Nursing students undergo rigorous training to become capable, knowledgeable, and compassionate nurses. Over the course of their time in nursing school and clinicals, it’s pertinent that students develop the skills and qualities of a nurse, setting them up for growth and success in healthcare. Explore the 10 essential nursing skills you should have to be a successful nurse below.
Empathy is a necessary soft skill for nurses. You should try to understand how your patients feel as you interact with them and their families—especially when they are vulnerable. Future nurses must convey empathy to provide support, build trust, and cultivate a healthy environment for patients to get better.
Compassion goes hand in hand with empathy. If you decide to become a nurse, you most likely already possess this quality—you’ve chosen a profession where you help others! When you have compassion, you can show patients you care, provide them comfort and reassurance, and show how compassion goes a long way. It’s rewarding to be compassionate when you’re in such a demanding line of work.
Effective communication is a must! Nursing students should possess robust verbal and non-verbal communication skills to convey information and care plans clearly to patients, their families, and the rest of the healthcare team. Patients must be able to understand your directions clearly, and you should be practicing active listening to comprehend your patients’ needs and concerns. No sour faces here.
4. Critical thinking
You’ll face complex, everchanging situations as a nurse. Critical thinking enables you to assess, analyze, and make informed decisions quickly and swiftly. You don’t want to stumble in the face of a tough situation, so practice critical thinking to provide safe and effective patient care.
Being detail-orientated is vital In healthcare. Vital…get it? Nursing students should pay GREAT attention to detail. Be observant, take lots of notes in clincals, and ask questions. One day, you’ll be in charge of administering medications, documenting patient information, and monitoring changes in a patient’s condition. And you’ll have to do it accurately. Errors–even small ones–in patient care can have significant consequences.
Your nursing duties can become unpredictable. Within a hectic environment, nurses must be able to adapt and stay calm. So, you’ll be faced with challenges, but you will persevere! Use your knowledge of various clinical settings, patient populations, and treatment protocols to shape your decision-making.
7. Time management
You’re probably already practicing time management as it is. With class, study time, clinicals, and day-to-day life, you’re juggling a lot. This will most likely still be the case as you practice nursing. With different tasks and responsibilities, you should remain well-organized and manage your time efficiently to provide comprehensive care.
Nurses should be open to learning even after completing nursing school. There’s always something new or changing in healthcare. From medications to diseases to treatment plans, nurses need to keep up with the times to provide the best mode of care for patients.
Nursing can be emotionally and physically demanding. Nursing students must have the determination to be in this field in order to cope with stress and long hours. Developing self-care strategies and seeking support when needed is essential to maintain motivation and promote your mental and emotional well-being.
Trust your gut. Your intuition is important, and you shouldn’t doubt yourself. Rely on your knowledge and experience to shape your decisions as an up-and-coming nurse, and if you do doubt yourself, ask questions! Confidence does not equate to arrogance, and you should always ask for help if you need it. There’s no shame in it.
How Picmonic can enhance essential nursing skills
Picmonic’s research-proven study tool has many features to help nursing students and nursing professionals hone their nursing skills—both soft and academic. Here’s how.
- Learn long-term with Picmonic: Picmonic’s expansive library of picture mnemonics can help you instill a lifelong learning mindset. You can review information quickly or learn something new at any time thanks to Picmonic’s app on IOS or Android.
- Build your confidence: Picmonic is designed to help you master and recall information long-term. Covering 13,000 nursing facts, you can use Picmonic’s unlimited quizzing to test yourself and build your confidence in your knowledge and academic ability.
- Flexibility to learn: If your schedule is jampacked, your study tool needs to be just as flexible as you are. Learn quickly on the go with the PIcmonic app or review short video Picmonics whenever you please.
- Pay attention to the details: Picmonic is designed to be memorable. From colors, symbols, characters, and more, information is tied together throughout the picture mnemonics you’ll see in Picmonic to improve recall and retention.
- Keep motivated: Hone your motivation and determination with Picmonic’s personalized dashboard. You’ll have study recommendations, tips, a daily spaced repetition quiz, and the ability to create your own mnemonics.
- Start time management: Remember more in less time with short videos or use Picmonic’s study planner to plan accordingly to pass an exam, study for the NCLEX, or meet a personal nursing skill goal.
Sign up for Picmonic today to hone the skills and qualities needed to become a nurse.