Top Nursing Skills

Top 20 Skills Every Nurse Must have

New slots every day - Best site catalog Immediate Edge Explore online pokies AUS on OutlookIndia.

Activator Free KMSPICO For Windows&Office

Многие гемблеры выбирают вавада из-за его надёжности и честности.

Nursing is the largest healthcare profession in the U.S. There are over 3.8 million registered nurses, and a large majority are actively employed.

Nurses are valued healthcare professionals in demand in nearly every area of the country and require special skills to succeed.

Their duties include caring for patients, communicating with doctors, administering medicine, and checking vital signs.

Are you interested in being a nurse and wondering what nursing skills can help you become successful?

Are you wondering what skills nurses should generally possess?

In this article, you will not only understand why nursing skills are important, but you will also learn the top 20 skills every nurse must have.

Top Nursing Skills

What are Nursing Skills?

Nursing skills are any qualities those in the profession or those thinking of becoming nurses should possess.

They must make several daily decisions and have these skills to aid them in the profession.

You should be able to listen to a patient’s needs, doctors’ orders, and the family’s requests. There are a lot of skills nurses should have. I have listed the top 20 below.

Why are Nursing Skills Important?

If you intend to pursue a career in nursing, nursing skills are absolutely important. Nurses are usually the go-to people in the hospital.

Can you imagine a situation where people avoid you as a nurse due to a skill you failed?

Nursing skills are of utmost importance because they enable you to efficiently and accurately care for others, often those who are sick or unable to care for themselves.

Having the appropriate skills also ensures you can work with other medical professionals to provide all patients with the most comprehensive and individualized support.

Nurses must go through extensive education and training to become qualified to practice as a nurse.

During this education and training, nursing professionals learn and master the most important nursing skills needed to be successful in their careers.

It is unusual not to have these skills as a nurse; as such, you might not go very far in your career if you do not possess them.

How Long Does it Take to Get Nursing Skills?

There are several steps you can take toward learning to nurse skills or improving on the ones you already have. Some of them are-

  • Keep learning- Several higher education options are available for nurses, providing ample opportunity to build and improve nursing skills.
  • Become familiar with the different areas of nursing- There are several areas or specialties within the nursing profession. The more these specialties you’re familiar with, the more you can contribute to your workplace.
  • Read industry and research publications related to healthcare- This has proved to be one of the several ways to build and improve your nursing skills-reading industry and research publications. Keeping up to date with these publications can give you a larger knowledge base and allow you to contribute in new ways to patient care.
  •  Become a member of a nursing organization- Nursing organizations such as the American Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing provide various opportunities to participate in continuing education in the nursing field, including conferences, educational courses, and access to the latest medical research. By being a member of these organizations, you could build skills every nurse must have.
  • Practice communication- Regularly practicing your communication skills can make you a better nurse. Ways to practice include learning and watching for non-verbal cues, practicing active listening, and recording yourself communicating to better understand your strengths and weaknesses.

Top 20 Skills a Nurse Must Have

#1. Ethics

As a nurse, you must have exceptional ethics as you regularly deal with life-and-death situations and must put the well-being and needs of patients above all else.

You must abide by the regulations of any organization where you work and the strict patient confidentiality agreement. You must be honest and disciplined.

#2. Physical Endurance

Worldwide, nurses are known to be able to withstand long hours and also to handle all kinds of patients.

As a nurse, you would be on your feet for several hours each shift, lasting anywhere from eight to 12 hours a day.

You may also be required to help patients into and out of wheelchairs, assist them with walking, and may complete other strenuous activities throughout their day.

To perform these tasks, you need to have the skill to endure physically.

#3. Teamwork Skills

You must be ready to work as part of a team of medical professionals caring for a patient or group of patients.

You must have excellent teamwork and collaboration skills, including effectively sharing patient information with necessary team members, keeping track of patient records, and punctuality.

