Top 6 Qualities of a Nurse That Employers Look For


Being a nurse is a profession that creates a huge impact in many people’s lives on a daily basis. Good nurses are those that make a lasting, healing impact in an efficient way that bolsters the whole hospital’s morale.

While not all nurses are built and honed the same by their schools and their individual experiences, there are some specific qualities that employers look for in their applicants.

From soft skills to hard skills, it’s best to be equipped with all the necessary characteristics to be the best candidate for the nursing job of your dreams.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 qualities that employers look for in every nurse. Read on and check out which areas to improve!

Communication Skills

As nursing is a profession that requires you to meet with new patients every day, it’s important to perfect your communication skills.

Patients are not always well-versed with medical jargon, so it is a nurse’s job as well to help make their ailments and treatments more understandable for them.

By communicating with patients, you’ll be able to get a proper look and understanding of what their concerns are. In this manner, you can give them the appropriate kind of care, along with being able to endorse the patient’s ailments to the doctor.

Communication is a big factor in the workplace as well because you need to be able to endorse your patients to the person taking over your shift. This is to avoid any mishaps in the patient’s health care and to ensure that the succeeding shifts doesn’t encounter much trouble.


This is one of the must-haves of every nurse. A great nurse is one that can understand a patient’s pain and discomfort while effectively knowing how to treat their illnesses.

Bedside manner is an important tool in a nurse’s arsenal as they should know what to say in order to ease a patient’s nerves, and comfort them in times of distress.

In the confusing, whirlwind environment of a hospital, people look to nurses to become their advocates. It’s important to take their stories and history into consideration when suggesting treatment or endorsing their health to higher-ups.

Be careful not to just fatigue yourself physically, but emotionally as well. There is such a thing as compassion fatigue so be on the lookout for symptoms and address them correspondingly.


A good work ethic in the field of healthcare is a major plus point. It’s important to be careful, precise, and detailed in any aspect of the nursing job as it could spell the difference between a patient’s health getting better or declining.

It is important for a nurse to be accurate as each medical condition needs a specific, corresponding care and treatment.

One of the responsibilities of a nurse is keeping track and monitoring a patient’s vitals and history in order to avoid any complications.

Responsibility in terms of time should be something that you’re conscious of as well as the shifts are long, but the demands are endless. A nurse shouldn’t dwell in one task for too long, and be able to do her job in the fastest, most efficient way possible without sacrificing quality,


There are various types of nursing specialties but all nurses cover a lot of ground no matter what field they’re in.

As a nurse’s job has a wide scope, it’s important to be flexible enough to adapt to whatever the task at hand requires.

Nurses have to roll with the punches and think on their feet a lot of times. A good nurse is one that assesses the problem at hand and thinks of solutions rather than complaining that it’s not his or her expertise.


desire to keep learning

You may think that once you finish nursing school and gain your license then you’re already done with studying.

That’s not the case in the real world of nursing as most continue to beef up their skills and credentials as they gain more experience.

If you want to specialize in a certain field, there are some qualifications that you need to attain. For example, if you want your specialty to be in the emergency field, you’ll need to get first aid certification and know enough about triage.

It’s not just limited to specialties, but those who want to propel their nursing careers are more inclined to attending seminars and training to amplify their credentials.

It’s not always about getting a certification, however. Being on the job as a nurse gives you something new to learn every day. It might be a new technique or a new fact. It’s these little nuggets of learning that keep you looking forward to your job every day.

Willingness to be led

Some people have a problem with authority but, as a nurse, having a leader is something that you should be grateful for.

We don’t mean having a bossy figure leading you on but rather, a mentor who will guide you and help you grow throughout your career.

It’s important to have someone to look up to at work, especially if you’re just starting out and still learning the ropes of being a nurse.

Being a good follower means that you are willing to be corrected in case you make a mistake. Don’t worry, all the best nurses have gone through being a follower before eventually having enough confidence and skill to lead as well.

It’s important to continually build up on these characteristics as you grow in your nursing career. Having the right personality and qualities can lead to your job being the most rewarding thing ever.

Don’t stop striving for growth in your career and your resume and the endorsements of people around you will be more than enough to make you an attractive choice for every employer.

Refer to this handy nursing resume template and guide to showcase the above-mentioned skills in an effective manner before employers.

Linda McCartney Certified Nursing Assistant