10 Essential Qualities in a Good Nurse Practitioner

Nursing is one of the most demanding careers in the world, but those who do it also describe it as a very rewarding experience.

Nursing is a career that is expected to see a lot of growth in the next decade, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic this year which highlighted the nursing shortage crisis even further and is likely to see even more nursing jobs created in the near future. Along with being skilled in health and patient care, nurses who succeed in this profession tend to possess a lot of unique characteristics and personality traits.

Nurse practitioners are key health care professionals today, working to reduce the impact of the shortage of primary care physicians and provide the best possible standards of care to their patients. Nurses who get noticed for their service and make the biggest impact on the people that they work with tend to possess the following attributes:

Communication Skills

As a nurse practitioner, it’s your job to communicate effectively with people who might be feeling down, scared, or unwell. Nurse practitioners are an advocate for their patients and they are responsible for clearly communicating health guidelines and information about any medications or treatments that they provide. The job of a nurse practitioner also often involves counseling patients on looking after their own health and wellbeing, meaning that many nurse practitioners are often in an educator role along with caring. To be successful, it’s important to be able to communicate clearly in a way that a patient can understand, even if they have little knowledge of healthcare. Nurse practitioners should be able to explain concepts, ideas, and instructions in layman’s terms to ensure that their patients can easily follow and use the information that they are provided with to better their health.

Compassion and Empathy

Nurse practitioners need to be able to put themselves in the shoes of the patient in order to do their work effectively and build strong, trusting relationships with patients. A nurse practitioner should be somebody that patients can trust to care for them with genuine compassion, no judgment, and with their best interests at heart. Most people who choose nursing as a career are naturally compassionate people who are drawn to caring for people who are injured and sick. A good nurse practitioner needs to be able to fully empathize with patients who are in physical and emotional pain along with being able to empathize with families and loved ones who may be feeling worried and scared.

Compassion is one of the major qualities that employers look for in all nurses and nurse practitioners, and demonstrating where you have shown genuine compassion and empathy for others on your resume will help you stand out as a nurse. Click here for more information on how to make your family nurse practitioner resume stand out from the crowd.


Nurse practitioners often have to make important snap decisions; sometimes this could be the difference between life and death for a patient. Because of this, one of the most important qualities that a good nurse practitioner will need to possess is the ability to keep a level head under pressure and think critically to make the best decision for their patients. In addition, many nurse practitioners are heavily involved with policy-making in regards to healthcare, and as advocates for patients, they rely on critical thinking skills in order to come up with and put across ideas that are designed to successfully improve healthcare for society in general.


Nurse practitioners need to be highly ethical people who are committed to integrity and always doing the right thing for their patients. As a nurse practitioner, your patients are putting their trust in you to make the right choices on their behalf and treat them with the utmost respect. Good nurse practitioners adhere to a solid framework of ethics that they use in all aspects of not only their professional lives but also in personal settings. Many nurses are the type of people who would not think twice to help a stranger out if they see somebody who is needed, where most people might just walk on by. Highly ethical nurse practitioners are committed to upholding the dignity of all patients and have a very humanitarian approach to life.


A good nurse practitioner is confident in his or her abilities and knowledge and is committed to constantly staying up to date and improving their abilities in order to be sure that they can always provide the best possible care. Nurse practitioners should be dedicated to ensuring that they are able to conduct the work that they are tasked with without making mistakes or any uncertainty. A nurse practitioner is also somebody who has the confidence and humility to ask for help if they find themselves in a situation where they are unsure of something.

Nurse practitioners often work very independently with little supervision and are required to do this with confidence and get the job done. Since nurse practitioners may often face critical situations, there should not be any room for self-doubting.

Meticulous and Detail-Oriented

As a nurse practitioner, there is no room for making sloppy mistakes or doing half of a job, and any good health professional is definitely aware of this. A simple mistake could have tragic results for the patient, which is why a good nurse practitioner needs to be somebody who is very detail-oriented and meticulous about doing things exactly as expected. Whether you are prescribing medication or taking a sample for a blood test, a good nurse practitioner knows that there’s no room for guesswork or taking shortcuts with their work and every detail must be attended to.


Nursing is a very physically and emotionally demanding profession, so it’s important for a nurse practitioner to be somebody who is strong both in body and mind. A good nurse practitioner is somebody who knows just how important it is to look after themselves in order to ensure that they have the energy needed to do their job successfully. As a nurse practitioner, it’s crucial that you are committed to practicing what you preach with your patients and commit to a healthy lifestyle for yourself. Nurse practitioners know the importance of a healthy diet, exercise, and looking after their mental health. A nurse practitioner should be in tune with their own needs and understand when they need to take a break or get help in order to ensure that they are performing to the best of their abilities.


While working as a nurse practitioner in a clinic might be more predictable than working on a hospital ward or in the ER, any health professional knows that anything might happen on any day on the job. The ability to adapt quickly and be flexible to changing circumstances is absolutely essential for any good nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners are often required to work long hours and treat a wide variety of patients during this time, and it’s not often possible to predict what’s going to happen next or what the next patient will be presenting with. Emergency situations can happen at any time when it comes to healthcare, and a good nurse practitioner needs to be able to quickly take control of the situation and pivot in order to ensure that patients are prioritized as needed and any unexpected situations are dealt with accordingly.

Commitment to Learning

While nurse practitioners have typically obtained a string of advanced qualifications to get into their role, the best nurse practitioners know that learning is not something that will ever stop when working in this field. The field of healthcare is dynamic and ever-changing, so there’s always something new for nurse practitioners to learn about, whether it’s the latest cutting-edge healthcare research, new treatments for certain conditions, or new machinery and tools designed to be used on the job.

A good nurse practitioner is committed to consistently learning new things and developing their knowledge and skills. Nurse practitioners have a strong educational background and no plans to stop improving their education any time soon. Many nurse practitioners learn simply because they enjoy doing so, and are always willing to have conversations with people who they could learn something new from.


Nurse practitioners are not only tasked with caring for patients; they are often in charge of teams of various health professionals, in which case strong leadership skills are absolutely essential. This is especially true when a nurse practitioner is running his or her own practice. A good nurse practitioner is highly skilled at managing teams of different people, ensuring that everybody can work well together, and has a good grasp on the administration side of things such as hiring, delegating tasks, scheduling, workplace policies, and more.

Today, nurse practitioners are becoming increasingly more important in the healthcare industry. With nurse practitioners leading the way, nurses with the above skills and qualities are in high demand for this position. Do you have what it takes to be a good nurse practitioner?


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