To mark National Nurses Week, we asked new RNs about what every nurse needs to succeed. Five nurses from the New York region, all with two years or less of experience, share their thoughts on the following question:
What qualities or characteristics are most important to possess as a nurse, and why?
Christine Burd, RN, emergency services, South Nassau Communities Hospital, Oceanside, N.Y.
Resiliency is the ability to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching or being compressed, all of which nurses display daily. Every day, nurses are facing life and death situations while giving compassionate care and respect to other patients. Working in the emergency room, we nurses have to be able to provide the most important care for patients at their most vulnerable time. Through natural disasters or regular, sunny days, nurses are resilient.
Dana DellaCorte, RN, emergency department,
Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City
Attentiveness, confidence and patience are characteristics a novice nurse should possess, along with bedside manner. Having a professional bedside manner gives patients a sense of security. At any moment, clinical situations can change from being calm to intense. Being attentive to what is going on in your environment will help prioritize patient issues. A novice nurse also should possess patience to deal with unexpected events that may frazzle
Kyla Dennigan, RN, BSN, clinical nurse in outpatient GI oncology at Rockefeller Outpatient Pavilion, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City
As a new graduate, Ive found that compassion for the patient and the familys experience goes a long way to overcome challenges. If you feel tired, spread too thin or have something on your mind, compassion enables you to set that all aside and provide the patient with the best possible care in that moment. Each nurse has unique strengths and weaknesses, but compassion does much to overcome any weakness.
Helal Miah, RN, home care nurse, MJHS, New York City
To be a successful nurse, you have to have a passion for helping others. You have to be empathetic, a good listener, patient, respectful of different cultures, aware of your own biases, and most importantly, not get distracted by things in your own life while caring for your patients. Some patients are friendly and some are challenging. But if you are willing to be a sponge and absorb from those with more experience, as well as continue your education, youll do well and positively impact a lot of lives.
Maritza Mejia, RN, cardiac acute care unit nurse, Stony Brook University Heart Institute
To be a nurse is not just to be a caregiver. It is also very important to be kind, compassionate and to understand who we are as individuals. Nurses need to enjoy helping those who might be in pain, fearful or have limitations. Nurses need to be understanding and nonjudgmental. Nurses need to be strong advocates for patients and passionate about their profession to make a difference in patients and families lives. Nurses must know when to speak, when to listen and when to intervene.