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How to Have a Successful Nursing Career

How to have a successful nursing career.

Nursing is one of those rare professions that in addition to knowledge and skills requires all the best qualities you would look for in a friend. Because nurses come into close physical and emotional contact with their patients, honesty, empathy, reliability and patience are important characteristics within the profession. While nursing may be challenging, it is not difficult to forge a successful career if you hold true to a few basic tenets.

Be Reliable

Many jobs emphasize the importance of punctuality and reliability. Nurses, however, have people's lives in their hands. Nurses who reliably see to their responsibilities in a timely fashion benefit their patients and coworkers, and they reduce the likelihood of hospital error. Managers and executives recognize dependable nurses, and they create opportunities for advancement that can develop a career.

Put Others First

As a nurse, patients are your primary responsibility. That means helping all patients to whom you are assigned, regardless of their condition, personality or background. A successful nurse recognizes that we all have differences but that we should focus on the qualities that unite us. When patients are going through difficult medical problems, they may be scared, angry, and irrational. A successful nurse understands this and approaches even the most difficult patients with compassion and patience. This skill takes practice, but it is the same skill that makes you a great friend or family member.

Be Willing to Learn

Continuing education is one of the most important elements of a successful nursing career. Whether that means learning about another culture to understand a patient's perspective or learning about the latest medical techniques and technologies, continuing education requires a commitment to lifelong learning.

Learning can be as simple as asking your patients questions. Show an interest and build trust while learning about your patient's life, experiences and culture. Many cultures and religious groups approach medical problems differently, so taking the time to get to know your patients can improve their care experience.

Of course, there are certain things that patients will not be able to teach you, like the latest information on the Zika virus or new alternatives to the Epi-Pen. For the latest medical information, consult resources such as or for continuing education units.

Invest in Yourself

While patients and CEU resources are great for immediate information on specific problems, you may find that you need a stronger foundation on which to build your career. If you are looking for the best value for a successful nursing career, consider an online RN to BSN program.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree will supplement your RN skills with research-based knowledge, leadership training and expertise that will strengthen your abilities and qualifications as a nurse. An online RN to BSN program gives you the freedom to attend classes from anywhere, so you can continue to work while building a brighter future.

Learn more about the UTA online RN to BSN program.


Nursing CEU Directory

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