You need to be able to work long, hard and often unfriendly hours. Equally, you may encounter burnout, anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress. Therefore, nurses need a generous supply of resilience.
Remember, you are always learning
There is never an end point for learning. Your career, like life in general, is one continual exercise in learning, growing and improving. Essentially, your learning doesn't simply end when you leave the classroom.
Always be willing to observe, ask questions and identify ways to improve yourself, both personally and professionally. By constantly being humble about your career, you will learn so much more and, as a result, become a much better nurse.
Maintain a sense of humour
Some shifts are simply chaotic and some just drag, especially night duty. You have to deal with a variety of people with a variety of personalities experiencing a variety of emotions while, at all times, remaining professional and caring. The key to managing these situations is to ensure you maintain a sense of humour. A smile will help to smooth the day and do wonders for your patients. Given some of the things nurses have to deal with, you often just have to laugh in order to cope.
Make sure you are a team player and don't be afraid to show you are interested in learning (see tip #2).
Learn how to be the best when others are at their worst
People are often at their worst when they or their loved ones are in pain, are frightened and/or anxious. You need to let that ride over you and not take abuse personally. Always be professional and supportive in times of adversity.