7 Signs You Would Thrive as a Hospital Nurse

illustrated hospital scene 

Nursing is the career of your dreams. You know you could use your compassionate, empathetic personality to provide the care patients need. What may be less clear is the type of nursing you want to focus on.

Nurses have abundant career options to choose from, including their work environment. Becoming a hospital nurse may sound good on paper: working together with a healthcare team to care for patients and support their families. But hospital nursing also seems like it could be intimidating. How can you tell if you have what it takes to work in this nursing environment?

We spoke to healthcare pros to learn which personality traits will come in handy in this type of nursing career. Take a look at these signs you would thrive as a hospital nurse. If some of them sound familiar, you can move forward with the confidence that becoming a hospital nurse could be the career path for you.

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7 Signs you’re cut out for hospital nursing jobs

Your work environment is one of the biggest factors in what you’ll do every day as a nurse. It’s important to weigh your options and choose a work setting that aligns with your interests and personality. These 7 signs will help you decide if being a hospital nurse is right for you.

1. You’re calm in a crisis

You’re the one people turn to for help in urgent situations. Whether it’s your niece spraining her ankle at a family gathering or a friend who had car trouble in the middle of a snowstorm, others can always count on you to stay calm and focused as you help them handle their problems.

Hospital nurses may encounter emergency situations in their day, so your ability to think clearly will be a big asset in this workplace. Not only will you be able to handle whatever situations arise, you can also give patients the support they need. “Your patients depend on you emotionally, physically and mentally. Your calm demeanor can make patients feel assured and stress-free,” says Rebecca Park, RN and founder of Remedies For Me.

2. You know when to ask for help

You’re not a superhero and there are some situations you just can’t handle on your own. You know that when the time comes to replace your vehicle’s brakes, you’re likely better off taking it to a pro instead of spending hours scraping your knuckles and grumbling under your breath. Sometimes you’re just better off delegating to a specialist. That’s why you have trusted friends and professionals to help you out. You’re never afraid to ask for a helping hand when you need one.

Believe it or not, knowing when to ask for help is a vital skill for hospital nurses. You’ll work as a member of a care team with varying expertise and job duties, so knowing how to coordinate and when to ask for help is key. “There is no way you can work by yourself in a hospital setting without the help of a team,” Park says. “Knowing which responsibilities to delegate and to whom will help you tremendously throughout your day.”

3. You’re a team player

You’ve never been a lone wolf. Whether it’s working with your teammates to bring home that rec league kickball trophy or collaborating with others on a group project, you understand the importance of working together.

Being able to work with others is a key quality of hospital nurses, who often work with doctors, other nurses and specialists to care for patients. Hospital nurses know that it takes more than one individual to provide quality healthcare. “A good nurse must be able to work on a multidisciplinary team. The patients are complicated, and many services are involved,” says Donna Matthezing, RN and owner of Compassionate Care in the Air.

4. You’re an expert at prioritizing

When life hands you a busy day and a full to-do list, you’re a pro at choosing which tasks are most important. Your smart prioritization skills keep you on track and help you avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Your ability to prioritize could make you a good fit for the fast-paced environment of hospital nursing. “You will be pulled in multiple directions all day long, and it is your job to figure out which task to complete first based on good nursing judgement,” Park says. Being able to keep your priorities straight will help you know which patient to assist first, or which task to complete last during a busy shift.

5. You can think on your feet

Thinking fast is one of your best qualities. This ability has saved you on many occasions, like when you quickly changed plans due to bad weather or found a new route when an accident brought traffic to a stop. Adapting to life’s unforeseen circumstances is a skill you’re always happy to have in your back pocket—and it comes in handy in a hospital work setting, too.

“Nurses should be adaptable to changing environments, being able to really think on their feet!” Matthezing says. You never know what scenario could come up in a hospital. Your ability to adapt quickly can allow you to provide high-quality care to patients in any circumstance.

6. You have a memory for details

You have no problem remembering the little things—like that oil change you’re due for in a few weeks—and you understand why guidelines like these are so important. This may seem like a small personality quirk, but it can make all the difference in a healthcare setting.

Park advises that hospital nurses must be able to keep up with their hospital’s ever-changing regulations and policies. “There are frequent surprise visits from regulatory [overseers], and they like to pull staff to the side at random to ask them questions about the hospital you work in.” Your detail-oriented mind will help you stay compliant with hospital rules and be attentive to the important facts of your patients’ medical histories.

7. You care deeply about others

Everyone you meet recognizes you as a genuinely caring person. You brighten others’ days in many ways, like bringing food to a sick friend or having a cheery conversation with the clerk at the grocery store.

Your natural caring and compassion might seem like an obvious trait for hospital nurses to have, but you’d be surprised at how many people join the field for the wrong reasons. “You must be in nursing because of the desire to be of service to others, not because mom was a nurse or someone thought it was a good idea,” Matthezing says. “As a hospital nurse, you have an opportunity every single day to make a significant difference in another human being’s life!”

Can you see yourself as a hospital nurse?

Only you can know if working as a hospital nurse is a good career for your personality. Now that you’ve read these signs, you’re one step closer to making your decision.

If hospital nursing is looking more appealing than ever, earning a BSN can help you get there. Find out how with our article, “BSN Nursing: 5 Benefits to Earning a Bachelor’s Degree.

Ashley Brooks

Ashley is a freelance writer for Collegis education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen University. She believes in the power of words and knowledge and enjoys using both to encourage others on their learning journeys

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