If you have empathy, a strong work ethic, a great academic history, physical endurance, and focus under pressure, then you may have what it takes to be a nurse. Career motivation, teamwork, and understanding of what a nurse does will also serve you well.
Nursing is a fast-growing, high-demand profession with unlimited opportunity. That’s why many career changers are applying to Xavier University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program as a way to accelerate into the occupation. However, it’s not a field you should enter lightly.
If you’re thinking about transitioning into the profession, it’s worth pondering the question: Do I have what it takes to be a nurse? This post can help give you the answer. We’ll go through eight characteristics of successful nurses so you can see if nursing is the right fit for you.
1. Career Motivation
Think about what’s drawing you to the nursing profession. Sure, it’s one of the best occupations available today, but going into it for the right reasons is key for ensuring you end up happy. It’s important that you have a genuine interest in taking care of others. While the pay, benefits, and job security of the occupation are attractive, those shouldn’t be your main motivating factors.
“You have to love what you’re doing. You have to care for patients and truly be invested in their overall well-being — mind, body, and spirit. I think that makes you a great nurse,” said Lauren, Xavier ABSN program graduate.
2. Strong Work Ethic
While nursing is a rewarding and fulfilling career, it’s hard work! Nurses work long hours and often have to respond to urgent situations quickly. If you take pride in your work and can easily handle a steady workload, nursing may be right for you. Nurses also maintain patient records, fill out paperwork, and complete other administrative tasks. Being organized and having high attention to detail will serve you well as an RN.
3. Focus Under Pressure
Nurses are continually problem-solving and thinking on their feet. To be successful, they learn to adapt to patient status changes, varied care locations, and ever-evolving equipment. They need to be comfortable communicating with all the different personality types effectively. Nurses also learn to keep their cool during stressful situations and emergencies.
4. Comfort With All Aspects of Patient Care
Additionally, nurses need to be able to professionally bathe patients and provide hygiene care. Nurses come in contact with germs and bodily fluids, and they need to be able to follow procedures to safely deal with these situations.
Nurses collaborate with others to deliver the best care possible. They often work alongside other nurses, physicians, and healthcare professionals, so they need to be able to communicate effectively and work together efficiently.
6. Physical Endurance
While some areas of practice are more physically demanding than others, it’s common for nurses to have to lift and move patients. These caregivers also do a lot of standing, walking, and bending during their 12-hour shifts. If you can carry out several physical tasks while working on the job for long hours, you might have the right endurance for the profession.
Nurses often interact with patients and family members to provide education and support. Nurses don’t become agitated when caring for difficult patients or families under duress. While you may face challenging situations, as a nurse you must remain compassionate and empathetic to when a patient is feeling upset.
What does it take to be a nurse? If you can remain calm and focused in stressful situations, refrain from passing judgment on others, remain positive in unpleasant circumstances, and work well in a team environment, you might have the right personality for the job. Being a nurse also comes with the difficult reality that not every patient can be saved, so it’s important that you’re emotionally equipped to accept that.
8. Strong Academic History
To qualify for Xavier’s ABSN program, you must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and a cumulative GPA of 2.70 or higher. You must also satisfy our prerequisite requirements, which involves completing the below courses with a grade of “C” or better.
- Human Anatomy or Anatomy & Physiology I
- Human Physiology or Anatomy & Physiology II
Our ABSN program comprises a rigorous blend of online coursework, hands-on nursing labs, and in-person clinical rotations in different areas of practice. To be successful in the program, you must be able to devote between 40 and 60 hours a week to your education. In fact, your studies could easily be compared to working a full-time job.
Interested in learning more about what to expect in the Xavier ABSN program? Here’s your guide to preparing for the first semester of nursing school.
Xavier ABSN Support Resources
While nursing school is a challenge no matter where you go, we can help you succeed in Xavier’s ABSN program. Our nursing faculty and clinical instructors are passionate about what they do. They want to see everyone who comes through the program succeed. They know how to break down complex concepts so you can better understand them, and they are always willing to answer your questions.
While in our ABSN program, you’ll also have access to an academic success coach, whose job is to make sure you receive the best learning experience possible. This individual is your bridge between admissions and academics, advocating for what you need to succeed. Your success coach will help you in myriad ways, from providing you with test-taking strategies to getting your billing questions answered.
From day one, be ready to hit the ground running. But know that you have all the resources you need to be successful. Everyone at Xavier is there for you.
–Erin, Xavier ABSN program graduate
Make It Happen
If you’re still wondering, “should I become a nurse?” our 16-month ABSN program can accelerate you into the profession — as long as you meet the admission requirements. And, like the profession itself, you want to make sure the accelerated path to nursing is a good fit for you.
Learn the steps to become a nurse with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.
If you have a passion for the profession and meet our admission requirements, Xavier’s ABSN program can set your nursing career in motion. We have enrollment locations in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, with each location offering three start dates per year. Contact our admission team to learn more.