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Part of Western Governors University

June 25, 2018

Nursing & Healthcare

Top skills required for every nursing job.

If you are looking for a career with strong job prospects and reliable income that balances energizing challenges with rewarding outcomes, nursing could be a great choice. Healthcare employers, colleagues, and patients will all value your skill set. 

Hospitals and clinics are fast-paced work environments with high patient turnover. Nurses take care of patients, work closely with management, and are tasked with relaying important information to patients’ families about their care.

two nurses review information at a computer.

There are many soft skills a nurse should have in order to succeed and enjoy their work. These skills include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Empathy
  • Working under pressure
  • Positive mental attitude
  • Flexibility
  • Time Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Motivation
  • Compassion
  • Critical thinking
  • Self-confidence
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Reliability
  • Etiquette
  • Leadership
  • Persuasion
  • Teamwork
  • Patience

A large part of a nurse’s job is to interact with people, so soft skills are invaluable and do not require specialized training. Hard skills are also transferable between most nursing jobs, but are more technical and procedural.

The type of clinic or area of the hospital a nurse is working in will also determine the role and responsibilities required of them. Additional classes or training may be required depending on the nursing specialty and the type of facility you work in.

The following list contains transferable hard (or technical) skills required in the nursing field:

  • Checking Vital Signs –indicate whether the body’s life-sustaining functions are working properly, such as body temperature, heart rate or pulse, respiratory rate, blood pressure
  • CPR
  • Cleaning wounds and changing bandages
  • Inserting urinary catheters
  • Starting an IV
  • Inserting PICC lines (peripherally inserted central catheter) – used when IV is needed for extended amount of time.
  • Administering injections
  • Drawing blood
  • Collecting Blood Cultures – must know the appropriate volume of blood to extract from patient. Different for infants and adult. 
  • NG Tube Placement (Nasogastric)
  • Caring for chest tubes
  • Enema Administration

Developing both skill sets are equally important and will make you an effective employee and leader. There is a growing demand in the U.S. for healthcare workers, so your job prospects look good if you are interested in a nursing career. There are many opportunities to work in smaller clinics, hospitals, specialize, or even provide in-home care.

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