Research from a psychological consultancy company has found nurses tend to score lower than the general population for resilience.

Psychological Consultancy Limited (PCL) used an assessment 
tool to survey 89 nurses who responded to a call in Nursing Standard to find out which competencies nurses were most likely to require for their job.

By comparing personality
traits and matching them
with key work competencies,
PCL was able to establish a
nursing ‘type’. Nurses scored
highly for customer focus, team orientation, project management, interpersonal skills and attention to detail, but lower than the general population for resilience.

The key competencies found in the PCL research are all essential for patient-centred nursing. These have also been found to be high in other studies of nursing and have even been found to contribute to the improvement of patients’ physiological and other health outcomes.

In comparison with go-getting entrepreneurs, nurses show a far less ambitious nature, preferring job stability, and are motivated by the recognition caring brings.

Those who score low on resilience also rank lower on composure and self-esteem. Nurses are likely to self-evaluate and are keen to learn from their experiences, but are less likely to cope under stress. They also benefit from good support networks at work, team-building activities and they value being able to contribute to their departmental activities.

Before starting a new job, nurses should consider the environment they will be working in and, if the role involves dealing with high levels of stress and anxiety, they should look for confidence-boosting opportunities


How nurses scored:

High score
Team orientation Able to get along with others and accept their contributions.
Project management Take responsibility for achieving objectives, well organised and get the best from others.
Interpersonal skills Relate well to others.
Attention to detail Quick to spot errors and inconsistencies, have high standards.


Low score
Resilience Even-tempered, optimistic and take things in their stride.