INTPs, like any other personality type, can make wonderful nurses. INTPs are estimated to be one of the rarest personality types, making up as little as 1-2% of the population. As an INTP, 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 INTP nurse.
INTP Overview: What Is an INTP?
An INTP is one of the main 16 personality types in nursing. An INTP will have scored the following dominant characteristics on a personality assessment: Introverted (I), Intuition (N), Thinking (T), and Perceiving (P). If you haven’t done so already, you can take our nursing personality quiz. 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.” INTPs tend to be one of the most independent 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.
Intuition (N): As an intuitive person, your mind tends to think of more abstract “what if” concepts, as opposed to rigid “here and now” concepts. In a moment’s time, your mind can imagine multiple scenarios of what may happen. Without any effort on your part, your mind will naturally create these ideas, concepts, and contingencies. As a result, you tend to be very creative and theoretical. You can often come up with “outside-of-the-box” ideas to help you accomplish what you need to accomplish. A classic example of intuition is the “detective” that follows his gut to solve a mystery. Somehow your mind takes bits of information and pieces them together to form ideas and webs of possibilities. 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.
Thinking (T): As a person with the “thinking” characteristic, you have a strong inclination towards logic and analysis. You’d probably dislike having to make a decision on the spot, simply because you love to research and analyze everything. If you were going to buy a new car, you’d probably think about every conceivable thing: Gas mileage, consumer reviews, exact costs and/or financing, insurance changes, maintenance expenses, etc.. Only after careful consideration and research will you make your decision. You also have a knack for sniffing out contradictions, inconsistencies, or illogical things.
You like for things to make sense, and it bugs you when they don’t. As a result, you tend to look at the “bottom line” of a situation, and you have the ability to exclude all other insignificant details. You probably won’t fall for most “sales pitches,” because you’ll see through them a mile away. You are critical of any concept or idea which doesn’t have a good explanation or reasoning behind it. You also have the tendency to be very blunt and candid. This may cause you to say things you later regret, or say them in a way which can hurt other’s feelings. If someone says a stupid idea that you find offensively ignorant, you’ll probably tell them so. This is in contrast to the “feeling” characteristic, in which people tend to make decisions based on emotion or feeling. You like to make decisions based on fact, truth, and logic.
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 INTPs. 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 INTPs
You are a practical person, and you tend to be very rational. 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. You work very well on your own, and usually do not need to be “micro-managed.” Nevertheless, you also tend to hate boring 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 INTP 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 planning or creating strategies, and allows you to implement your plans and decisions. In short, INTPs 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 INTP 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
- Nurse Administrator/Business Administrator for Nursing
- Private Duty Nursing (some INTPs 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 INTP 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 INTP 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. Leave a comment below to share your thoughts or experiences on being an INTP nurse.
*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.