INFPs, like any other personality type, can make wonderful nurses. INFPs are estimated to be one of the rarer personality types, making up as little as 4-5% of the population. As an INFP, you will definitely want to leverage your strengths and weaknesses within your own personality temperament, and the aim of this article is to help you learn more about how your mind operates, and how you can succeed as an INFP nurse.
INFP Overview: What Is an INFP?
An INFP is one of the main 16 nursing personality types. An INFP will have scored the following dominant characteristics on a personality assessment: Introverted (I), Intuition (N), Feeling (F), and Perceiving (P). If you haven’t done so already, you can take our nursing personality test. The breakdown and description of each of these dominant characteristics is listed below:
Introverted (I): As an introvert, you prefer solitude as opposed to long periods of interaction. Interacting with people tends to drain you, and you will need periods of solitude to “recharge your batteries.” INFPs tend to be introspective personality types, and as a result, you have little need for a large amount of social interaction. You probably have few friends, but you will likely form deep bonds with those whom you do form a friendship.
You’re a very private person as well. You’re the type of person who’d rather read a book, take a walk, or enjoy some “alone time.” You probably hate small talk with strangers (because you never know what to say, and feel it is pointless anyway), and if someone actually talked you into going to a party or social get-together (which is an incredible feat in itself), then you’d probably be the person sitting by yourself or having a one-on-one conversation about something that fascinates you.
Being an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t be social, or that you are always awkward (or a shy loner). It just means that you tend to naturally prefer solitude or “one-on-one” socializing in comparison to frequent socializing. Introverts can be very funny and outgoing when they want, but then, they tend to draw back and have periods of time where they withdraw to analyze life, read books, or have more intimate time with friends or family.
Introverts stand in stark contrast to extroverts (the contrasting trait), who tend to enjoy frequent social interaction, and become restless when they spend too much time alone. As an introverted nurse, you’ll definitely feel your introversion at play. You’ll generally want to avoid specialties that require a large amount of social interaction, and instead, you’ll prefer to have more independence and solitude to perform your work.
As another example, assume someone in a hospital placed a large container of fluid on the edge of a counter. Your mind may immediately think thoughts like, “That may fall down. Then it could make a mess. Someone could slip and fall and hurt themselves. We could even be sued.” Yes, your mind fires off ideas and scenarios with ease. In contrast, people with “sensing” personality traits (the opposite of intuition), will be focused on the immediate details of things. They would look at the same large container of fluid and think, “That’s an interesting color. I wonder what this fluid is?” They notice the immediate details of things. That’s not to say that sensing people can’t have moments of intuition, or that people with intuition won’t see more concrete details. But generally speaking, intuitive types tend to be far more abstract.
Feeling (F): As a person with the “feeling” characteristic, you have a strong inclination towards considering how things may affect people or society. When considering a decision, you tend to think of how other people may react, or how other people may be impacted by the consequences. As a result, people (or society in general) can be a big part of your decision making process. Feelers have a very deep and empathetic heart to help people, and they genuinely care for others. If someone asks you how their new haircut looks, you’ll likely be very polite and try to focus on the positives to avoid hurting their feelings–even if the haircut looks terrible. As a feeler, you also tend to have a strong need for happy relationships, both with yourself and people around you.
If people aren’t getting along, it will tend bother you quite a bit. INFPs typically resist conflict, and dislike having to witness contentious relationships. Many INFPs also tend to love animals, and empathize with animals or pets. This again gets back to their “feeling” trait, which helps them empathize with how the animal may be feeling. INFPs also tend to be able to read people very well, and know ahead of time what a person is thinking or planning to do. This is in contrast to the “thinking” characteristic, in which people tend to make decisions based on logic, facts, or truth.
Perceiving (P): As a person with the “perceiving” characteristic, you generally like to live life in a care-free manner. You usually don’t like to make extensive plans, and prefer to just “wing-it.” You tend to be very adaptable to any given situation. You are likely to live a somewhat disorganized life, at least internally. You probably have a relatively messy or unorganized home or office space, although this is not true for all INFPs. This personality characteristic is in contrast to the “judging” type, in which people tend to live in a more organized and controlled manner. You also tend to procrastinate with deadlines and tasks, but will get a burst of energy when something has to be done.
Nursing Career Possibilities for INFPs
You are an intuitive person, and you tend to be very caring. You like to get to work on time, and tend to prefer jobs in which you can be analytical. You are a wonderful thinker, very logical, and also independent. You love to research and analyze things, and people with your personality type tend to have strong writing skills. You work very well on your own, and usually do not need to be “micro-managed.”
Nevertheless, you also tend to hate boring or repetitive tasks, can become stressed out if put outside of your comfort zone, shy away from social interaction, dislike having a rigid set of tasks to do, and can be prone to overworking. As such, you will want to find a career that will enable you to utilize your natural strengths and talents while minimizing your areas of weakness. While INFP nurses can work in a variety of settings, you should plan on working so that you can eventually find a career that best suits your personality traits.
Generally speaking, you will likely enjoy nursing jobs that minimize human interaction, allow for autonomy and creativity, include writing, and allows you to implement your plans and decisions. In short, INFPs will not by the typical “bedside” nurse in most cases (although you may work in these positions for a while if you have no choice). Instead, they tend to gravitate towards other areas of nursing. Possible Career Matches for INFP Nurses Include:
- Nurse Educator
- Professor or Dean in a Nursing School
- Nursing Medical Researcher
- Nurse Technical Writer or Blogger
- Nursing Informatics
- Nurse Practitioner
- Legal Nurse Consultant
- Forensic Nursing
- Parish Nurse
- Nurse Administrator/Business Administrator for Nursing
- Private Duty Nursing (some INFPs have reported moderate satisfaction with this area since it is one-on-one)
Because nurses with your personality type are often found in careers that require extensive education, you may want to consider obtaining a Masters in Nursing, or even a Ph.D. in your area of interest. This will enable you to pursue positions that are better suited for your introverted and reflective nature. Nevertheless, there are also plenty of areas that an INFP would be happy with just an ADN or BSN in nursing. Ultimately, you should take time to learn your personality traits, and assess your strengths and weaknesses so that you can have a good idea of the areas you’d feel most comfortable working.
Note: The list above is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather, to give a general direction of the types of areas of nursing you may want to further research. Jobs That Probably Won’t Be as Satisfying for INFP Nurses:
- Most types of floor/bedside nursing, or any nursing position that requires frequent contact with groups of people, mundane repetitive tasks, etc.
Also, don’t forget to share this page on your social media, and take our other fun nursing quizzes.
*This page is not meant to be a guarantee of career satisfaction for this personality type, but rather, a starting place to find careers that may be more enjoyable. Results may vary.