Joyce university student in blue scrubs standing in standard bearer hallway on campus

Top 5 Qualities of a Great Nurse

Staff Writer
Apr 19, 2022

Nurses are a special group made up of over 2.8 million men and women who are dedicated to serving our patients and healthcare community as a whole. Although nurses may look, speak, or even act differently, at their core, the majority of great nurses have several traits in common.

1. You’re Known for Your Empathy and Compassion

It’s a common saying at Joyce University that the skills can be taught, the heart cannot. Patients look to nurses to be their advocate. Great nurses are able to consistently feel compassion and provide comfort for their patients.

2. You Don’t Get Lost in the Details

Nurses are required to be able to see the big picture in order to give the best care to each patient. The nurse frequently has many things to do at once, and must be able to quickly decide what takes highest priority. There are people depending on them, and no time to become overwhelmed.

3. You Aren’t Easily Fatigued

Ever wake up 4 in the morning because your stomach believes it’s lunchtime? Welcome to the nurse life! Nurses work long hours. They often don’t get breaks and are constantly on our feet. To stand up to the demand, great nurses have solid physical and mental fortitude.

4. You’re the Rock Among Your Friends and Family

Nursing is a stressful job where trauma is common. Why aren’t they an emotional mess 99% of the time? Because great nurses have a tremendous amount of emotional stability. If people lean on you when times are tough, you have one of the key qualities of a great nurse.

5. You Feel Comfortable in a Leadership Role

Registered nurses are leaders within the health care team. They work with other health professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, and social workers to ensure that the needs of patients are being met. If something is wrong, the nurse has to be assertive enough to stand up for their patient and get the problem solved. Nursing school graduates are often surprised how quickly they find themselves in the role of team leader, so they must be ready to set aside their doubts and act confidently in their new position.


These are only a few traits great nurses posses, but there are so many more characteristics that make up great nurses. Many great nurses have some extraordinary qualities but are lacking in other areas. Other qualities worth noting are:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Respect
  • Dedication
  • Intuition
  • Humor

Nursing is a rewarding profession that we are grateful to serve. Joyce University is home to one of the largest nursing programs in Utah. If you’re already a registered nurse and want to continue your education, we also offer an outstanding RN to BSN Degree Completion program and a BSN to MSN degree completion program.


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