be studying and whether it sounds interesting.

It’s a good idea to consider the different specialisms on offer, and whether there’s an advanced career path that you’re passionate about. This is a good opportunity to determine whether studying to be a nurse is feasible for you at the moment. For example, think about whether you can study nursing online with UIndy while holding down your current job or whether you need to get together some savings before enrolling.

Make an honest assessment of your skills and traits

This final stage is more introspective. You need to take an honest look at yourself and judge whether or not your characteristics and natural talents are a good fit for nursing. Some of the skills and traits you’ll need to demonstrate include:

  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Mental strength
  • Physical stamina
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Patience
  • Positivity
  • Adaptability
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • A willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty

These are of course in addition to the specialist medical knowledge and clinical skills required for the job.

Don’t worry if you’ve got your heart set on being a nurse, but don’t feel that you are yet measuring up to this list! If you are truly dedicated and passionate about nursing, you will be able to work on these soft skills during your studies and initial placements and soon become a fantastic nurse!

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