6 Qualities to Look for in a Good Senior Healthcare Nurse

Like many other mainstream organizations and corporations, senior centers also encounter difficulties in recruiting the right talent. Despite an influx of potential job seekers, not all will fit the bill. Unfortunately, attracting recruits that meet the organizational and regulatory requirements has always posed a challenge for talent acquisition leaders of all sorts.

Because a skilled nursing center’s demographics consist of highly vulnerable populations, it’s prudent that employees working in these facilities meet the expected criteria. Failure to properly screen candidates could result in life-threatening errors that physically impair these senior citizens. With these high stakes in mind, what qualities should you look for when filling a senior care nursing position?

Nurses are one of the most critical employees in a senior care center. Healthcare staffing agencies like Fusion Medical Staffing recruit nurses for skilled nursing positions and ensure employer satisfaction with the recruits’ performance. Fusion Medical Staffing fulfills both long-term or short-term employment needs and works to connect aspiring medical travelers with worldwide opportunities.

Whether you’re establishing a list of criteria to reference when interviewing applicants or looking to identify the qualities these employers scout for, read on for more insight into the qualifications of a reliable senior healthcare center nurse.


Since the needs of the elderly are becoming increasingly complex, a proactive nurse is vital. They anticipate problems in advance and utilize their problem-solving skills to provide solutions.

Creative and adaptable nurses with the ability to think on their feet are invaluable resources to the average senior center. As these elderly folks age, their mental dexterity declines, necessitating mentally-stimulating activities. When looking for a qualified senior care center nursing candidate, scour your candidate pool for nurses that understand the importance of uplifting daily activities.

Unfortunately, physical impairments and health restrictions can render these senior citizens immobile, forcing them into a state of inactivity. A creative nurse will engage with his or her elderly patients and suggest fun activities that re-energize their minds without physically straining their bodies. High-energy nurses can encourage these patients to maintain active lifestyles despite their limitations.


A passion for the healthcare sector is vital in any senior care center nursing candidate. Avoid applicants that are only interested in the generous financial compensation of the healthcare industry. To hire a reliable employee, search for candidates with a genuine interest in helping others overcome their physical and mental limitations, regain a sense of independence, and lead fulfilling lives.

The attitude of a passionate nurse is infectious. When a patient interacts with a high-energy and optimistic senior center nurse, they’ll admire the positivity and enthusiasm and look to adopt this attitude in their daily lives.

Compassion and empathy

A nurse who’s willing to step into the shoes of the individual they’re caring for is an asset to any senior healthcare center. After all, seniors need attentive emotional, mental, and physical care. Having a nurse who understands and relates to their struggles and current predicaments is critical.

Unfortunately, elder abuse is devastatingly prevalent. By definition, elder abuse is an isolated situation or repeated offenses in which an individual intentionally inflicts harm to or exploits a senior citizen in their care. Care teams can perpetuate elder abuse in emotional, physical, and mental forms. Whichever the case, these instances are incredibly disheartening and a worst-case scenario in any senior center.

Carefully screening candidates and recruiting the right caregivers could minimize the elder abuse risk in your senior center facility. If you suspect that an applicant might neglect or deceive a patient admitted to your senior healthcare center, rule them out immediately.

Good communicator

It’s in your best interest to choose a nurse who can communicate effectively with the elderly folks they attend to. Excellent and refined communication skills can help nurses build relationships with their patients and solidify trust with the seniors in their care.

Again, a nurse who communicates vital details regarding the residents’ state is valuable in improving service delivery. A lack of transparency can cause a patient unnecessary and distress that can inhibit recovery.


There are many hurdles a nurse will have to clear in the caregiving industry. Because day-to-day responsibilities are unpredictable, you’ll need to recruit a nurse who maintains a sense of patience, even in the most trying situations.

Seniors, like other patients under care, can be stubborn and uncooperative. An impatient nurse will not handle these circumstances with positivity and may lash out, alarming the patient in question.


Caring for seniors is physically and mentally demanding. After a long day of caring for these high-risk senior citizens, a nurse may have to tend to their young children, prepare meals, and care for household pets. With this chaotic schedule in mind, you’ll need to hire a nurse that‘s dependable when called upon and willing to balance highly-involved work and personal responsibilities.

Final thoughts

In addition to the above traits, hiring managers should conduct a comprehensive background search to determine the candidate’s aptness. Although background screening won’t reveal characteristics such as integrity, compassion, and commitment, it’s a pivotal step in determining the employee’s experience and suitability for the job at hand.