Nurse Keith: The Nurse’s Curiosity

Nurse Keith: The Nurse’s Curiosity

Curiosity is the fuel that can power any career, including the career of a nurse. It can be the engine behind innovation, success, and satisfaction. As a nurse, you can use your curious nature to your advantage as you build the career you truly desire and deserve.

The curious nature of the nurse

When you bring your curious nature to your nursing career, important things can happen. Your curiosity can drive you to look up that drug interaction profile one more time and save a patient’s life. Your curiosity can cause you to research advanced degree programs in order to move your career forward. It can also lead you to become an innovator, an inventor, or a disruptor.

The incurious nurse accepts the physician’s order without a second glance. A nurse without curiosity will be complacent in her career and give little thought to the future. The incurious nurse will allow his career to happen to him, rather than making it happen.

Activating your curiosity is one of the most powerful things that you can do for your life as a professional nurse. Curiosity is like rocket fuel – it burns bright and jettisons you skyward.

Intellectual curiosity

Those outside of nursing may not think of nurses as intellectuals, but it takes a great deal of intelligence to become a nurse, and some nurses use their intellectual capabilities to do great things.

Jean Watson, likely the most famous living nurse theorist, is an intellectually passionate individual whose Theory of Human Caring has catalyzed the minds and education of hundreds of thousands of nurses worldwide. Her theory did not come about in a vacuum – Ms. Watson was curious enough to find her way down the path that led to her grand theory of nursing science.

Nurses who pursue MSN degrees in informatics, healthcare administration, or other roles in leadership or innovation are doing so because they are hungry for learning and experience. A nurse doesn’t become a Doctor of Nursing Practice out of academic laziness; to the contrary, she does so from a deep desire for new knowledge, skill, and professional possibilities.

Relational curiosity

Emotional intelligence is a popular buzzword these days, but relational intelligence is also getting well-deserved attention. Many nurses have a natural gift in these areas, and this can be a very satisfying aspect of the life and career of a nurse.

The nurse with innate curiosity about people, relationships, and communication can become deeply versed in the skills of emotional and relational intelligence. The ability to draw a patient out of their shell, elicit important feedback, and open lines of communication can be crucial to the plan of care and the patient outcomes we seek.

When you bring curiosity to your relationships with patients, that’s where some of the magic of nursing can happen. And when you can bring that same level of authentic communication to your relationships with colleagues, only good can come of such an effort.

A curious nature engenders trust, openness, symbiosis, and clarity in relationships and communication. The nurse who can bring these characteristics to his or her work is a gifted nurse indeed.

Curiosity is the key

Whether it’s the nurse-patient relationship, an MSN degree, or another path within the virtually unlimited nursing sphere, allow your innate curiosity to guide you.

Being a curious nurse is your key to a more satisfying career, deeper relationships, and a mind that is fed from the fountain of your curious mind and heart.

Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, speaker, consultant, author, and popular career columnist. With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses. Keith’s two podcasts, RNFM Radio and The Nurse Keith Show, offer inspiration and practical support to nurses seeking to create meaningful, satisfying lives and careers. Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. He can be found at

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