6 Skills Required for Your Successful Nursing Career

NOT EVERYONE CAN BE A NURSE.  A career in nursing encompasses skills that can only be found in certain types of people. Whether you’re already a nurse, training to become a nurse, or simply considering nursing as a future career option, it’s crucial that you cultivate the specific life-skills and personality characteristics to help you be the most efficient and greatest nurse you can be. Below, we’ve listed 6 skills we think are required for a successful nursing career.

6 skills required for a successful nursing career

nurse with clipboard

1. Stress Management
Stress is an unavoidable part of any medical career, especially nursing. While some stressors can often be good stress, frequent distress is part of the job, to put it simply. There are various reasons why nurses feel stress. According to McVicar, these include: workload, management style, emotion, and professional conflict.

According to an article published by Nursing Times, two-thirds of nurses have considered quitting their jobs from stress-induced causes. This staggering number, however, can be lowered with proper stress management. Eating a healthy diet, exercising, spending time with family/friends, finding a hobby, and implementing the other skills listed below can reduce distress.

2. Communication Skills
Proper and effective communication skills are another essential to a successful career in nursing. With people’s lives in the hands of the hospital staff, its no wonder communication is key, and nurses are the central hub. They interface between all members of the healthcare team, as well as advocate for the patient. There are several means of improving communication skills. Some of these include:

• Responding to emails in a timely manner:
• Ask questions
• Make eye contact
• Be personal with both patients and other staff members

3. Patience
In high-stakes environments such as hospitals and clinics, patience can be difficult. Your job as a nurse, however, is so important, and losing patience can be severely consequential. Dealing with situations with calmness and rationality will result in more effective decision-making, even if it takes a little more time. Also, taking deep breaths and avoiding taking stressful situations personally will help you maintain that tough skin” that is required within your career.

4. Compassion and Selflessness
These skills are self-explanatory. Success in a nursing career requires compassion for both the patients and the task at hand. Putting others first and being a genuine caregiver are what make the best nurses.

5. Problem Solving
Troubleshooting is essential in nursing success due to the nature of the job. Every patient, employee and employer will be different, and will want different things from you. To become a well-rounded problem-solver, consider: Knowing exactly what is expected from you, do proper research and see the big picture”, identify the resource, including people, around you that you will need help from, accomplish the situation and set a plan for success.

6. Endurance
There are two types of endurance skills you need in your career as a nurse: Physical and mental. Nursing keeps you on your feet – literally. Expect constant movement. Keep your body in good physical shape to have the energy and strength to keep going for 8 or even 12 hour shifts. Mental endurance is needed to help you remain focused, determined and dedicated to the care of the patients and families who depend on you.

We want to know: What skills do you think are required for a successful nursing career?

McVicar, Andrew. “Workplace stress in nursing: a literature review.” Journal of advanced nursing 44.6 (2003): 633-642.

About Mackenzie Thompson, Life Saver, NHCPS

Mackenzie is a seasoned life saver and a multifaceted professional in the medical field. With an impressive 8-year track record in medical education, Mackenzie boasts a comprehensive set of certifications, including ACLS, PALS, BLS, and CPR, which reflect her unwavering commitment and expertise. Her significant contributions to teaching and the development of medical content underscore her profound knowledge and dedication to advancing healthcare.

Beyond her medical prowess, Mackenzie seamlessly integrates her passion for education with her proficiency in media and marketing. Her academic journey at Indiana University culminated in a degree in Media and Marketing, further solidifying her expertise in these domains.

In addition to her impressive professional achievements, Mackenzie possesses a refined taste for global exploration, photography, design aesthetics, sartorial elegance, and the culinary arts, with a particular affinity for Chinese cuisine. Currently based in the vibrant city of Manhattan, she continues to be a driving force in the medical community. She is an invaluable asset to SaveaLife.com, where she champions excellence and innovation with unwavering dedication.

Contact Mackenzie Thompson, Life Saver, NHCPS at.

2 responses

  1. Dimarie Perez RN Avatar
    Dimarie Perez RN

    I can somehow understand the point of keeping well trained and experienced nurses; however, this may be interpreted as if new nurses are less than them. Many places and hospitals look to hire experienced nurses (if not all of them) and even state it as a requierement. If so, when is a new RN ever find a decent job? The nursing career has eveything to do with vocation and devotion towards others but at the end “only the best qualified” will get hired. How does that help the new ones? How is that going to help in the nursing shortage? I have been a nurse for 10+ years with an initial 4 yr experience in ER and pediatric home care, now strugling to find a job because of “lack of recent experience”. Really? Tragedies happen, and we still care as much (or even more) than a highly experienced one. That is why our situation is never going to change. Rules and policies need to change, evaluation and hiring processes need to be revised

  2. Adam M. Avatar
    Adam M.

    This is great. As an almost new grad I’ve really appreciated the time I’ve had with those who have a substantial amount of experience. I’ve seen the changes myself. What should also be noted are the changes in education. The industry is pushing for more BSN/MSN/DNP prepared nurses… but wages aren’t keeping up.

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