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Bryant & Stratton College Blog Staff

How Do I Know I Want to be a Nurse?

Choosing a career is a serious decision. After all, you really don't want to find out that your chosen profession isn't a good fit after you've already invested both time and money into acquiring the education and credentials you need to get started. For this reason, if you are leaning towards a career in nursing it's perfectly natural to find yourself asking “Is nursing for me?” Ultimately, only you can answer that question, and the best way to go about doing so is to gain a clear understanding of the qualities you'll need to be successful in and satisfied with a nursing career.

Qualities You'll Need To Become a Good Nurse

While no two nurses are alike, and the qualities needed for nursing vary to some degree from one employment setting to another, there are some general characteristics that every nurse needs to be a good fit for the profession. These include:

  • Excellent communication skills – Nurses spend a lot of time every day interacting with patients, families, physicians, nursing assistants, various healthcare technicians and many others, which makes good communication skills, including listening skills, essential in this profession.
  • Attention to detail – This is essential to accurate patient evaluations. It is also vital to proper completion of everyday nursing tasks, such as medication administration, treatments and medical documentation, among many others.
  • Solid organizational skills – Nurses perform hundreds of tasks a day and are in charge of caring for and monitoring numerous patients. On top of that, they are responsible for documenting everything they do for the patients' medical records, as well as for administrative purposes. In short, they are constantly juggling multiple tasks, patients and duties, and keeping all those balls in the air takes excellent organizational skills.
  • Critical thinking, problem solving skills – Nurses must be able to work independently in complex situations, making critical thinking and problem solving skills a necessity to efficient, effective nursing care.
  • Grace under pressure – Nurses must be able to think and function effectively under pressure, remaining calm and maintaining sound judgment. This quality ensures their ability to adapt quickly to changing environments and circumstances, and respond effectively to emergencies and other stressful situations.
  • Physical strength and endurance – Nurses often work 12 hour shifts, and the majority of that time is likely to be spent on their feet. Most often do strenuous work, lifting patients and equipment, for instance.  
  • Empathy, patience – Nurses must be caring in their interactions with patients and families, have and display empathy for their circumstances, and patience is a must, especially in interactions with people under stress or those that are simply difficult by nature.
  • Integrity, reliability, strong work ethic – Nurses care for people who are at their most vulnerable and have a responsibility to act in their best interests all times, safeguarding their health and well-being through proper treatment, monitoring and care, and safeguarding their person and property for the duration of that care.


Evaluating your personal traits in relation to the characteristics listed above can help you decide how to answer the question "Do I have what it takes to be a nurse?” If you decide that you have the right characteristics to be an effective nurse and believe it is a good fit for you in terms of career satisfaction, your next step is to pursue an education in nursing and become a registered nurse. An associate degree nursing
program or bachelor degree as a nursing generalist can provide many new opportunities for a career in nursing.

So if you've decided that nursing is for you, contact the Admissions office at Bryant and Stratton College for more information on educational opportunities for student nurses.

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