How to turn your passion for nursing into a fulfilling career

If you have the desire to help those in need and make a difference in people’s lives by providing excellent care, then you should look into nursing as a career. The dynamic world of nursing can provide you with the confidence and fulfillment you are looking for, while also opening up opportunities for personal growth and career advancement. There are a number of different areas of nursing you can pursue, including private nursing, mental health and addiction, and obstetrics. There are rewards and challenges in every area, but the one thing they all have in common is that each requires nurses who are committed, empathetic and competent in their field.

Other characteristics of a successful nurse include the following.

Caring and compassionate

It might seem like a given that a nurse would be caring and compassionate naturally, but this is not necessarily the case. Some people go into nursing because they have their sights on a higher position within the field, while others want the job stability that a career in nursing provides. Being caring and compassionate is not necessary to becoming a nurse, but it helps with patient care and creating relationships with colleagues and families. It is what will set you apart from the rest when it comes time to look for someone to teach junior nurses or take on more responsibility. Clinical placements are great for giving new nurses a feel of what it is like to take care of real patients and develop soft skills such as compassion.

Lifelong learner

Healthcare is always evolving and new advancements are being introduced every day. If you are the type of person who enjoys learning the newest and most advanced technologies or discoveries in healthcare, then nursing is the area in which you can do this. Becoming a lifelong learner doesn’t just mean going to conferences or seminars, but also pursuing an advanced degree such as a Master of Science in Nursing from Walsh University or other online schools. Nurses who make the commitment to further their education during their spare time and online are highly regarded by their peers as leaders and mentors. It is also an ideal way of staying in the loop when it comes to the latest innovations in healthcare.


Being organized is one of the most crucial aspects of nursing as you deal with many different lists, charts and rotations throughout the day. If you are a naturally organized person who can put a plan in place and follow it to the letter, then you will be a successful nurse. Otherwise, just think of how great you will feel once you master this skill in your new profession. Leaders in nursing have impeccable organization.

Critical thinker

Being able to think critically as a nurse is an effective skill to have in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment such as a hospital. The ability to recognize that there is a problem, prioritize what needs to be done to fix it, make clinical decisions, implement those decisions, and reflect on the whole process is invaluable in nursing and crucial in life-or-death situations. Your ability to think critically can spill over into your personal life, and you will find that the world around you runs much more smoothly when you master this skill.

Emotionally stable

This may seem like a no-brainer, but not everyone can handle stress well and sometimes even nurses can crack a little. Nursing can be a challenging career some days, and knowing how to keep your emotions in check, especially when you have an emotionally charged patient to deal with, can mean the difference between falling apart and getting control of the situation. Emotional stability also includes those days when you may be experiencing problems at home or personal problems and you need to push them back while at work. This takes a tremendous amount of self-control and patience, which are two traits that will help you thrive in your chosen career.

Good communicator

So many issues in the world could be avoided if people took the time to stop and really listen to the person in front of them. In any profession, there will always be a time when someone who has been doing it for long enough thinks that they know what the other person is going to say and then cuts them off before they have finished speaking. We are all guilty of it, even those in nursing. You may have seen a particular set of symptoms before and know exactly what they mean and how to treat them. The urge may be to start treating the patient immediately, rather than listening to them describe their symptoms. The problem is that something crucial could be missed, such as an allergy to a medication or an additional symptom that could take you in another direction for treatment.

Listening also helps put the patient at ease and lets them know that they are in the very best of caring hands. Communication is also key to developing positive relationships with colleagues who depend on your support in offering the very best care. Communication also involves explaining your meaning without judgement or impatience and making sure that whoever you are speaking to understands what you are talking about.


In a national poll, 85% of participants rated nurses as having high levels of integrity and honesty. The profession of nursing is highly regarded, and when you rise as a leader, you will be valued and held in the highest esteem by the healthcare community. When you develop leadership skills on top of the other excellent traits you already possess, the opportunities for advancement are within reach.


When you decide to turn your passion for nursing into a successful career, you have taken the first step in becoming a valued and highly respected member of the healthcare community. Taking courses online, listening to your patients and colleagues, acting as a mentor to junior nurses, and treating everyone with compassion and empathy are effective ways of moving up in the career you love.