5 self-care and success tips for introverted nurses

Consider these seven strengths of introverts at work Introverts are insightful and empathetic Introverts are self-motivated Introverts are team-oriented Introverts speak with intention Introverts are writers by nature Introverts aim to please Introverts are quiet, but effective, leaders

Nursing is a profession that demands constant interaction, which can be challenging for introverted personalities. Introverts, according to psychotherapist and psychologist Carl Jung, are drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling and recharge their social batteries by being alone. This characteristic might seem at odds with the nursing profession, which often involves being constantly surrounded by people — an environment typically favored by extroverts.

“As an introvert, I just couldn’t imagine a lot of things that came with the job — including having to make small talk with patients and colleagues, dealing with emotional family members, and being a patient’s advocate and standing up to doctors when situations called for it,” registered nurse Jessica Anne Filoteo wrote in an article about overcoming work challenges as an introverted nurse.

However, being an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t excel in this field. Here are five strategies from Nurse.org to help introverted nurses thrive in their work environment:

Embrace your strengths

Introverts often possess keen observation skills and the ability to listen attentively. Use these traits to your advantage. Your quiet demeanor can be calming for patients in stressful situations, and your attention to detail can lead to more accurate assessments.

Develop a communication style

Create a script for common interactions. Practice introducing yourself to patients or discussing cases with colleagues. Having a mental template can reduce anxiety and make communication feel more natural over time.

Find your recharge moments

Identify opportunities for brief solitude during your shift. Whether it’s a quick breather in the supply room or a moment of reflection while charting, these small breaks can help you reset and maintain your energy throughout the day.

“Many nurses are often so busy taking care of others, they forget to take care of themselves. But remember, it’s important to pause and take the time to refill your own cup, because when you do, you’ll have more to give to others,” Filoteo advises.

Set boundaries with confidence

Learn to say “no” when necessary. It’s OK to decline extra shifts or nonessential social events if you need time to recharge. Remember, maintaining your well-being is crucial for providing quality patient care.

Focus on patient-centered care

When social interactions feel overwhelming, redirect your focus to your patients’ needs. This shift in perspective can make your work feel more purposeful and less draining.

“A colleague of mine once pointed out that at the end of the day, I am only looking after my patients and making sure they are safe,” Filoteo said.

Remember, introversion is not a weakness but a different way of processing the world. By leveraging your unique qualities and implementing these strategies, you can flourish as a nurse while staying true to your nature.