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What qualities should a newly qualified nurse learn?

It might feel like a large shift from student to freshly trained practitioner. In your apprenticeship or initial training phase, it’s normal to be apprehensive about what will be required of you and how much help you’ll receive. Even under the best of circumstances, changing jobs may be stressful. Still, one of the greatest changes in a person’s career is going from being a student to a certified professional working full-time.

A person in blue scrubs with stethoscope around her neck

Being closely connected to the lives of people they care for makes nursing a complicated and involved job. As a result, accepting complete responsibility for the lives of others might seem like a difficult assignment. In the past, freshly qualified graduates often saw the transition as quite unplanned and have compared the process of becoming a working nurse to “fumbling along” in a past survey. Today’s pre-registration classes, however, are slightly more geared at addressing the shock of how to handle things as a freshly trained nursing staff member. In this article, we will discuss various qualities and skills that will help you in your career as a newly qualified nurse.

The most important thing you need to do as a fresh nursing school graduate is to be prepared for whatever comes your way. As a freshly licensed nurse, you may experience tension, worry, and uncertainty. It is, therefore, important to recognize your emotions and how to handle them. Some days, things will go well, and you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished a lot. On other days, things might not go as planned, and you could feel frustrated or disappointed. Recognize that this will occur and try to learn from the good and the bad.

Do not forget that your role has grown from that of a student to that of a licensed medical professional with accountability. This has a significant impact on how others perceive you, and it will result in different relationships with others as a result of your disconnection from your educational past and the way you are creating a new identity in your new role with new responsibilities.

Skills and qualities you must possess as a newly qualified nurse

Many clinical and practical skills and competencies you acquired while pursuing your degree must be swiftly developed once you begin working as a staff nurse. These competencies will include:

Time management abilities

Time management is crucial for nurses because it enables them to give patients better care while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. You may prioritize chores and efficiently manage your workload as a nurse by using various strategies. You may succeed in your work in healthcare by learning some typical nurse time management techniques. New nurses can learn organization and time management by setting attainable goals, creating a routine, prioritizing, incorporating technological aids at the workplace, and creating a support team.

Developing personnel management abilities

Having nurse manager abilities can offer a nurse an opportunity to change their career path and enable them to function in a managing capacity. Nurse managers act as a point of contact between the nursing staff and the management, supervise teams of nurses, and assist nurses in advancing their careers. Learning nurse manager skills might help nurses who desire to take on leadership responsibilities in their department.

Organizational planning abilities

You will have to handle personnel difficulties as a trained expert. This can be particularly challenging if your duties involve overseeing long-tenured employees (nurses, healthcare assistants, etc.) since they can feel intimated or professionally challenged by a freshly licensed nurse. To decide how to bring out the best in each person you are dealing with, this role calls for tact and understanding.

Management of interpersonal abilities

Since nursing and midwifery are cooperative professions, a key component of the nurse’s job is to coordinate the knowledge and skills of numerous other people—doctors, different therapists, dieticians, administrative support staff, etc.—to help the patient or service user get better or at the very least achieve the best quality of life possible. A keen interpersonal empathy, the ability to make judgments that not everyone may agree with, and the ability to explain the reasoning behind decisions to those who disagree are necessary for getting the greatest performance out of other professionals. This comes with practice, but at the beginning of your professional life, you shouldn’t set yourself up for unrealistic expectations.

Developing a specialism

When we consider “specialist” fields of activity, we frequently consider those that demand advanced knowledge and abilities to perform responsibly and safely. Specialist positions require extra education and training, and many higher education institutions (HEIs) provide this education at the postgraduate level. Nurses who work in contexts including emergency care, intensive care, high dependency, theater, recovery, and many others frequently pursue specialized training in these areas. While gaining work experience in these fields will help, it is recommended to seek specialized training to increase understanding of evidence-based practice in these fields.

The importance of continuing education has increased in the nursing field with the introduction of degree-level entrance in 2002. A suitable MSc is a requirement for several positions, including an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. Nurses, therefore, ideally need to have postgraduate educations to the MSc level to advance their careers in a specific field or receive a promotion. Many HEIs offer the CPD (Continuing Professional Development) modules that make up these programs as “stand-alone” courses, which may be more inexpensive and feasible for people who are working full-time. However, most nurses will work in general settings, and there aren’t many specialized courses available right now that can support career advancement in these settings. They should look for CPD and in-house training classes to help them develop their portfolio.

Continuing professional development

It can be difficult for nurses to choose the best postgraduate degree programs because there are many options. Picking the best college and course might take some time, and several reliable informational resources can help you on your way.

