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The Most Important Skills a Nurse Needs

Nursing is one of the most important occupations in the medical field. Nurses take care of patients who may be sick or recovering while they receive treatment.

A nurse’s job is very varied, and they are usually needed in a variety of settings, not just hospitals. They may be required to do things such as visit and care for a patient in their own home or work in a doctor’s office.

They may also work with any other health care professionals, including doctors.

Nurses are responsible for monitoring patients’ health and alerting doctors of any problems that occur. Duties can vary depending on the setting and the patient the nurse is caring for.

Nurses often work at hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. However, nurses can also work in private homes or even on ships.


This is especially true for registered nurses (RNs). In fact, RNs may even become managers at medical facilities if they have enough experience and education.

What Is the Basic Job Description of a Nurse?

Nurses help patients and collect information about patients’ needs and their health histories.

They may also work with doctors or other medical staff or help other nurses carry out their duties. Nurses also give information to both doctors and patients about drugs, treatments, illnesses, and a patient’s progress during recovery.

Nurses are one of the most helpful people in the world, but nursing is still one of the most difficult jobs to get into.

Why? Because there are so many rules and regulations that apply to nurses.

Still, medicine is an important job and one that needs people who have compassionate and caring personalities coupled with good skills.

How to Become a Nurse: The Essential Skills

If you are considering changing your career or beginning your career and nursing is on your radar, then you’ll need to look into how to become a nurse.

The first step to becoming a nurse is to take some nursing classes in high school or college.

These courses will introduce you to the basics of the nursing field, some of the equipment used, and what you can expect from your career.

Your coursework for becoming a nurse will likely include anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, biology, and microbiology, as well as health psychology and sociology.

In addition, you’ll need to know about psychological care, medical ethics issues, and medical terminology.

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You will also learn about community health problems and issues special to certain populations.

Some programs even offer clinical experience or internships so that you can get real-life practice before entering the workforce.

A good education isn’t all you’ll need, though. Below are some of the soft skills that nurses will need to develop in order to be successful along the career path.


Self-awareness is a big skill that anyone in healthcare should develop.

If you have strong self-awareness and feel comfortable with yourself, you’ll be able to help others more effectively.

Self-awareness can come from numerous sources in life. In the healthcare field, there are some things that are important to be aware of in order to be a nurse.

For example, self-awareness helps you know what your patient wants and needs and helps educate patients on their treatment. Self-awareness also develops as you gain experience with your job tasks. In short, self-awareness makes you a better nurse and person overall.

Leadership Abilities

Nurses are constantly tasked with making sure a patient’s experience is positive. Nursing is a leadership role, even if it isn’t always a formal position within the hospital or clinic.

A good nurse will have strong leadership skills and will be able to talk to patients about their needs and concerns.

As you progress through your career, you are more likely to take on more and more leadership roles.

The best nurses are also leaders in their communities. You can learn about leading or improving a community or service through different methods such as volunteering or getting involved with a charity.

The nurses who go the extra mile are the ones that make a difference. Leadership skills are important to develop, but they take time and experience to make you an effective leader.

Be Patient and Hard-Working

Patients will always want their needs met, no matter how hard you work, how bad their situation is, or what you’re doing at the time of their visit (or during recovery).

A patient may want their needs met at the same time you are trying to take care of their physical needs; talk to family members about their treatment, or take care of other patients in the same room.

Patience is one of the hardest things to teach someone. It takes a while to develop patience, but it will pay off in your career.

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It is important that nurses show empathy and understanding for their patients and their families.

Be patient with others and understand that there will be times when you can’t give them what they expect at that moment.

Interpersonal Skills

This has been said before, but nursing is a people-oriented job. Patients are people; doctors are people; nurses are people – you get the picture.

The reason this is important is that interpersonal skills are crucial to your future career.

You need to be able to get along with, communicate with, and work with a variety of people in order to be effective in the workplace.

Your interpersonal skills will change as you progress through your career.

For example, one day, you may have a patient who is new to using their prosthesis (an artificial limb). The next day you may have a person who needs monitoring every few hours for symptoms that come up all the time.

Either way, be prepared for multiple personalities and know how to remain calm and collected when working with these different people.


Nurses need to be empathetic when caring for patients as it will help them get through hard times.

Having empathy with others is not something that you are born with. It is something that you develop over time, and it’s important in many other types of jobs as well as nursing positions.

Empathy is a skill you can develop if your personality naturally lends itself to being kind and understanding.

If you have difficulty showing empathy, don’t worry! It’s no easy task to do, but it’s important for your success in this field.

Effective Communication Skills

It may seem simple, but effective communication skills are a huge part of your career.

There is no job that requires as much communication as nursing does.

Whether you are trying to communicate with a family member or communicating with another nurse, effective communication skills are vital to your success in the medical field and in any field, really.

Can you tell the difference between how other nurses communicate with patients and how you usually communicate? Next time you’re in a medical setting, take the time to do some people-watching. The results may surprise you.

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You’ll hear this word a lot if you’re in the healthcare field.

Before this point, though, it’s worth thinking about what compassion really means.

Compassion encompasses many concepts and is not an easy word to define. Compassion is usually associated with an action and not a feeling, but strong compassion can be an emotion.

If you think about how you feel when you are in someone’s shoes or when they are in your shoes, that’s the type of compassion you want to develop.

Just like with empathy, it takes time to develop compassion, and it may be something that comes naturally to some people while others find it difficult.

Work Ethic

There is no such thing as a job that’s too difficult to do.

Bathroom cleaning, laundry, and other chores generally fit into this category. If you like to be busy and have a strong work ethic, nursing could be a great choice for you.

Many nurses are required to work long hours and split shifts in order to get the work done. If you can handle these challenges, congratulations!

Nursing is a hard job, and you need to be willing to put in the extra hours if necessary. It’s worth it for the pay and opportunity for advancement that comes with this career choice.

Organizational Skills

Organizational skills are vital in the healthcare field.

Your organizational skills will improve as you progress through your career, but there is no such thing as too much organization.

Organization is just as important as communication and empathy. The point of working in health care is to take care of others, so it doesn’t make any sense to not organize yourself accordingly.


These are the top skills you will need to be a successful nurse in the future.

If any of these skills don’t come naturally to you, that’s okay! Not everyone is born with all of these skills, but they can be developed over time.

If you’re just starting out, remember that there are many ways to learn these skills. Your education is one way, and the experience of dealing with difficult people in a healthcare setting will help you as well.

Just remember that no matter what your experience level is, keep working on all your nursing skills because they are so important!

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