5 Important Qualities to Be an Exceptional LPN

There are many qualities that are important in nursing, and I'm positive everyone will rank them differently, from most to least important. The following are my personal opinion only, on very important nursing attributes.

1. Caring - I think if you are a person that doesn't or can't genuinely care about others, nursing isn't for you. Patients/residents and their families can very easily tell if you are being genuine.

2. Patience - This one I can't stress enough. When people are ill, they become scared-so do their families. When people are scared, they tend to lash out. If you are impatient, I feel it makes things a whole lot worse. Working in geriatrics, they tend to take more time due to age, physical/mental capabilities (i.e. Alzheimer's Disease/dementia). From personal experience, I promise you will have such a better outcome if you display patience with these type of patients/residents.

3. Organization - As a fellow LPN, I can tell-as a patient or family member of a patient, if a nurse is organized or not. I think "to-do lists" or a small notebook are a saving grace in nursing. They make sure everything that needs to be done, gets done AND during your shift, jotting things down makes it so much easier for charting and report. I feel way more frazzled if I try to remember everything that I need to do AND everything about each individual resident, without writing them down. As a nurse, you get pulled in a thousand different directions and get bombarded with information on many things throughout your shift. I feel like you're putting TONS of unnecessary stress on yourself if you're not organized, and important things can get missed.

4. Team Player - This is extremely important as well. I've worked with some nurses that only do the least amount that is required of them and it makes a stressful situation/shift so much worse. I understand everyone has their own patients/duties to take care of/complete each shift, but as a nurse, you need to be ready for anything; I work at a facility where I am on the floor, helping with cares a lot more often than other facilities-but if I refused and said I had my own things to take care of, I would be adding so much pressure and stress onto the aides-they are the backbone of the healthcare team and supply us nurses with the most timely and valuable information-they are the ones that spend the most time with patients/residents. If I can repay them by stepping in and making their job just a little easier, absolutely I'm going to-it makes EVERYTHING run so much smoother. I was a CNA before I was a LPN and I know how crummy it is to not get any extra help.

5. Open-mindedness - I feel this is an important quality as well. Not everyone thinks like you or had the same upbringing. When it comes to lifestyle, treatment plans, etc.-you may think their viewpoints are wrong or odd. In nursing, all you can really do is listen, educate, and respect the patient/resident's and/or their family's wishes. It can be very difficult at times, but "being there" for them with no judgment is going to create such good rapport that it will make caring for them so much easier.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, there are SO many qualities that make a nurse great, but these are 5 that I feel are very important. Again, this is my opinion only.