What Does it Take to Become a Nurse?

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Nursing is an incredibly rewarding career and a very well-respected role in society. Nurses help patients recover and cope with difficult times; they can soothe worried relatives and provide essential support to the rest of the medical team they work with. It’s no wonder that so many people dream of becoming a nurse, why wouldn’t you want to help others in this way? However, it is a tough job, which means not everyone is cut out for it. If you have been considering pursuing a nursing career but are still unsure, below are some key things you will need to succeed.


As mentioned above, nursing can be a challenging job, and although not every day will be a grind, to be a good nurse, you will need to be determined and have some grit. As you get more settled into your role, it’s likely that these experiences will help you grow a thicker skin, but first, you need to be sure you can push through and stay motivated, even when times are tough.


You will need to get a bachelor’s or associate degree in nursing before you can legally practice. Therefore, you must be willing to commit to your studies if you want to follow a career in nursing. There are many online programs for a bachelor’s in nursing that could provide a more flexible approach to your learning if you need to work as you study. You should also be aware that during your career as a nurse you will need to continue to learn and refresh your medical knowledge, and that if you want to move up the career ladder or become a specialist nurse, you might have to complete a master’s degree, too.


If you want to be a good nurse, you will need to be a compassionate person. It won’t always be easy to be like this, especially when you feel as though a patient or a relative is being rude; however, you must remember that they’re scared and frustrated. Although you shouldn’t put up with any abusive behavior, being able to identify when someone is frightened and needs comfort is a key part of a nurse’s job. You must be able to support them and encourage them to complete their treatments and stay positive.

Positive Attitude

There might be days where you feel overwhelmed during your career as a nurse, and this will certainly happen more than once. It’s OK, it happens – but the main thing is that you don’t let it get on top of you. While you might not be able to be happy and positive 24/7, you must maintain a positive attitude most of the time in your job. This isn’t just because you need to be there for your patients or to help with team morale, but rather to make sure you’re in a good place mentally. If you do start to feel burned out, make sure you are practicing some good self-care at home to help cheer you up.

Ability to Work Under Pressure

Working in healthcare, particularly hospitals, can be a very fast-paced and high-pressure environment. If you want to be successful as a nurse, you must be able to work under pressure. You will need to support other medical staff in emergencies; sometimes you will need to make fast, sensible decisions when it comes to patient care, or have to deal with disgruntled relatives, colleagues, and even patients if something goes wrong. It won’t always be easy, but if you’re someone who thrives in these kinds of environments and can handle the pressure, it will help you a lot in your nursing career.

Detail Orientated

You must be able to pay close attention to even the smallest details when you’re a nurse, as it could be the difference between life or death. Looking at how much medication to administer to a patient safely or noticing discrepancies in their charts that appear concerning is vital. Even being able to read between the lines and pick up on cues to try and understand how someone is truly feeling is important.


Another useful skill that you will need as a nurse is the ability to stay highly organized. You will be doing a lot during your days as a nurse, including the management of patient files, liaising between doctors and patients, helping out the other nurses, and so on. Any job will be easier with a good organization, but it’s a must if you want to be a good nurse.

These are just a few of the qualities you will need to succeed in a nursing career, but if you think you have what it takes, why not start your career journey now?

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.