There will never be a time in human history where nurses are not needed, the last few years have shown that. Being that nurses are in growing demand and are an essential element of a healthy society means that people of this profession have a powerful opportunity to affect the lives of many people on a daily basis. The daily interactions that accompany the various roles within the healthcare field carry with it not only the task of seeing to people’s physical needs, but emotional as well.

Those nurses that can cultivate and consistently practice habits that go beyond the dry facts which accompany their knowledge-based training will do much to effect change in millions of lives. As such, those in this profession that are aware of and wanting to create lasting impact in patient lives will do well to implement some or all of the following list of good habits for success as a nurse.


The medical field is always growing, changing, and evolving with the influx and implementation of new technologies and techniques. While the role that has been chosen as the current path of care may extend for the next few years or longer, the daily procedures not changing much in how the administration sees fit to care for patients, there will come a time when new methods will be introduced.

The ability to maintain an attitude of anticipation, excitement, and enthusiasm for new approaches to medicine and patient care is the first step to maintaining the habit of teachability. A nurse that is no longer interested in learning, someone who has shut down and has instead decided that there is little to be improved upon in their skillset is only cheating themselves and the patients they will care for.

Whether learning about a new drug’s effectiveness or just simple time management techniques, remaining teachable is key to nursing.


Nurses are part of a huge, constantly shifting and rapidly operating team of intelligent and caring individuals who are all working toward the same common goal of keeping people alive and healthy. While there are most certainly departments and roles that may not see as much consistent action and need for constant, direct interaction with co-workers like those in the ER or neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), that does not mean that anyone operates in a vacuum.

The skills that have been practiced and pounded into everyone’s brains during primary and secondary education became all the more real in college, and for good reason: teamwork never goes out of style.

Retaining the wantedness and ability to eagerly step into new groups or teams while not only creating better patient care, but it will also maintain an atmosphere of camaraderie that patients and their families will be grateful for.

More than that, individuals who can consistently demonstrate great teamwork skills are often those that get recognized by upper management as being the kind of person fit for more responsibility. Practicing those skills now will create more opportunities that can lead to promotions.

Willingness To Lead

If there are teams, they will naturally emerge from the group no matter how small or large, leaders hold the group together. Nurses that go out of their way to observe, learn, and implement techniques and practices which consistently help teams succeed and patients flourish will be better equipped to help at a moment’s notice.

Even if you are not someone who prefers to lead, understanding how to behave in appropriate, effective, and encouraging ways may make the difference in causal or intense situations. You may not always be asked to lead, but practicing stepping out of your comfort zone when others may not feel as confident will do much to maintain good patient care and teamwork flows in any and all situations.


Regardless of the nursing career path initially chosen at the time of graduation, it is very likely that a nurse will want to change departments or office types at least a few times over the course of a long career in healthcare. This requires a number of skills, but flexibility is certainly fundamental to successful transitions.

Flexibility is something that is required throughout our daily lives, but the ability to anticipate and smoothly adapt to new challenges, situations, environments and the myriad of demands that accompany this ever-changing field of healthcare is indispensable to success as a nurse. It also undergirds all the other habits listed here.



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