ISTJs, like any other personality type, can make wonderful nurses. ISTJs are often very hard workers, and they tend to use a logical approach on the job. They value tradition and rules, and will often do everything they can to be dependable employees. As an ISTJ, 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 ISTJ nurse.
ISTJ Overview: What Is an ISTJ?
An ISTJ is one of the main 16 personality types in nursing. An ISTJ will have scored the following dominant characteristics on a personality assessment: Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Thinking (T), and Judging (J). 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.” ISTJs tend to be reflective 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.
To illustrate how a sensing person thinks, consider an example of a large container sitting on the edge of a counter. You would probably look at the large container of fluid and think, “That’s an interesting color. I wonder what this fluid is?” You may also examine the lettering used for the logo, and so forth. You’d probably read the details on the packaging and think about those things.
This type of thinking is in direct contrast with people who have the “intuitive” characteristic. Using this same illustration, an intuitive person may look at the same container you looked at and 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.”
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, sensing people are very in-tune with details and facts, and tend to not think of the possible scenarios that could happen.
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.
Judging (J): As a person with the “judging” characteristic, you like to make definite plans and stick to them. You are generally the type of person who likes to make lists, whether it be a “to do list,” a grocery list, or whatever. You also like to make “pros and cons” lists sometimes to help you make decisions between two possible options.
You are likely to live an extremely organized life. You probably have a relatively neat home, although it can get messy if you get busy and don’t have time. You may make spreadsheets, use calendars, software, or short lists to help you stay focused and organized. You like to feel that you are managing everything well, and being organized helps you accomplish this. In fact, your personality type is often one of the best types of organizational types, as you have the ability to break down tasks or bits of information and organize them in a way that allows for efficiency or better understanding.
You also like to make firm decisions. If you have a decision hanging over your head, it often bothers you. You will often feel the need to make time to properly research and analyze your options, so you can feel comfortable making a final decision. Once you have researched everything, you can finally put an end to the indecisiveness and move forward.
You like to operate your life based on a schedule or routine. You may like to follow a regular daily pattern, and it can bother you to get out of your routine. You also tend to be very punctual. It probably bothers you quite a bit to be late to some event.
This personality characteristic is in contrast to the “perceiving” type, in which people tend to live spontaneously. and prefer to live life as it comes. In fact, they may rarely plan or make lists, and prefer to work under pressure.
Nursing Career Possibilities for ISTJs
You are a practical person, and you tend to be very responsible, organized, and ethical. You like to get to work on time, and tend to have a large capacity for hard work. Your co-workers would likely describe you as being very dependable. You are a wonderful planner, and also very logical. You work very well on your own, and usually do not need to be “micro-managed.”
Nevertheless, you also tend to dislike pondering the “what ifs” or theoretical nature of things, and can become stressed out if put outside of your comfort zone. You also tend to shy away from a lot of 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 ISTJ 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, ISTJs will usually not be 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 ISTJ Nurses Include:
- Nursing Informatics
- Nurse Practitioner
- Legal Nurse Consultant
- Forensic Nursing
- Nurse Administrator/Business Administrator for Nursing
- Private Duty Nursing (some ISTJs have reported moderate satisfaction with this area since it is one-on-one)
- Nurse Educator
- Nursing Medical Researcher
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 ISTJ 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 ISTJ 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 if you’d like to share your thoughts or experiences as an ISTJ 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.