12 must-have skills to highlight in your nursing resume

Nursing career is a great commitment. Apart from the core personal qualities like compassion and empathy, there are personal characteristics and attributes can help you be both successful and fulfilled. Work in hospital is emotionally exhausting, the hours are long, and some extremely unpleasant circumstances may occur, however, it is also extremely rewarding.

You will learn and continuously grow in your career. Some skills come naturally, and some can be learned in the process. Here are a few important skills to have to become an effective nurse.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is one of the most important skill in any workplace. It is a critical skill to have when working in a hospital. High-pressure environment requires a nurse to receive and pass on information clearly, precisely, quickly, and calm.

Nurses must document patient and treatment information precisely. These notes can become legal evidence in court if it comes to it. When failing to give a thorough handover, critical mistakes may happen which put patient’s health and even life at risk.

A nurse interacts with people throughout the day. From doctors, colleagues to patients and their relatives of all ages. The dynamic work day requires a serious level of communication skills, especially under high-pressure.

Emotional Stability

Work in a hospital is mentally demanding. Every day can bring a full range of emotions, from joy to anger and sadness. To manage the needs of patients, their relatives, and colleagues effectively, it is essential for a nurse to remain calm when facing upsetting situations. Do not confuse emotional stability with a lack of emotions. A nurse needs to give care and psychological support and control their responses while keeping the focus on the task at hand.

Critical Thinking Skills

Nurses come across challenges every day. There can be risky and time-sensitive situations and sometimes even unimaginable ones. To keep up with the dynamics of the work, a nurse must be able to make logical decisions based on their own judgment and assessment. Critical thinking skills are crucial to find the best solution and make a sound decision on the spot because consequences could be severe.

Attention to Detail

Nurse work with drug doses and administrations every day whole day. It is critical to be aware of the

specifics and constantly monitor every detail. Especially after long hour shifts, it is easy to make mistakes. For registered nurses must check serial numbers, batch numbers, and expiry dates, and to detect errors by law.

This skill can also assist you in identifying certain behavioral patterns or symptoms in patients that may be an important factor in their treatment. Overlooking something critical during an initial consultation, for example, may lead to a legal action against you for professional negligence.


Being confident does not mean acting like you know it all. Confidence is more about being confident about your abilities and skills. Patients may notice if you are nervous when you are about to perform a procedure and that often raises red flags in their minds, too. However, when you appear confident and calm (even though are not sometimes), it also calms your patient.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Sometimes nurses work in various wards or even hospitals. Last-minute changes in working hours are common too. The ability to adapt to the situation and respond instantly are an impressive skill set to have. You will be psychologically supporting a frightened kid or an elderly person, dealing with an unstable person or someone with violent and threatening behavior, or supporting a new mother during childbirth. Regardless of the situation. Nurses must be able to deal with whatever they face while being calm.


Being a nurse not only requires mental strength, as you may have to deal with highly distressing situations, your physical health is as important. Nurses often work long hours, sometimes without being able to take any breaks. Being on feet for 12 hours nonstop is a very common scenario, therefore you better be physically ready for it. There is no way to predict what could you possibly experience in any shift. Support from colleagues can help a lot, however, you still should be aware of the demanding nature of the job.

Organisational Skills

In this job, you will manage multiple patients at the same time and do number of other tasks. Ability to prioritize tasks and staying on top of everything while still paying attention to detail without becoming overwhelmed and stressed out is not for the faint-hearted.

Teamwork Skills

Working well with others is an important skill in any job. However, in nursing and working in hospital, teamwork mostly is the key to positive outcome. Therefore, make sure you learn how to find ways and work well with every colleague in your workplace.

Diplomatic Skills

Diplomacy can be extremely useful skill for a nurse to have. People can be a challenge sometimes and behave irrationally. Knowing how to read, manage people, especially under pressure, will help you a lot.

Diplomacy also entails patience. You will come across the nicest and the most challenging personalities alike. Not losing your composure will take you much further. Being assertive sometimes also is necessary, however the main goal is to remain calm, pleasant and accomplish your task, regardless of your patient’s attitude (even if that takes screaming in a changing room for a moment to take out the frustration after your task is done).

Leadership Skills

Leadership skills can be useful, as nurses are often required to take charge of a situation based on their knowledge and experience. This also includes guiding less experienced colleagues through standard procedures or being in charge when a doctor is not available. As you are progressing in your career, you may manage a department or a unit, therefore strong leadership and management skills may come very useful.

Multitasking Skills

Multiple patients and tasks are part of everyday life in a hospital. Nurses always have something to do. Be it managing tasks, doing paperwork, it all must be at high standard as lives may depend on it.

Nursing career is not for everyone. Remember that no one is perfect from the start. Time and willingness to learn will help you master all these skills. Even the most experienced healthcare professionals keep learning throughout their career. Care, empathy, and willingness to work hard and learn in the process is a good start.

If you are looking to take the chance and boost your nursing career, get in touch with us! Our experienced recruiters can help you land dream job and become part of the best healthcare teams.

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