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New kids on the block


To mark National Nurses Week, we asked new RNs about what every nurse needs to succeed. Five nurses from the West region, all with five years or less of experience, share their thoughts on the question: What qualities or characteristics are most important to possess as a new nurse, and why?

Tarra Scarff

Tarra Scarff, RN

Tarra Scarff, RN, BSN, clinical decision unit, Desert Springs Hospital, Las Vegas, said:

Listening with the ears, eyes and heart is one of the most important qualities a nurse can have. In this way, the patient is embraced as an individual and not reduced to a disease process…It is important to be an effective listener because the nurse is the patient’s advocate. By understanding what the patient’s needs are, the nurse can be an effective agent of change. A truly present nurse listens to understand what is being communicated so they deliver quality care to patients.

Allison Ramsey

Allison Ramsey, RN

Allison Ramsey, RN, BSN, clinical nurse II, PICU, Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, said:

Nursing requires a number of important qualities…The single quality I have tried to emulate the most is a passion for nursing. Inspirational nurses stop at nothing to advocate for their patients. Rather than viewing nursing as a job, they see it as a vocation or calling…[They] create a mutually beneficial relationship with their patients…The nurses profoundly impact their patients’ lives while receiving their own fulfillment solely from witnessing their patients’ progress.

Rachel Flores

Rachel Flores, RN

Rachel Flores, RN, radiology, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, said:

I feel that nurses should possess the quality of compassion above all else. Compassion often is referred to as having genuine empathy for those who are suffering and the desire to alleviate it. Being compassionate comes from within and then is reflected upon those [in our care]…Compassion directs the way you perform your nursing care, and the way you care for patients and families. Being compassionate and providing comfort to patients builds trust and allows them to feel protected.

Scott Demar

Scott Demar, RN

Scott Demar, RN, MSN, clinical nurse II, neuro- trauma ICU, Ronald Reagan UCLA, said:

Medical CenterNursing is a dynamic and rapidly changing profession…I believe that adaptability is one of the most important qualities a nurse can possess. Whether comforting a family member, relaying important information to a physician or assessing a patient, nurses are constantly, [quickly and efficiently]adjusting and adapting to changing conditions and environments to improve patient outcomes.

Sarina Fazio

Sarina Fazio, RN

Sarina Fazio, RN, BSN, clinical nurse, medical ICU, UC Davis Medical Center, said:

Possessing a deep commitment to patients, quality and the profession is an important core nursing value. As the nursing profession changes and the population’s health needs become more complex, committing oneself to lifelong learning and collaboration are essential to improve the quality and safety of our healthcare system. Nurses who hold a deep commitment for social justice and for quality improvement have the potential in making positive changes to healthcare delivery.

Whatother new RNs are saying

Other new nurses also are encouraged to provide their views about what qualities or characteristics are most important to possess as a new nurse, and why too. Just post your responses below:


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