What Skills Are Needed To Be A Nurse
What Skills Are Needed To Be A Nurse

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Nurse

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Nurse – Nurses are respected for the work they do, but it is not an easy role. Nursing requires dedication, skills and training to become such a valued member of the healthcare industry. If you are compassionate and love to make a positive impact on people’s lives, nursing can be a fulfilling career for you.

With the health and social care industry expected to see job growth of 14.2% through November 2025, there has never been a better time to jump into the nursing field. But before diving in, it’s important to know the skills and qualities of a nurse to make sure the career is right for you.

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Nurse

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Nurse

The technical skills of a nurse vary depending on the nurse or the field they work in, but generally the soft skills and qualities required of a nurse are the same across different types of nursing. You may already have these transferable soft skills and just not know it.

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If you’re considering a career as a nurse but aren’t sure what it takes — what skills you need and what nursing degree you should study — we’ve got you covered.

Joel Oldfield is a registered nurse specializing in neurology and palliative care. Their role is to care for neurological and palliative care patients, managing their symptoms and treating them.

Nursing has been a very rewarding career for Joel. Since starting as a nurse, she has gained extensive knowledge and learned the necessary skills to succeed in her role.

There are many transferable and extremely useful soft skills to have as a nurse. All are equally important and contribute to the success you can have in the industry.

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Time management is an essential skill for all nurses. There are many tasks that a nurse must complete during their shift, including administrative tasks, patient care, and cleaning. With appropriate time management skills, nurses organise, prioritize and complete their duties to a high standard. Without these skills, nurses cannot care for their patients to the best of their ability.

“You have four patients as a normal load, but sometimes [you have more]. For example, I had eight the other day because we were understaffed. So, you have to have time management and organization skills, especially when medications come in at certain times,” says Joel.

“Along with time management, you have to have a level of empathy and compassion. If you don’t have interpersonal skills and empathy with the patient or family, you’re not going to really take good care of them.

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Nurse

A nurse must empathize with their patients and their families to understand and share their struggles or pain. By showing empathy and compassion, nurses can help ease the suffering of their patients and their families and help them cope with their problems.

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Self-confidence greatly affects a nurse’s performance. Without confidence, a nurse’s job, including administering medication and providing care effectively, becomes more difficult.

“If I didn’t have any confidence in myself, I don’t think I would have done my job well,” said Joel.

Nurses treat injuries and illnesses in their role and sometimes it can be life or death. Attention to detail is critical when working, so they don’t make mistakes when it comes to high-risk tasks like injecting patients.

Nurses need immense patience in everything they do, which allows them to remain calm under pressure and avoid conflict with patients, families or colleagues. Nurses must be cool, calm, and collected to provide the best possible care to vulnerable patients.

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“You have to be patient because the family is very demanding and the patients themselves are very demanding. When people get sick, they don’t work very quickly,” he said Joel.

Nurses with problem solving skills are naturally better placed to help their patients. They do not see problems as an obstacle or an end, but as a way to improve their patient’s health.

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Nurses can sometimes encounter unexpected situations and will need to use adaptive and critical thinking skills when making decisions. By doing this, they care for their patients in a more intentional way.

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Nurse

“Say someone has fallen in the bathroom and they’re in an awkward position. There is no proper way to pick them up and prevent them from being injured…,” said Joel. “So, I have to figure things out sometimes, because there’s no order for everything.”

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Without teamwork and communication skills, a nurse’s job can be more difficult than it needs to be. Working as a team member and sharing the load makes caring for patients much easier.

If nurses do not work together and communicate effectively, they may not find out about important information or changes in the way a patient is cared for. Nurses should also communicate with shift takers and inform them of any changes or important details.

“…Sometimes rooms one, two, three and four have very high care patients and rooms five, six, seven and eight have very easy patients. When each nurse has four patients and when one nurse has four high care patients, they can’t do everything. So you have to share some of the burden,” Joel said.

Emotional intelligence enables nurses to understand their emotions and manage their reactions so that they can do their job effectively. Nurses can form bonds and relationships with their patients, so if illness worsens or death occurs, nurses must keep their feelings and emotions in check.

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Emotional intelligence is essential for nurses to be aware of their own emotions and to diagnose and identify patients and family members.

“You have to read the room. If people are sad, they don’t want you there. But sometimes they want answers and they want to know what happens next,” Joel said.

Not all nurses do the same job. There are different types of nurses whose roles involve completely different tasks from one job to another. Although most nurses generally need the same soft skills to succeed in their careers, the hard skills vary depending on the type of nurse.

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Nurse

Different types of nursing professions require different technical skills and have different levels of education and qualifications. Depending on the level of specialization and length of study you are pursuing, there is a nursing career that is right for you.

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Registered nurses cannot work without the supervision of a registered nurse. They can be found in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, aged care, the private health sector and medical clinics.

To become an EN, you must complete the Nursing Diploma (HLT54115) at a TAFE or Registered Training Organization (RTO). The average salary for a registered nurse in Australia is $62,166.

Registered nurses (RN) have more responsibilities than EN. Not only do they do practical care, but they are also involved in administrative tasks.

RNs can also specialize in a specific area that interests them, like Joel. Many specialist areas can be chosen such as cardiology, mental health, intensive care or occupational health. If you want to specialize you will need to complete the Transition to Specialist Practice Program (TSPP).

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To become an RN, you must complete a Bachelor of Nursing. Alternatively, you can also complete a Masters in Nursing (Graduate Entry) if you have already completed another Bachelor’s degree. The median salary for a registered nurse is $78,979.

A clinical nurse (CN) is a registered nurse who has completed postgraduate studies, usually in a specific field, to undertake additional duties and responsibilities within their role. They work directly with doctors, specialists and healthcare professionals and are the professional that other nurses look to for expert advice.

To become a CN, you must first have experience working as an RN. CNs must complete postgraduate studies such as a certificate in clinical nursing or a Master of Science in Nursing. Clinical nurses in Australia make an average salary of $100,599.

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Nurse

Most midwives are registered nurses with additional training and qualifications who support women during pregnancy and birth.

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To become a midwife, you must complete a Bachelor of Midwifery or a Nursing/Midwifery double degree. Alternatively, nurses who have already completed graduate education can complete a Graduate Diploma in Midwifery or a Masters in Midwifery Practice. A midwife earns an average salary of $82,932 in Australia.

Although nursing work is challenging and requires a lot of training and skills, it is a rewarding career that can make a positive impact in the world. Dedication and love for work makes a good nurse. If you are passionate about becoming a nurse, the skill set will follow.

Now that you know what skills are needed to work as a nurse, browse our available nursing courses to find out which one is right for you.

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