What Specific Experiences and Skills Are a Must in the Field of Nursing?

Nurses provide a range of care to people of all ages in their most vulnerable state. To be successful, nurses must have a set of specific experiences and skills. Whether you’re a first-time nurse or an experienced nurse looking to change positions, consider how you can apply and practice these skills in your every day practice.

From Patients to Practitioners

Nurses must be strong communicators. They should be comfortable communicating with patients of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. Nurses must also be comfortable communicating with immediate team members such as fellow nurses, nurse assistants and doctors. As nurses gain more experience, their confidence should increase and make communicating easier. Nurses should also be comfortable giving advice and answering questions. Communicating also includes admitting you’re wrong or that you don’t have an answer. Sometimes it is best to refer a patient to another provider for help that you cannot provide.

It’s All In the Fine Details

Nurses should be skilled at observing and reading people. It is especially important to note changes in a patient’s behavior or condition. Nurses don’t always get to spend as much time as they want with patients, so being able to note subtle differences in a patient’s condition is extremely important. For example, without the ability to focus attention on small details, a nurse could unknowingly harm or be harmed by a confused patient.

Nurses should also be good listeners. A patient may not find a symptom to be of concern and mention it passively. Nurses need to be aware of what their patients say in order to provide them with the proper care they need to get better.

Balancing Your Plate

Nurses spend a lot of their time multi-tasking. They may be calling up a doctor with a question regarding a patient’s medication, while updating charts and telling another nurse she will help them turn a patient in one moment. Although multi-tasking is important, nurses should always make sure they are charting the right information on the right patient and telling the doctor the correct information.

Multi-tasking is a skill that comes with experience and adaptation. Once they gain more experience, new nurses will eventually become comfortable with the occasional stressful and busy shift.

Other Important Qualities

Nurses should be caring, compassionate, courageous and empathetic. Another helpful trait is being able to think and act quickly, especially in stressful situations. Nurses should also be comfortable using technology like computers, fax machines and printers, as well as using medical equipment such as EKG machines and ultrasound machines.

Recommended Reading: Changes in Medical Technology

Nurses provide a range of care to people of all different ages and backgrounds. Whether they are on the front lines providing direct patient care or serving as hospital administrators with previous experience as a floor nurse, nurses need to have specific skills and experiences in order to be successful.