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How To be Professional at Work

10 Ways To Be a Professional

Have you heard a nurse manager say, “That nurse didn’t act professionally?” What did that mean? Isn’t it enough to do your job, and show up on time? What else should you do to be seen as acting professionally?

Professionalism is demonstrated by you providing the care that you would give to your family, or would want to receive yourself. We all know what it looks like to be seen as “unprofessional,” but how can I display professionalism?


10 Ways to Demonstrate Professionalism:


Show competence

You need to hold the ability to remain calm and confident in moments of high stress, pressure, and critical situations. You need to stay level headed in the day to day bedside actions. Obtain the skills necessary to provide the best, safest care possible.

Be reliable

Arrive on time, complete your charting on time, administer medication on time, and avoid canceling shifts you have agreed to work.


Patients and their families need to know they can trust you. Tell the truth in all situations.


Be known for always doing the “right thing.” Don’t give them a reason to think otherwise.

Show respect

Treat all people as if they matter because they do. Your co-worker learns that you respect them when you report on time and complete your work. Treat them as you want to be treated.

Update your skills

Seek out ways to update your skills. Healthcare changes daily, so stay aware of the new advances within your specialty.

Be positive

Maintain an upbeat, positive attitude. No one likes a pessimist or a complainer. Stay positive and remember that anything is possible with a positive attitude and determination at work.

Support others

Work as a team. When we work together, we create a sense of synergy. Working as a team, we are much stronger as compared to working alone. Teamwork fosters creativity and learning. It provides the best results for the physical and psychological needs of the patient and the job satisfaction for the nurse. Working as a team also reduces chances for errors, because there is cross-checking of work and constant communications. The success of a squad is the sum of all its parts, not just one individual.

Stay focused

Don’t let your personal life impact your work time. Avoid the gossip mill and the unit drama. When your contract ends, they will all still be friends.

Listen carefully

Take the time to listen before you speak. Everyone wants to be heard. Give them a chance to explain their perception. Listen for the real message, not just the words.