Nursing is described as the application of clinical judgment in delivering care to help people maintain, regain or enhance their health; manage health issues; and attain the highest quality of life possible. Although this definition is considered generic, it is nonetheless significant because it addresses aspects that apply to all forms of nursing. Depending on the people or theories consulted, there are different views on what constitutes good nursing practice.

A qualified nurse should give you personalized care and try to comprehend how your ailment is affecting you. This entails paying attention to and respecting your opinions. The nurse should discuss with you whether your family, job, or other aspects of your life may impact your health or your capacity to care for and take care of yourself. They should also inquire about your medical background and prior hospital visits. If you have any worries or concerns, they should ask you about them, discuss your mood, and offer support if you require it. However, in such a fast-paced and demanding role, how can we ensure that all of this is being done? The best place to start is by ensuring that these traits or elements are instilled in aspiring nurses who are studying to become qualified nurses.

Registered nurses (RNs), the largest healthcare profession in the country, are expected to experience continued job growth, influence and leadership demand. Understanding the characteristics of a competent nurse is crucial for hospitals and health systems looking to recruit and keep the most excellent nursing personnel, given the large projections for RNs’ growth on a national and international level.

In addition, hospitals and health systems will be better able to identify qualified nursing candidates for hire and recognize which current nurses on the staff would make excellent leaders, such as those who have completed accelerated BSN online programs. The post-baccalaureate accelerated BSN program is a rigorous full-time program that combines online courses, clinical and lab experiences, and hybrid interactive learning courses as teaching methodologies. These programs ensure that nurses have all the fundamental elements to provide good practice to patients.

The elements of good nursing practice

It was estimated that in 2016, there were 2.86 million RNs in the US, multiplying by the year. With this in mind, it is beneficial to consider the following traits that will facilitate nurses’ success.

Critical thinking

The five-step nursing process, which includes assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation, is taught to nurses. By organizing information in this systematic fashion, nurses can make safe and effective clinical decisions for their patients. This critical thinking component is essential for maintaining safe nursing procedures and providing high-quality patient care. Along with using logic, critical thinking also necessitates maintaining an open mind and a tolerance for the unexpected. Lastly, critical thinking in nursing encompasses more than just a systematic approach to solving problems and analyzing factual data. Critical thinking has evolved somewhat naturally as a result of holistic nursing practice.

Caring

A pattern of behavior that exemplifies the nurse-patient relationship is referred to as caring. The ability to pay attention to other people’s experiences, building trustworthy relationships with patients and their significant others, accepting people’s differences, and upholding patients’ dignity are essential traits. One of a nurse’s core skills is establishing communication with the patient. The nurse does this by introducing themselves, outlining the reason for the interaction, and using touch to communicate with a patient who cannot speak. Additionally, this entails paying attention to, being responsible for, and responding to the individual needs of clients and co-workers.

Autonomy

Autonomy means recognizing each patient’s right to self-determination. As patient advocates, nurses must ensure that patients have access to all available medical information, education and options to select their best choice. To make well-informed decisions, this covers all potential risks, advantages and issues. The medical and nursing teams can create a care plan that complies with patients’ medical wishes after they have all the necessary information. Nurses must support patients’ medical preferences and ensure that the medical staff know them. Even when patients express their intentions verbally, nurses may still need to fight for them because the medical team may disagree.

Competence

Professional practice necessitates technical and knowledge competency. In addition to having a broad knowledge base, this calls for depth of knowledge in a particular field of practice, the desire and capacity to expand your knowledge base and to impart it to others, and the ability to think critically when making decisions. In addition, professional nursing practice entails teaming up with other nurses and medical professionals to provide client care, being highly organized in how you use your time and how many complex tasks you can handle at once, working independently when necessary, and being open-minded and non-judgmental at all times.

Professionalism

Displaying professionalism is a trait of an outstanding nurse. Successful nurses demonstrate commitment, compassion and understanding, and devote their careers to professional and personal growth, regardless of their degree in nursing. Providing patients with excellent care while displaying the traits of integrity, accountability and respect is what it means to be a professional nurse. Ultimately, being a professional nurse means showcasing your dedication to the industry and providing patients with the most outstanding caliber of care consistently. As a result, team communication improves, patients receive better care, there is more accountability among staff, and the environment is more favorable.

The need to continually develop these elements

Healthcare executives might lose sight of the crucial role that professional development can play as a nurse support system at challenging times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially while dealing with a pandemic and handling a crisis, organizations must ensure that their personnel have the support necessary to offer safe and effective treatment. In addition, professional development can greatly aid opportunities to learn about managing novel disease processes and complex patient populations.