Developing Nurse Skill Sets

skill-bigThis is a developing area of intended to help nurses develop key skill sets.

Nurses have always been an important part of healthcare. They assist doctors and other medical professionals in offices, hospitals, and specialty clinics.

Nurses undergo specific training in clinical and patient care. If they decide to focus on a specific specialty, additional training is available in those fields.

Nurses tend to spend more time with patients than doctors do, so having good communication skills is essential to a nurse. Develop good nursing skills with comprehensive training programs and up to date information in the field.

Some quick tips:

Find a good mentor. Work closely with a nurse, or nurses, who you respect. If you notice a colleague who is particularly good with patients and their families, or knows a lot about medication or surgery recovery, work closely with him or her. Ask nurses who have been in the profession for longer than you if they would help you develop your skills. They will likely be pleased that you ask, especially if they desire to be leaders and educators in the field.

Read current journals and publications. Stay current in the nursing field by subscribing to periodicals published for the nursing profession. There are many publications that cover general nursing, as well as specialties. Subscribe to them, or look for them where you work. There are websites and online groups you can join as well.

Join professional groups and associations. There are national organizations, as well as state and local chapters of groups that organize nurses. Research them online, or call and talk to their membership coordinators about how to join. They provide networking opportunities for you. They can also help you gather more information about your nursing specialty or region of practice.

Take continuing education classes. Even after you have finished your required classes for a nursing degree, license, or certification, you should continue educating yourself on the field of nursing. There are often continuing education credits available through colleges, trade schools, and online. Check with your employer to see if they will pay for your advanced learning.

Ask for evaluations. Ask the people you work with to give you feedback on your performance as a nurse. Talk to co-workers, supervisors, patients, and the families of patients you see about how you are doing, and what areas of care you might want to improve upon.

Here are some additional resources to assist you.

  • New Nurse Forum – This is our online forum where student nurses can collaborate or commiserate.  Make new friends, share exam tips or ask questions of the student nurse community.
  • Nurse Job Board – When you are approaching graduation and begin your search for a job, check out the many available job openings that are waiting for you.
  • Your Nurse Resume – Give yourself and advantage in your job search by uploading your resume in a few easy steps so potential employers can find you!
  • Nurse Scholarships – A collection of valuable nurse scholarships that can help you pay for your education.

Check back here for more information and helpful tips on developing your nurse skills.