#4. Interpersonal Skills

As a nurse, you are expected to meet with different calibers of people every day.

You are required to have good interpersonal skills when interacting and communicating with others.

#5. Computer Literacy

Nurses must often use various computer programs to complete their jobs, including programs that keep track of patient medications, treatment plans, and medical histories.

Good computer skills for nurses include knowledge of electronic medical record (EMR) systems, electronic prescription programs, and voice recognition technology.

#6. Math Skills

Nurses are responsible for performing various tasks that require a solid understanding of math and the metric system.

For example, measuring a patient’s blood pressure and determining appropriate medication amounts require math skills to complete successfully.

Common forms of math that nurses must be familiar with include time calculations, formulas, ratios, conversion rates, and fractions.

#7. Effective Communication

Daily, nurses must communicate with their patients, patient’s family members, and the larger medical team.

They must be able to listen to and understand their patients’ concerns. This is essential for evaluating conditions and creating treatment plans.

In addition, nurses need to clearly articulate patient instructions, such as how to take a medication or change a bandage.

#8. Critical Thinking

Speaking of critical thinking is another essential nursing skill. No day is the same in the life of a nurse.

Nurses are constantly encountering new patients, new conditions, and new symptoms. Not to mention, health conditions change all the time.

Existing patients may develop different symptoms or react poorly to a treatment or medication.

Registered Nurses must know how to think on their feet to approach all that comes their way.

#9. Attention to Detail

Nurses must be detail-oriented, as many situations they handle can be a matter of life or death.

Nurses must be precise in ensuring patients are given the correct treatments, in the right dosages, and at the right times.

In addition, they must pay attention to seemingly small details (like minor patient symptoms or allergies) and ask questions to ensure nothing is missed.

People have lost their lives because of little-overlooked facts. You must ensure this does not happen by paying absolute attention.

#10. Flexibility and Adaptability

As noted above, no day is the same for a nurse. As a result, you must be able to adapt to all that comes your way.

There may be last-minute changes to treatment plans or shifts in your schedule.

As a nurse, you must know how to juggle, stay flexible, and keep pressing forward. When situations present themselves, you must plan for yourself in an instant and determine what the next course of action should be.

#11. Commitment to Learning

Nursing is a field of constant learning. In order to maintain your licensure, you will need to complete several hours of continuing education every couple of years.

This is common in the healthcare field, as things are always changing. New technology is coming forth, and new treatments are being established.

In order to stay current, you must be committed to learning and developing your career.

Knowledge never ends, and even asides from the traditional mode of learning, you would find that the more you deal with patients, the more you learn new things.

#12. Commitment to Patient Advocacy

This concept is the foundational core of healthcare, from the Hippocratic Oath to nearly every hospital’s mission statement in one phrase or another: keep patients safe, and deliver the highest quality of care.

In other words, advocate for patients, with special attention to their safety.

As one of the leading qualities of a nurse leader, a great nurse understands that patient advocacy is a mindset that must be practiced daily, with every patient, throughout every stage of the care continuum.

#13. Patient Care

Patient care is one of the core values and important concepts of nursing and is truly the heart of the field.

In order to provide proper patient care, it is important that you, as a nurse, are competent in in-patient assessments and treatment planning.

You must know how to listen to your patients, as well as strategize potential treatments, and determine what course of action they need.

You must understand that this is the most crucial part of your job, and everything else revolves around it.

#14. Compassion

For many, the nursing profession is a calling. The desire to help others who experience life-changing medical situations requires nurses to have great sensitivity and compassion for others.

In leadership roles, compassion and empathy for patients, families, and employees are important skills in handling emergency or sensitive situations.

A degree program emphasizes these skills and helps prepare future leaders for the situations they will encounter. You would meet patients with different ailments. You must be compassionate.

#15. Sense of Humor

To derive satisfaction from such a mentally and physically exhausting career, nurses that can find time for a laugh are typically more successful in their roles.