As highlighted in the previous point, nurses can benefit tremendously from continuous development courses. As well as in-person classes, nurses can enroll in short courses and online degree programs. These courses can be a useful strategy for juggling career, family, and education. Universities and Institutes of Technology are increasingly offering more online courses, some of which may be entirely online and others may have some online component, in recognition of nursing students’ challenges in balancing study and employment.

Spring Arbor University Online is one such institution. It offers a unique MSN course for people who like the freedom of online learning but may still benefit from the classroom and social interaction aspects of school. A blended approach like this is a great, flexible option for many. This postgraduate course equips nurses with essential nursing tools to succeed as newly qualified nurses.

Promoting your employability

Nurses must be able to show prospective employers that they possess the necessary qualities and skills listed above to prove their employability. Graduates in the healthcare field may do this by utilizing all of their experiences and skills and experiences, their academic backgrounds and accomplishments, and their co-curricular and extracurricular activities, such as serving on a club or society’s committee.

They may also be able to demonstrate this through any unofficial and unrelated volunteer activity they have done. Additionally, graduates should familiarize themselves with the hospital or medical facility before their interview. People who are well-prepared for interviews and react well to criticism frequently get acceptable jobs. They know exactly what they can provide and can convey this to prospective employers.

Learning to become a nurse leader

Nurse leadership is crucial because the amount of nursing expertise directly impacts the quality of care provided to patients. As more nurses assume leadership roles and develop new ideas, patients will receive a higher maintenance rate. No matter at what stage a nurse may be in their career, leadership abilities can benefit their work. Nurses with leadership qualities may inspire their teams to be more effective and productive even if they don’t have management responsibilities.

By organizing and managing the care of a group of patients, educating them and their families, taking part in healthcare discussions and decision-making, evaluating the pertinent research evidence and using it to inform patient or client care, and fostering an inclusive and participatory work environment, nurses can demonstrate leadership both as students and newly licensed nurses.

Understanding the art of self and patient advocacy

Every person’s life needs advocacy, which is standing up for oneself or a group to persuade others to take action that would improve their life. The majority of individuals are capable of speaking out for themselves. Still, suppose a person is thought to have a cognitive or intellectual disability. In that case, this may be more challenging, either because of the disability or other people’s behavior and perceptions. Making sure that persons with intellectual disabilities have control over their own lives is something that professionals working in this field can contribute much to.

Self-advocacy and representational advocacy are the two basic forms of advocacy. Self-advocacy is the act of speaking out for oneself in a certain circumstance. Additionally, it implies that individuals are free from compulsion and are aware of their rights and obligations. Sometimes, people may need others to speak because they cannot do it alone. Peers and relatives may offer support in these circumstances. Still, it is frequently preferable to have an impartial person or an official from a legal or governmental organization speak on their behalf, again without using force, so that they may present the individual’s voice.

According to recommendations, advocacy should be put into practice by creating a professional standard for advocacy that uses the fundamentals of leadership. A professional group will produce a document called a professional standard that will outline the accepted behaviors or norms about a certain aspect of care. To achieve safe practice, professional standards can be utilized as a baseline.

Learn to defend your area of expertise.

Nurses can make decisions about their practice areas by using a variety of tactics when presented with changing or new professional settings. To make daily decisions, nurses must acquire self-reliance and professional judgment abilities.

When making such judgments, nurses can also seek the assistance and advice of more seasoned coworkers and managers. Additionally, nurses may use organizational policies and supports, clinical standards, and care pathways. Nurses may use internet resources, publications, and local authoritative organizations in circumstances where they are working alone, without the support of their peers, and when organizational policies and support might not be readily available.


The world of nursing can be a daunting area to step into after qualifying. However, by preparing themselves through their studies with the skills and attributes needed to be a successful nurse, this challenge can be overcome. By being organized, having strong time management and interpersonal skills, and having the open-mindedness to develop their career and interrelations, newly qualified nurses can work themselves into the healthcare machine. Self-belief and self-advocacy can go a long way, and working within a team can offer support and assistance. Handling all these things will ensure a smooth and strong transition into a career in nursing.


About Fitnetion

I’m a health blogger by passion, and I love connecting people with information about health and wellness. I’ve been blogging for years now and I’ve learned a lot through that journey. In addition to writing, I’m also an avid reader and listener of podcasts. I believe in a healthy lifestyle and want to encourage others to reach theirs. That’s why I started my blog ,fitnetion.

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