Nursing Skills That Are Vital In the Healthcare Industry

nurse holding stethoscope in heart shape

Nursing is all about providing relief and making a real difference in people’s lives. Therefore, it is known as one of the most emotionally satisfying careers. But at the same time, no one can deny that nursing is incredibly challenging and demanding.

Working long-hour shifts, avoiding personal gatherings, sacrificing your sleep and food are just a few of the many challenges nursing brings in your life. Above all, how can one forget about the emotional toll it has on your mental health due to constantly witnessing people suffering from life-threatening ailments. So, there are more shades of a nursing career that one can imagine as an outsider.

Registered nurses strive hard to offer relief to the patients, educate patients and their families about ailments, give them consolation, and prevent the spread of disease. Therefore, if you opt for nursing as your career, be ready to wear many hats at different points, even in a single day. This can only happen if you have the right skills to take up many roles and fulfill your responsibilities.

With the essential skills, nurses become a vital asset for healthcare. Here is a quick appraisal of the nursing skills necessary to work in healthcare.

Leadership skills

Like any other field, leadership skills are also highly regarded in healthcare. A leader steers others to achieve the goals of the organization. Some nurses are born leaders; for others, it happens through learning during their educational programs and training.

Therefore, today nursing curriculums are designed factoring in leadership requirements of this profession. Courses like post masters DNP programs online intend to develop future nursing leaders that support healthcare in its endeavors to offer better patient care. Another career direction to look into is learning how to achieve certification as a medical coder.

Not just DNP, but MSN and BSN degrees also impart leadership skills to future nurses. Leadership skills are vital because nurses are often working in teams on mutual goals representing the concerns of all stakeholders. Their ability to lead better keeps all members motivated to achieve improved patient outcomes.

Effective communication

Communication skills are essential for outshining in any career, but they become integral in the nursing profession. The degree of sensitivity of their job does not allow them to be weak in communicating their concerns to the on-duty doctors or other nurses.

An integral component of effective communication is timely communication. A simple mistake in reporting patient conditions can be very costly for the patient, healthcare facility, and career.

Another dimension of effective communication is active listening and concentration. A nurse must listen to others’ concerns without interrupting and pay attention to them. This is essential if you want to successfully evaluate a patient’s condition, conduct a diagnosis, or document a patient’s medical history of illness. You must clearly articulate any details to the patients, such as describing the dosage regime or diet plans.

Attention to detail

In many situations, patients coming to the hospital do not display clear signs of a change in their medical condition. The change could be in the form of minor symptoms such as an allergic reaction to a medicine, a drop in blood pressure, or a sudden variation in other vital signs. Therefore, a nurse’s ability to pay attention to detail is integral to performing their job effectively.

The life-saving work that nurses do is often a matter of survival. They cannot be negligent in their duties. They must ensure patients get timely treatment from doctors and information about changes in medication doses or other prescribed medicines.

Cultural understanding and competence

Nurses often deal with patients from various ethnic, social, cultural, economic, and religious backgrounds. Therefore, to be better than others working alongside, a nurse must be culturally competent. Cultural competence is about developing a rapport with people from culturally diverse backgrounds and understanding their limitations to offer individualized care.

This understanding is essential during your first meeting with the patient. Suppose they feel disrespected due to their beliefs or background. In that case, they may not open up about their medical issues leading to a faulty diagnosis.

Even if you are unsure about someone’s background, pay attention to their body language, and understand the cues when they hesitate to disclose something. Above all, don’t make guesses and, in the process, avoid making mistakes. Therefore, it is better to ask than to make faulty elucidations.

Critical thinking

Your job as a nurse requires you to make decisions on the go, often with little information. For instance, when a patient has an accident, you have to take measures without even a proper diagnosis. Most people might not cope with such situations but not nurses; it is their job to keep calm even under most stressful situations. And this is when your critical thinking ability comes into play.

You can quickly analyze, interpret, and evaluate the situation with strong critical thinking ability while keeping aside your partialities. Moreover, critical thinking allows you to interpret the meaning of changing vital signs. For instance, they might indicate that the patient is in pain, suffers from respiratory depression due to medication, or is anxious. Hence, it allows you to make better decisions.

Knowledge of healthcare technology

The use of technology is increasing in healthcare. Therefore, nurses must know how to use these technological applications to improve patient care and understand electronic health reporting systems at the nursing agency they work for. This way, they can improve communication and reporting. Understanding technology can also reduce time doing many activities manually, making their job less tiresome. With more nurses experiencing burnout and planning to leave healthcare, information technology literacy can help the hospitals retain their qualified staff.


No other profession gives more meaning to your life than nursing, as you are constantly striving to help others. But some nurses perform better than others. Nursing is strenuous, challenging, but at the same time, extremely rewarding. Nurses possessing the above traits can serve more effectively and develop a better rapport with their patients.

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