A Good Nurse

Lately, work has been crazy. There always seems to be a fire to put out. I try to provide education and support to the families, who are in their most emotionally taxing times. Am I doing a good job of it?

This always leads me down the rabbit hole of questioning what a good nurse is? What makes someone a good nurse vs a not so good nurse?

Is being a good nurse taught in schools? Do you learn it on the job? Not quite sure, but, I do have a few ideas….

A good nurse is able to set boundaries.

A good nurse is able to stick to those boundaries because caring for your own needs is equally as important as any patient’s needs.

A good nurse gets frustrated.

A good nurse cries.

A good nurse gets mad

A good nurse is able to say “I don’t know”

A good nurse mispronounces medications.

A good nurse is late on charting

A good nurse might look haggard at the end of a long shift.

A good nurse stands up for coworkers.

A good nurse seeks education

A good nurse might take a mental health day.

A good nurse thinks about quitting

A good nurse has a person or two that get the “Please don’t think I am stupid….” questions

A good nurse might swear (like a lot)

A good nurse advocates for patients

A good nurse might be seen as someone who isn’t silent

A good nurse might just be quiet

A good nurse knows that just because “it’s always happened this way in nursing,” doesn’t mean it is the right way.

A good nurse might make corny jokes

A good nurse isn’t afraid to do anything other people might be asked to do

A good nurse never shies away from patient care

A good nurse may be frustrated and exhausted.

A good nurse could be mentally and emotionally burned out but shows up for her patients.

A good nurse listens

A good nurse educates

A good nurse might just be learning how to set boundaries

A good nurse will drive the whole way home thinking about a patient and not even realize when they have arrived

A good nurse loses pens

A good nurse has a stomach of steel

A good nurse couldn’t possibly be doing this job for the money, because, well, it wouldn’t be worth it

A good nurse might have pee on their scrubs but still continues to work

A good nurse might have only had a cup of coffee all day

A good nurse might just be relying on Google for a thing or two

A good nurse might not remember your name but, remembers your situation.

A good nurse is frustrated with all of the healthcare inequalities

A good nurse cares and feels

A good nurse makes mistakes

A good nurse misses IV sticks

A good nurse sometimes walks away from the bedside

A good nurse moves from one patient to the next, hiding any sliver of what might have happened earlier

A good nurse smiles through tears

A good nurse needs a moment to recoup.

Each nurse may be different.

But, if you are looking for a good nurse, try the mirror.

A good nurse is staring back at you.


By Helen Haddick BSN RN CHPN

RN who has just left critical care in the hospital for hospice. Join me for my journey Please feel free to leave comments and like if you enjoy this

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