Mar 08, 2017

Personality Testing: The “Right” Type for Nursing

Not anyone can become a nurse. It’s true that it takes years of schooling, endless hours of studying and some pretty tough exams to qualify to become a nurse, but there is also another element to consider – your personality.

There isn’t one clear cut personality that perfectly fits into the role of nurse, rather, there are a range that are better suited than others.

For nurses, it can be useful to see how their personality may be better suited for a particular specialty. For those who feel they’re in a rut or are unsatisfied with where they are at career-wise, might find they’d be happier in a different speciality.

Normally, nurses who are recent graduates either go into general nursing or midwifery, and once they’ve established experience then they can choose a specialty.

Psychometric Testing for Nurses

The best way to find our is through the use of psychometric testing, which has been gaining popularity with in hiring new staff in every industry.

There are a number of things that can be determined through psychometric testing:

  • Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert
  • How you perceive the world – through intuition or sensory-based perception
  • How you determine diagnosis – are you more analytical or more intuitive?
  • Whether you have the traits of a leader or are driven by success

Normally, you would expect a nurse – or any person really – to naturally gravitate to a particular profession or speciality, or base that choice on intuition. But if a person has a lot of choices, the stress of making the right one can get in the way of following their instincts.

This is where psychometric testing is being utilised in helping people – by showing nurses a range of specialties that offer the best opportunities for them.

What kind of personality does it take?

A large-scale study looked at personality profiles of Registered Nurses’ and their clinical speciality from 1965 through to 2010. Over this 45 year period, they found that nurses who chose their speciality based on what would suit their personality character traits actually achieved higher job satisfaction and less burnout.

In the research, it was found that:

  • Cancer and palliative care nurses scored high on emotional sensitivity, higher than all other nursing specialities. High scores in this are considered to be associated with people who are aware of their own feelings, compassionate and understanding.
  • Critical care nurses scored higher on dominance, rebelliousness and self-sufficiency and lower on emotional sensitivity and imagination. These types of personality traits belong to people who prefer to be self-sufficient and have a preference to make their own decisions independently.
  • Generally speaking, the personality of emergency, oncology and renal nurses have found that a larger proportion of them are introverts. Introverts are described as being task orientated, independent and diligent, preferring to work alone and maintain control over their environment

It should be noted that this research doesn’t definitively suggest which personality should specialise in what, rather that there is a trend in the type of people who find success in their fields.

Personality testing can help nurses find what career path suits them, and should be utilised to help them along with their studies and training.

And not only can personality testing help nurses to gain a more fulfilling careers and higher job satisfaction, but hospitals and aged care alike can make better use of their employees training and skill, as well as have lower staff turnover, higher retention and higher patients satisfaction.

To try a personality test and see what traits you have, have a go HERE.

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