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5 Skills Every Nurse Should Master

Staying at the top of your game in nursing requires more than just a degree and a desire to help people. Nursing is a complex profession requiring dedication and endurance to persevere in this challenging and rewarding field. What job skills will you need to pursue this career path? We have the five skills every nurse should have when entering this profession.

Top Skills for Nurses in 2023—and Beyond

Nursing is a challenging and rewarding profession that requires various skills and abilities. While you will need to exhibit your clinical knowledge, the nursing profession is more than the science of medicine. This expertise involves using skills considered “soft” or non-technical human expertise not taught in a classroom setting. Nursing also requires the art of handling people and stressful situations.

Some of the top skills that nurses should have in addition to their formal training include:


Nurses must be able to effectively bridge communication gaps between doctors and patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals. The job requires active listening, explaining medical procedures and treatments, and providing emotional support to patients. Nurses must communicate clearly in stressful or emotionally draining situations, and their ability to do so strongly affects patient satisfaction and even the quality of their care.

Critical Thinking

Nurses must keep a cool head even in the most challenging situations. You must be able to think critically and make decisions quickly, often under pressure. The job requires assessing each patient’s status and condition, interpreting test results, and developing a care plan. All of this happens simultaneously across a patient caseload. Clear, unemotional, logical thinking can keep a nurse’s head above the water when things get hectic on the clinical floor.

Attention to Detail

Accurately recording and reporting patient information is vital to the nursing role. You must accurately record vital signs, medications, and patient condition changes. One mistake could impact the health or even the life of the patient you’re trying to serve. The quality of patient care declines if a nurse lacks the attention to detail necessary to record and pass along information accurately and concisely. Nurses are called upon to do this repeatedly throughout the typical shift.


It’s still safe to say that most nurses entire the profession with an intense desire to help people. Nurses must be able to accurately record and report clinical information, including vital signs, medications, and changes in their patient’s physical and mental health. They must perform these clinical duties while exhibiting kindness and caring to patients and their families. The nurse’s ability to demonstrate empathy is directly linked to patient satisfaction.


Perhaps no profession is changing as rapidly as nursing. In addition to big shifts in care delivery, nurses are required to make small adjustments every day. Nurses may encounter unexpected situations and must be able to think clearly while adapting their approach.

Looking For Work?

Bluebird Staffing proudly represents nurses seeking new opportunities to top healthcare employers. We look for these skills in our candidates, along with experiences that fit the job. Explore our open opportunities, then talk with our team about how we can help grow your professional career.

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