10 Skills Every Professional Nurse Needs

Have you ever been sitting in the emergency room and spent some time watching the nurses running around? They are usually busy and running around after everyone, looking after patients and administering care as needed.

The role of a nurse in acute care (as well as all other care settings) is to prevent, monitor, and treat illnesses and injuries.

If you are planning to be a part of the profession, then knowing the required skills is important. This article will highlight how important skill sets are and why they cannot be ignored.

Where Do Nurses Work?

It may come as a surprise, but many healthcare settings need fully qualified nurses and nursing staff.

From emergency rooms that need acute care nurses to primary healthcare settings that rely on fully qualified Family Nurse Practitioner professionals to deliver care and treatment to patients, nurses are present in all corners.

However, these professionals need different skill sets to be successful.

What Skills Will A Nurse Practitioner Need?

Nurses spend most of their working days dealing with patients and families who may not get what they want when they want it.

Patients may be difficult to handle at times due to pain or other factors, but professional nurses must remain patient throughout this ordeal. They must learn how to effectively communicate with patients while remaining calm and collected at all times.

Here is a list of skills for you to develop and improve if you want to become an excellent nurse in any setting.

Speech and Language Skills

Nurses are the main source of information and education about health and illness for their patients. It is important, therefore, that they know how to communicate the information in a style that will be both easily understood as well as comprehensive.

The healthcare environment can sometimes be chaotic, such as in emergency rooms, so that taking the time to explain things thoroughly may not always be possible. This skill set requires practice, but if mastered it is useful.


Patients’ care depends on teamwork and cooperation among nurses and healthcare providers. Due to this fact, there is value in knowing how to work with others effectively. The more efficiently the healthcare team works, the more patients benefit from it.

The job of a nurse is to ensure that everyone pulls their weight and the tasks are distributed correctly. Keeping others informed as to what is going on and helping to keep things organized during a busy day is key here. Some would argue that it is a leadership role, but even if you do not see yourself as a leader the ability to work with others is very valuable in this industry.

Problem Solving Skills

Patients’ care depends on access to all the relevant information from different sources. The ability of nurses to identify weaknesses in processes or systems and then modify or reimagine them will allow them to provide quality care for their patients consistently.

It is also important for a nurse to look at the big picture when dealing with a patient’s care. They need to be aware of what other treatment options or activities may be useful in a particular situation to provide the most appropriate care possible.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Caregiving in different settings is never the same, which makes it impossible for one person to have all the skills required to work satisfactorily in each setting. It is therefore necessary that nurses develop the ability to quickly adapt and adjust their approach to deliver quality care consistently.

Having this skill set will allow nurses to work with different types of patients and different teams of healthcare providers, which will further help them deliver quality care.

Critical Thinking Skills

The decisions that are made by a nurse in response to a patient’s health condition can have a large impact on the course of care.

Throughout a patient’s treatment, nurses need to be able to think logically and logically evaluate their actions. This skill set will allow a nurse to make the right decisions under pressure.

In emergencies or at points where there is little time or resources available, critical thinking skills are very important to help ensure that the patient receives timely and effective healthcare.

Knowledge and Understanding of Drug and Medicine Administration and Dosage Calculations

A patient’s care will often involve the use of medications and medicines. Considering that there are many drugs in the market, nurses must have a good understanding of them as well as how to administer them.

It is also important for them to understand how to calculate dosage as well as any risks associated with these medications. Without this skill set, patients may be put at risk.

The nurse may also find it difficult to explain complications or side effects if the patient has not been prescribed the correct medication.


Pharmacology is a very broad topic, with many aspects to consider. This skill set is important in ensuring that nurses understand the medications used in the treatment of patients with illnesses or injuries.

In addition, they need to understand how these medicines might interact with others and their potential side effects. If this crucial skill is not acquired by a nurse, they may be unable to deliver quality care for their patients.

Critical Thinking Skills About Health and Illness

A nurse needs to understand the causes of health problems and illnesses as well as treatments available for them. They also need to be aware of ways they can prevent problems from arising in the first place.

This skill set affects the treatment offered to patients because it allows nurses to minimize the potential side effects of care. It also helps them to provide quality care for patients regardless of their ailments.

Problem-Solving Skills in Different Settings

Different settings can present different problems, meaning that having this skill set will help a nurse deal with these situations in all settings effectively.

If they do not, then they will be unable to deliver quality care for their patients despite the best efforts. To learn how this skill set is developed, take a look at our guide on problem-solving skills for adults.

Listening Skills

A nurse needs to be able to detect when their patient is feeling or doing well, or not. They need to be able to listen with both their ears and their mind.

Nurses need to be able to quickly pick up on if a patient is experiencing certain symptoms and then diagnose the problem. If they cannot communicate clearly with their patients, this will not be possible and the quality of care will suffer as a result.

Why Should You Become A Nurse

Being a nurse is one of the most important careers you could choose. The ability to listen and attend carefully may just save someone’s life someday! A career in nursing will give you the skills, training, and knowledge needed to make a difference in your community.

If you are looking for something fulfilling and rewarding, to make a real difference in the lives of people, then this may well be the career for you. If you are interested, read our article on the nursing career overview.

What Happens in Nursing School

The educational requirements for nursing students are typically very demanding. The time commitments can be challenging, too, so it may be best to start planning early to meet the requirements in time.

Becoming a nurse is no easy task and involves a lot of work and study. However, it is not as hard as you might think, so long as you start your journey early enough to take advantage of some of the many resources available to help you along the way. Just keep reading!

What Jobs Are There For Nurses?

There is a wide range of jobs available for nurses. Some specialties may be more desirable than others but there are always going to be some relatively high-paying positions that will have a huge impact on your salary and how soon you can move forward with other things in your life such as buying a house.


Even though nursing can be a long and difficult journey, it is very rewarding for those who succeed.

It is a job that never goes out of demand. A nurse can always find employment anywhere in the world, so long as they are highly trained and available to work in the market. This makes it an excellent choice for people who are planning on moving in the future, for example, to study abroad.

There are also many different areas of nursing they can specialise in, which is why nurses are so in demand. Although you may find it difficult to get your foot in the door at the most popular specialities, there will always be a rewarding career waiting.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider before becoming a nurse. There is a lot of work to do but if this sounds like a fulfilling career option for you then it may well be worth the effort.



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