Characteristics of a Nurse Paper
Students will write a paper assignment about the professional characteristics/behaviors of a Baccalaureate nurse using the guidelines/rubric provided. The student will describe what he/she believes to be the necessary/ideal professional characteristics or behaviors of a Baccalaureate nurse. Additionally, the student will interview a Baccalaureate nurse and ask him/her to briefly describe his/her role, what he/she believes to be the difference in the preparation of Baccalaureate nurse as compared to other entry options. The student will also ask the nurse to describe a most memorable day or moment as a nurse and how this experience has affected the nurse personally and or professionally. The student will discuss those professional characteristics/traits and relate them to the story of the nurse you have interviewed. The student will discuss the development of professional characteristics/behaviors and how they begin in the professional nursing program. The student will provide examples and discuss the importance of the professional characteristic/behaviors to the student nurse.

Need an introduction of what is the paper about?
Describe the characteristics/traits of a Baccalaureate professional nurse. What are the differences in the preparation of Baccalaureate nurses as compared to other entry options? What are the skills required? What other qualities should the nurse have? and why?
Describe the role of the Baccalaureated professional nurse. What are her job duties? What is the setting? What is their most memorable day/moment? Why? What characteristics are reflective or demonstrated by the nurse’s experience? How has this experience affected the nurse personally and or professionally?
Describe how and why the characteristics/behaviors role describe above are important to a nursing student?
What are your thoughts on the characteristics of a nurse now that you have researched it and/or spoken with a nurse? Does it affirm your decisions to become a nurse? Why or why not?

Interview question and answers
Describe your role briefly?
I work as a staff nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Shapiro building on a vascular surgery and cardiology focused intermediate care unit. My role includes, but is definitely not limited to, understanding the health history and recent changes in health status of my patients during their admission; accurately assessing my patients’ current health status and making the covering MD aware of any changes throughout my shift; understanding my patients medications and administering them safely and accurately; monitoring telemetry and vital signs; performing patient-specific interventions such as dressing changes and wound care, chest physiotherapy, repositioning, etc.; providing emotional support (which is always needed when patients are hospitalized due to changes they all experience and need to cope with); delegation and knowing what tasks and to whom you can and feel comfortable delegating tasks to; teaching- both with my patients regarding new medications, tests and procedures and what to expect throughout hospitalization, changes in their health status/diet/lifestyle, etc.; and often my role also includes that of charge nurse….. which includes overseeing and making sure the unit is adequately staffed, awareness of all patient’s health status on the unit (including code status!!), resource to all staff on unit, maintaining safety and organization of unit, and a bunch of extra paperwork (lol). In both of these roles, it is also the responsibility of the individual nurse to notify the nurse manager of any potential problems (staff or patient related) that arise at any time on the unit.

What do you believe to be the difference in the preparation of Baccalaureated nurse as compared to other entry options?

I believe BSN prepared nurses are educated in a more holistic view and approach to patient care. BSN prepared nurses are educated in the background of both the art and science of nursing, and the education is standardized throughout BSN programs. The problem with having other degress such as LPN’s, diploma program nurses, associate degree-prepared nurses in addition to BSN prepared nurses is that there is too much variation in the education provided in the different programs, leading to varying levels of knowledge and competence in practice and different views/ approaches to patient care. The various nursing environments are becoming more sophisticated and technologically advanced, requiring nursing programs that can provide both a solid knowledge background as well as current issues and trends in nursing with a holistic and diverse view of patients and their families…. BSN programs provide this quality of nursing education for todays nurses and should be the expected standard of education (in my eyes).

Describe your most memorable day and how this experience has affected you professionally

Just this past weekend I had a very rewarding experience with a patient. I had come on to shift at 7pm on Friday night, and it was quite hectic. I had one patient in flash pulmonary edema who was requiring high-flow oxygen and just started diuresing, another patient was admitted with chest pain and awaiting cardiac catherization and was having active chest pain, and my 3rd patient came rolling by the nurses station at 705pm (new admission from an outside hospital) as I was waiting to get report from the day nurse.I felt slightly overwhelmed at the beginning of the shift, but quickly my patient having chest pain was brought down to cath lab….. so I could focus on my new admission and my patient having respiratory issues. I had a four-patient assignment that night but most of my time and energy was focused on this patient. The patient had 3 episodes of acute shortness of breath, with oxygen levels desaturating and labored breathing, with patient requiring high-flow humidified oxygen to maintain o2 sats. The patient was very anxious with each episode and noted to be tachycardic, requiring telemetry monitoring and 12-lead EKG, and a LOT of emotional support!! After spending two 12-hour night shift taking care of this patient, her respiratory status finally started to turn the corner for the better and I was able to wean patient to a nasal cannula and she told me that she felt her first deep breathe since surgery. Sparing you many unnecessary , although interesting, details to this story…. It was when the patient said to me, “you can go home to your family and know that you made a difference in a patient’s life. I wanted to die. I wanted to die, but you were there for me and helped me.” This made all of the work and stress of those past two nights more than worth it, and it reminded me of how much I love being a nurse!!