Health

7 Essential Qualities for Nurse Practitioners

Today, nurse practitioners have an increasingly important role in the healthcare industry. Nurse practitioners are independent, licensed advanced practice nurses who can choose to specialize in a certain area. Similar to primary care physicians, nurse practitioners are tasked with assessing, diagnosing, and treating conditions. In twenty states, they have full practice authority which allows them to do all this along with prescribing medication to patients without the need for authorization from a primary care physician. The high demand for nurse practitioners is being driven by a shortage of primary care doctors, with medical professionals choosing this field at a lower rate than in the past. The number of nurse practitioners in the US is growing constantly and with a shift to nursing-based primary healthcare, the need for more of these professionals is only going to grow further over time. To work successfully as a nurse practitioner in any specialty, it’s important to possess a range of qualities and skills. Plus, your qualifications will need to be on point, so you’ll need to have a relevant degree and the necessary PALS and ACLS certifications to work in the field.

Empathy

Just like registered nurses, nurse practitioners Canadian Pharmacy deal with direct patient care and are often some of the first healthcare professionals on the scene when patients require treatment for a wide range of illnesses and injuries. Nurse practitioners will often be working closely with patients who are going through some of the hardest times of their lives, which requires a lot of empathy and compassion. A nurse practitioner who is highly empathetic will have the ability to put themselves in the shoes of their patient and imagine how they must be feeling right now, ultimately providing a more patient-centered and understanding approach to treatment. This is even more important when working with more vulnerable patient populations such as children. You can learn more about the importance of this quality as a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner with programs available from Baylor University.

Determination

Successful nurse practitioners are often characterized by their determination to advocate for and do the best by their patients. Nurse practitioners are often going to be some of the most tenacious professionals that you will come across. To succeed in this role, you will need to have a high resolve and a lot of perseverance. The role of a nurse practitioner can be challenging and difficult at times, meaning that professionals need to be able to keep going to push through even when the going gets tough.

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Communication

Good communication skills are one of the most important that you can develop while training to become a nurse practitioner. Registered nurses will have already had a lot of opportunities to develop good communication and active listening skills, and to work in the nurse practitioner role it may be necessary to take this quality even further. Since nurse practitioners are often tasked with diagnosing patients, active listening skills in particular are absolutely crucial, as they will need to be able to carefully listen to patients as they describe their symptoms in order to provide the correct diagnosis and treatment. Communication skills are also important for making sure that patients have the right information when it comes to their treatment and any steps that they must take to manage or cure their condition.

Leadership

Nurse practitioners will often work in leadership and management roles. They will spend their time managing a team of other healthcare professionals and ensuring that patient care is delivered to a high standard. Good leadership skills are often crucial in this role, particularly for nurse practitioners who are tasked with running clinics and other healthcare environments in the states where they have full practice authority.

Dedication

Nurse practitioners are professionals who have a lot of responsibility for their patients. Because of this, dedication to the work is an important quality for them to have. The best nurse practitioners truly enjoy the work that they do and are dedicated to providing the best level of care for their patients and improving themselves on a daily basis. Commitment to helping and caring for others to the highest standards is one of the main qualities required of a good nurse practitioner. With the right attitude towards their work, nurse practitioners can often become some of the biggest advocates for patients in the healthcare industry right now, using their role as a means to influence policy and improve patient care and outcomes.

Creativity

In the role of a nurse practitioner, no two days are going to be the same – like almost any other role in the healthcare industry. Nurse practitioners work with a wide range of patients who come from different backgrounds and walks of life, and they will often deal with unexpected and sudden situations as part of their career, especially for nurse practitioners who work in hospitals and urgent or emergency care settings. Because of this, the best nurse practitioners can think quickly on their feet. Since they may often be the ones making the final decisions when it comes to patient care, they will need to be able to think creatively to come up with fast and effective solutions for unexpected situations, even if they are under a lot of pressure. Nurse practitioners should practice becoming more effective at generating new ideas, thinking outside of the box, and solving problems.

Integrity

Medical professionals such as nurse practitioners need to be individuals with a high level of integrity. Patients expect nurse practitioners to be ethical, honest, and trustworthy. Nurses in general have a high standard to uphold, with a 2016 Gallup poll reporting that across the US, citizens list nurses as being the most ethical and honest profession – a standard that they have held for over a decade. When it comes to patient care, nurse practitioners have a high level of responsibility that they need to approach with integrity. Patients trust nurse practitioners to make the right decisions no matter what, and stand up for their patients and their rights. For a good nurse practitioner, the health and wellbeing of their patients will always come first in any situation.

To work as a nurse practitioner, it’s important to focus on developing and improving these qualities that will help you become more successful in your choice of career.

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