You can distinguish yourself as a nurse by working on three nursing qualities — confidence, professionalism and teamwork. These are important nursing career pillars, that can assist you in your daily practice and enable you to be proud of your work. And when you feel good about your work, chances are you will be noticed and respected by peers and employers. Click on the following to learn more.
If you think you’ve got these professional qualities covered, the following pointers will also help you be recognized by your employers and set a good example for colleagues.
Confidence in nursing is certainly grounded in knowledge, but it is also fortified with experience.
If you are a new nurse, you are not alone if you are sensitive to the smallest learning curves. If you are an experienced nurse, you be reminded of those learning curves when you take on the role of preceptor to students or mentor to nurses (both roles will also increase your job satisfaction). Here are a few reminders about what it takes to build professional confidence.
Just do it. The running shoe brand Nike was on to something with this slogan. There’s only one way to get better at something, whether it is starting IVs, writing up a report, or educating a family about the effects of Alzheimer’s — repetition.
Take on new tasks. If you feel like you work in an encouraging environment, consider taking on a new assignment that pushes your comfort zone slightly. Nothing boosts confidence quite like accomplishing a task that challenges you.
Distinguish between nerves and confidence. Everyone gets nervous at times for different reasons. It’s important not to let those nerves get in the way of your self-confidence. Ask yourself what the source of your anxiety is… you’ll quickly realize it isn’t lack of skill.
Know your skills. Check out the tips in the Career Services section that help you identify a complete list of your skill strengths. Confidence comes from knowing what you are good at and what needs improvement.
Value your unique experiences. Maybe you have a unique educational background. Or maybe you made an error on the job once. We are the sum of all our experiences. Reflecting on them allows us to learn more about ourselves and others. The better you know yourself, the better nurse you will be.
Professionalism brings tremendous value to the nursing profession. Maintaining professionalism on the job is also crucial to the success of your nursing career.
Taken as a whole, nursing actions that are grounded in evidence-based, ethical, dedicated and effective care reinforce the profession’s credibility and legitimacy. In other words, the entire profession is respected because individual nurses conduct themselves in a professional manner.
So what is nursing professionalism? There are different understandings of this concept, but in a nutshell, it means upholding standards of conduct and practice, as well as maintaining a positive approach and attitude including having compassion for clients and patients. The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario has developed a healthy work environment Best Practice Guideline “Professionalism in Nursing”. Learn more about how to apply the eight attributes identified as underlying nursing best practices. When you uphold these professional values, you will have the foundation for a successful career.
Nursing is about relationships — relationships with peers, other health-care providers, clients/patients/residents and their families. The quality of these relationships is vital to your nursing success, in terms of everyday interactions, positive client/patient outcomes, and your own job satisfaction.
Being a good team player is more important than ever given today’s changing care environment. The composition, context and structure of teams are changing (think about virtual teams that provide care using video and telecommunications technology). Meanwhile teams are increasingly crossing health-care sectors, including care providers from acute care, long-term care, community and home care and distances. Teams are more inter-professional than ever.
Be the best nursing team player you can be by reading and applying the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s Best Practice Guideline “Collaborative Practice Among Nursing Teams.”