The Skills Needed To Have A Successful Nursing Career


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Nurses enjoy one of the most rewarding careers in the healthcare industry. Since they are the ones in constant contact with patients, they usually end up providing moral and emotional support aside from primary care. Although the nursing profession started out as assistants to doctors and other healthcare practitioners, they now play important roles in the patient’s recovery. Without these nurses, the health care industry would certainly be chaotic.

The demand for nurses have grown considerably especially when the profession evolved into highly specialized fields. Today, nurses can be classified according to the unit they are currently working in. There are emergency room nurses, intensive care unit nurses, pediatric nurses, dialysis nurses, oncology nurses, psychiatric nurses and so much more.

It is not surprising, therefore, that medical facilities use nursing job descriptions that are very detailed and specific. They do not want to attract applicants only to find out that they do not possess particular skills, completed educational requirements, undergone training or have had sufficient experiences. If the nursing job description is accurate, majority of the applicants will have the right qualifications.

Speaking of qualifications, here are some of the requirements that you can find in nursing job descriptions.


Normally, nursing job descriptions would contain specific details on the educational background required. If the ad is looking for staff nurses or other entry level positions, you should have at least completed an associate degree in nursing. In some cases, where the healthcare facility is looking for someone with a master’s degree, they will still hire nurse applicants with a bachelor degree, on the condition that the nurse applicant continue her education while employed.

Specialized nursing fields would typically require nurses who have been certified. Most certifications are awarded by official nursing organization after you have completed a program and passed an exam. On the other hand, there are nurse job descriptions that only require an applicant to have completed high school. This is normal in positions such as nurse assistants. The employer will be the one to provide the training program.


The amount of experience you have under your belt could dictate your suitability for a job. Some nursing job descriptions are very clear about the level of experience applicants should have before they even consider them for the position. If you are applying for a job, straight from a nursing school and it says in the job description, “two-three years experience a must”, do not waste your time. Even if you have graduated with high marks, you will not be able to land the job. There are certain fields that would require experience such as intensive care nursing, critical care nursing and emergency room nursing. You should always consider that real life experiences are the best teachers and nursing requirements which involve life and death situations, naturally require experience.


Even if you have met the educational requirements contained in the nursing job description, it is also vital that you possess nursing skills such as:

  • Communication:
    as nurses, you are considered to be the eyes and ears of the doctors. Because you will be interacting with patients on a daily basis, it is important that you have excellent communication skills. These skills include listening effectively and speaking clearly. You must also be able to explain to the patients and their families the medical condition as well as the treatment procedure being done. If you can not do this correctly, you would only cause confusion and mistrust between you and the patients.

  • Organization:
    if you will be working in a large medical facility, you should be able to organize your tasks and responsibilities accordingly. If you do not create a system that would allow you to juggle several roles at once, then you will find yourself being stressed out. Make sure you accomplish your tasks according to priority and leave less important things for later. Also, you should know how to adjust your work schedule in cases of emergencies and other urgent matters.

  • Management:
    when medical facilities are looking for nurses who will fill up supervisory positions, it would be normal that they require these nurses to have excellent management skills. This means that you should be able to create and implement rules and regulations. In addition, you should also be able to work well with your staff as well as with other health care practitioner that you will be dealing with on a regular basis. As a leader, you should be able to follow orders as well from attending doctors.

    There are other details contained in nursing job descriptions that you should go over before applying for the job. These include duties and responsibilities and compensations and benefits. If you meet all the requirements set by the employer, you can apply confidently.

    KEVIN R. WYNN owns and operates a site dedicated to highlighting the various skills and educational requirements needed to fill numerous nursing positions.

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