November 1, 2020

Qualities We Look for in a Nurse


By: Stacy Maitha
Clinical Nurse Manager, Interstaff

I spent two years hiring nurses to work in a busy emergency department (ED). We cared for about 150 patients each day, or around 50,000 patients per year, in a 30-bed ED. The department saw patients with a wide array of cases including stroke, heart attack, trauma, sepsis, mental illness, drug overdose, cancer, and infectious diseases. Patients ranged in age from infants to geriatrics and the nurses in our ED had to be able to care for them all.

There is little that an emergency nurse finds more rewarding than the satisfaction of a life saved. Finding the kind of nurse who can provide quality and timely care for 3 to 5 patients at a time with varying diagnoses of various ages is not easy. The environment is fast-paced, demanding, and often thankless. Nurses have to be able to think critically and communicate clearly often under stressful conditions, and they have to do it with compassion, kindness, and a smile on their face. 

As a nurse manager in a hospital, I looked for nurses who took the initiative to develop their skills and knowledge, whether they were required to do so or not. I looked for nurses who were natural leaders, with or without professional titles. I looked for nurses who talked about their patients the way they would talk about their family members, with concern and care. I looked for nurses who valued working with a team, but who also had the confidence to advocate for their patients in the face of a challenge. I looked for nurses with exceptional communication skills, with high emotional intelligence and situational awareness. Honesty, integrity, and humility were three of the qualities I valued most in the nurses I hired. 

These are the qualities that nurse managers are hoping to find when they hire nurses to work on their teams and care for the patients in their communities. These are the kinds of nurses that Interstaff hires…are you our kind of nurse? 

If you’d like to join our team of compassionate and skilled nurses, submit an application here.