What Skills Do Nurses Need?

Although nursing specialties differ, all nurses must have specific skills to be effective health care providers, including good communication, critical thinking, compassion and attention to detail. The ability to develop these essential skills and utilize them characterizes a professional nurse.

Nurses must answer questions, give advice on healthier living and discuss sensitive patient care options as part of their daily activities. None of these tasks is achievable if nurses are unable to communicate effectively. Because nurses work with different health care professionals, clear communication enhances the teamwork necessary for quality patient care.

Regardless of speciality, nurses are faced with important choices on a daily basis. Because nurses are frequently involved in critical patient care or facility policy decisions, they must have the ability to think critically before making any decisions to avoid adverse consequences.

While providing care for the sick and suffering, nurses must have the capacity to gain the patients' trust, put them at ease and address their worries and problems with sympathy. Compassion helps nurses to understand patients' pain and helps them make the hospital experience as positive as possible. Because even the slightest error may result in tragic consequences, nurses must also maintain strict attention to detail at all times.