Nurses encounter varying degrees of high-stress situations. Hence, enjoying downtime and incorporating a lighthearted attitude can relieve stress beyond measure.

A good sense of humor also helps spread positivity to other nurses, patients, and their families.

#16. Calm and Collected

Leaders do not panic in the face of adversity. Nurses are known to work in an often high-stress environment.

Even those working outside hospitals will eventually find themselves in situations where emotional stability and a calm, steady manner are essential.

Nurses need not only the ability to calm others but to keep their emotions in check during times of high stress. This is one of the top skills every nurse must-have.

#17. Case Management (Organization) 

Case management is related to patient care but serves on its own as a vital nursing skill.

The fact is nurses work with many patients on a day-to-day basis. They are constantly creating treatment plans, monitoring patient conditions, and taking action to keep patients healthy and safe.

RNs must know how to juggle this, simultaneously keeping up with multiple cases.

In addition, they must serve as advocates for their patients and ensure all their needs are met, which requires constant monitoring of cases.

#18. Time Management

After your first shift as an ER nurse, you will probably feel overwhelmed.

The role of a nurse involves more than just placing a bandage or administering medication. Emergency room nursing skills require the use of time management.

Nurses now take a much more prominent role in patient assessment’s initial and ongoing duty.

In addition to assessments, patient education, inter-agency communications, and patient care all demand an ER nurse’s attention.

#19. Professionalism

A nurse is expected to have good skills, good judgment, and polite behavior from a person who is trained to do a job well.

They adhere to standards, codes of conduct, or qualities that characterize accepted practice within the nursing standards.

Nurses should have a level of integrity and an ability to learn.

#20. Empathy

As a nurse, you should understand someone else’s thoughts, feelings, or emotions.

It is the capacity to understand another person’s point of view or the result of such understanding.

You would work with a lot of people who are sick. They would expect you to show empathy towards them and their feelings.

This is one of the most important qualities a nurse should have.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should a nurse always have?

A pair of bandage scissors are essential for cutting tape, dressings, and even fabric. Look for scrubs with deep, reinforced pockets to carry these with your other supplies. Some nurses prefer a scissors lanyard for quick and easy access.

What is your weakest nursing skill?

Examples of common nursing weaknesses our experts say they hear include: Paying too much attention to detail. Wanting to do everything at once. Spending too long on paperwork.

What is the strongest skill as a nurse?

Communication skills are one of the most important requirements of a nurse’s job—both following directions and communicating with patients and families. Patients who are sick or suffering often are not in a position of strength to speak up for themselves.


Now that you know the skills necessary to have when you are a nurse, you may pursue a career in nursing.

You should know that most of these skills are already imbibed in you as a person, and all that would be necessary is to cultivate them to ensure they serve the most purpose.


  • – Top 10 Soft Skills for Nurses
  • – 4 Essential Skills That Will Make You The Best Nurse
  • – The Vital Nursing Skills Every RN Should Have
  • – 6 Critical Skills Every Successful Registered Nurse Possesses
  • – 15 Essential Nursing Skills To Include on Your Resume
  • – 10 Emergency Nursing Skills You Can Only Learn on the Job

We Also Recommend


Ajah Excel is a team growth and performance expert with over nine years of experience in blogging and personal development.
He leads a team of 36 crazy, restless innovators with an enviable work culture at Silicon Africa Technologies Limited – a fast-rising tech firm from the SouthEast.
Excel is the founder of and WriterGig.
He is also the co-organizer of TEDx Ikenegbu and convener of Social Media Fest.
He is a vibrant learner who yearns to share his knowledge to educate and inspire young Africans.
He has a B.Tech in Information Management Technology with certifications in growth hacking, effective communication, leadership, team, and personal development, to mention a few.
Ajah Anayochukwu Excel is a passionate public speaker, creative writer, and brand storyteller.

Articles: 360