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Compassion and These Important Qualities Top The List of What Makes a Good Nurse Great

Armen Hareyan's picture
Great nurse qualifications

Yesterday, in one of the social forums, dedicated to healthy living, I asked members about the most important qualities that make a professional nurse great.The most frequent response was compassion. People believe that a professional nurse should have this quality to be a great nurse. But here are some other responses discussing other qualities that also make a good nurse outstanding.


Great nurses have a good education, they don't just read off a script, have compassion and are friendly.A good nurse also doesn't make you feel like an idiot for your decisions, writes a group member named Holly.

Compassion and empathy are not only top qualifications, but also things that one needs to have. Some say you cannot learn these qualifications, while everything else can be learned. However, I personally believe that as we live we have experiences in this life that can fully change our outlook and behavior. We have seen many ignorant people becoming very compassionate people. I believe in metanoia: change of mind.

Darshana, who herself is a nurse lists her top qualifications of what makes a great nurse. "As a nurse of 30 years I believe it is compassion, never passing judgment on others and listening to the needs of patient," she writes.

Good nurses are the ones that don't let credentials go to their head. A good nurse becomes great when he or she acts with an open mind, is not judgmental, is compassionate and truly wants and loves what he or she does as a nurse. The good nurse also is able to anticipate the needs of her patients.

Selfless love is another top qualification for a great nurse. Here is what was shared by another forum member.

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"Funny you should ask," writes a group member named Valerie. "My son had surgery today and by the time I got to the Cafeteria for lunch it was closed. As I was walking away a nurse exiting the Cafeteria with her lunch covered in foil asked if I was OK. I said yes, just hungry.

She offered to give me her lunch. I almost cried. Selflessness like that is rare," Valerie adds. Indeed, this is a great example of selfless love in our society. It is said that these types of acts are rare. Hopefully they are growing in numbers.

Good nurses also greet you with a smile. She or he treats you as if you mattered. A nurse treats patients not for the money, but for their humanity, for true love. Great nurses don't judge patients.

Here is an interesting opinion from a group member named Brian. "When they realize a hospital environment just grinds through people to treat symptoms so they can make lots of money off drugs and procedures, the great nurse finds a way to inform the patient after the doctor exits the room. They can take and fill that prescription or they can take the nurses advise and try several natural remedies first. Healing was stolen and monopolized by pharma and FDA. The nurse that works to reverse healing back to natural healing is the truly great nurse," writes Biran. What do you think about this opinion?

In conclusion, a great nurse stands up for the patient when doctors want to push unnecessary procedures or medication. Looking out for the best of others. Sacrificing one self, wrote another forum member.

If you are a nurse reading about these qualities, what do you think? If you are patient, would you like to share an inspiring story about a great nurse you have met?



Little do patients know this is all part of our professional development that starts in nursing school and never ends. It isn't optional. We work at it. We earn CEUs towards understanding ourselves, how to be effective, compassionate, caring and non-judgmental. We work at developing cultural competency. We attend seminars and are guided by nursing leadership. We belong to professional organizations to continually learn and grow. Our licensure mandates that we are - first and foremost - patient advocates. (And we would never intentionally undermine medical care by telling a patient to try natural remedies before filling a prescription. That could cost a nurse his or her license.)