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HomeHealthWhat kinds of skills are required to be a nurse?

What kinds of skills are required to be a nurse?

Are you wondering what skills are required to be a proficient nurse? Nurses touch the lives of citizens across the world and determine their likelihood of surviving. Nurses require a number of skills in order to be able to do their job efficiently.

Understanding the role of a nurse practitioner

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have completed a graduate degree in nursing and passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

They provide diagnoses, therapy, treatment and medication management for patients with acute and chronic illnesses. Nurse practitioners also perform some of the duties of a physician. They can make diagnoses and prescribe treatments, but they cannot offer surgical procedures.

If you aspire to be a nurse practitioner, Walsh University offers an online RN-NP program, which enables students to work full-time while completing their coursework. With this program, you will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to care for patients effectively.

You will learn about healthcare systems worldwide, develop critical thinking skills that promote evidence-based decision-making, and receive advanced clinical training on primary healthcare issues, including mental health.

Hard skills required by a nurse=

Nursing can be an enriching career, but it’s not one to choose lightly. The nature of nursing means that you’ll deal with all sorts of people, including patients in great pain and families upset about their loved ones’ conditions.

As a result, it’s important to prepare yourself by learning some essential hard skills to help you succeed as a nurse and keep you sane at the same time. Below, we discuss some of the hard skills required by nurses.=

Technology skills

Nurses need to be updated on technology trends that will help them handle records, maintain databases, use healthcare software, and set up and monitor equipment.

Technology trends keep changing, and there are regular innovations that aid in software development. As a result, technology skills are necessary for every nurse to boost the lives of their patients.

Urgent and emergency care

This is a crucial skill that nurses need to equip themselves with, especially in the hospital’s intensive care unit. Nurses must be prepared to help patients in such critical conditions.

Things happen fast in the hospital, and nurses must be urgent when handling emergencies in hospital wards or special care units.

Patient and family education

This skill will aid in explaining the treatment to patients, sharing information about infection control, educating them about their disease, and prescribing drugs.

It helps to prevent a problem resulting from patients taking the wrong medication or failing to control the illness, perhaps due to the patient not completing the prescribed drugs.

Family members accompanying the patient to the hospital sometimes find it difficult to understand the information given. Nurses who have this skill find it easier to explain it to them.

Physical and mental endurance

Nurses must be mentally active for long durations. They also need to have enough stamina to withstand long durations of working without breaks. Consequently, they need to be physically fit.

Soft skills required by nurses

These refer to the interpersonal skills required by nurses to succeed in the work environment when interacting with patients, family, doctors and colleagues.

As the environment is highly stressful, these skills ensure that nurses are able to handle the various attitudes and expectations of their patients.  The following are some of the soft skills that make a nurse effective.

Communication skills 

Nurses should be able to receive information quickly (whether written or verbal), actualize it and provide a response. The quicker the information is actualized, the higher the rate of lifesaving.


Nurses must be confident when interacting with patients. Being confident and calm as a nurse gives the patient a chance to open up and helps them to be more compliant.

Confidence is necessary for every nurse when handling patients. It gives patients the hope of getting well despite their condition.


This skill involves knowing how to read and manage people. It makes it easier for nurses to get what they need, especially in situations when time is a limited resource.  Every nurse needs to be a diplomat in order to work efficiently.

Diplomacy enables the nurse to remain charming and friendly and do what is required of them at the right time, despite the situation. This skill also helps the nurse get more information from the patient.


Every patient who goes to the hospital wishes to have their information kept private and not disclosed to anyone else. Therefore, nurses must maintain confidentiality at all costs. Maintaining confidentiality also enhances the patient’s trust in the nurse if they return for treatment.

Confidentiality is crucial, and nurses need to put effort into acquiring the skill.

Time management 

Time management increases the efficiency of operations in the hospital. It is therefore key for nurses to manage their time to ensure a proper flow of activities in the hospital.

Management of time is crucial for knowing what to prioritize, communication, planning, and goal setting that will enhance the success of the project at hand. This skill improves how the patients coming into the hospital receive care.

Stress management

Nurses’ workloads can get intense, and this can lead to stress and trauma. The limited time that nurses have for rest also requires them to know how to handle and manage stress.

For nurses to remain calm despite the circumstances, they need to know how to manage stress due to the workload and pressure. In cases where the skill is not practiced, nurses might not provide care as required or expected.

Conflict resolution

Nurses work in a sector where they regularly encounter people with different values and attitudes. Working in this field requires an individual to be able to resolve conflicts.

Interactions with the patients, their families, and doctors as they save lives may result in disagreements or arguments. Conflicts might sometimes lead to severe issues. Therefore, nurses need to be patient, be able to understand the situation, and work toward change. The skill is therefore mandatory for effective working.

Attention to detail

Nurses must be focused on ensuring that their patients’ prescriptions are not mixed up.

For nurses to provide effective care, they need to pay attention to detail to avoid significant problems arising from the incorrect recording and documenting of the patient’s status.


The working environment of a nurse is never straight and clear. It keeps changing every moment – therefore, nurses need to adjust as fast as possible to save lives.

The nurse’s schedule is never predictable, and it calls for long working hours to ensure the success of their goals.

Adaptability is necessary for all nurses as they handle many different patient situations. Additionally, working conditions are never the same but require adaptability to cope with the changes.

Critical thinking skills

This skill involves quickly understanding a patient’s situation and making fact-based recommendations. The decision, guided by critical thinking, involves putting problem-solving, interview skills, creative thinking and open-mindedness into action.

Critical thinking makes it possible to judge situations and make decisions to aid the patient’s health.


Nurses need to be responsible during emergencies when treating patients and when issuing medication. Being responsible is therefore a crucial skill for nurses to adopt in order to enhance the operations of the hospital.

Kindness and compassion

A nurse needs to be non-judgmental, sympathetic and considerate, as it gives confidence and comfort to the patients and means that they can open up about their issues.

Being kind and compassionate when interacting with patients helps them to speak out about their problems.


Nurses need a variety of skills to succeed in their profession. It is important for nurses to possess both medical knowledge and interpersonal skills to meet the needs of their patients.

They must be able to function as a member of a healthcare team and effectively communicate with other professionals such as doctors and social workers.

It is also crucial for nurses who want to practice their profession across the globe that they learn about the specific cultural norms and expectations of the countries they are planning on working in.



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