Ways to Hone Your Skills as a Professional Nurse

Nursing is a highly respected profession all over the world. Nurses are in high demand, and the need for nurses will only increase in the years to come. Nursing is a calling; it isn’t just a job. It takes plenty of effort and dedication to become a good nurse. 

There are many ways to hone your skills as a professional nurse, but you must do so in the most effective manner possible. Here’s what we recommend:

Learn to Communicate

To become a competent nurse, you need to have excellent communication skills. You are going to be interacting with patients around the clock. Patients often get scared or upset in hospitals because they do not know what’s happening around them. They want someone who can explain everything happening without further confusing them.

Observe nurses around you and take notes on how they communicate with their patients. Try to understand what is being said, the tone, and the body language. Begin to notice if a patient is happy or not so happy after interacting with a nurse. When you have understood this thoroughly, start practicing these skills in your spare time. You can also practice them by volunteering at hospitals.

Do Not Stop Learning

A solid academic background is a necessity. You can strive to become an expert by enrolling in an RN to MSN degree program because learning should know no boundaries. A specialized degree will make you more marketable and can increase your salary. There are many different MSN programs, so do some research to find the right one.

You can also take continuing education courses to improve your skills as a nurse. CEUs are available in many different areas, such as pediatrics, oncology, and gerontology. You can find these courses online or through local hospitals and nursing schools.

Please Note: You must never cease learning because there are many more elements to consider while working with actual patients. You can start by reading articles online and subscribing to nursing magazines, bulletins, and newsletters.

Nobody will stop you from becoming an expert nurse who everybody admires! As a nurse, you should go to as many medical conventions, conferences, and seminars as possible to be up-to-date on the newest advancements in your field. Do all this without fail every year for about two years after finishing your certification course.

Work Towards Being a Good Listener

Nurses should be good listeners because they need to understand their conditions and concerns. You can improve your listening skills by attending a communication workshop or course.

One way of improving your ability to listen is by being aware of your body language when talking to someone. Are you leaning inwards or crossing your arms? These gestures can make the other person feel that you are not interested in what they say.

Empathy is Key

As a nurse, you need to put yourself in the patient’s shoes. You should feel what they are feeling and understand their needs. You can do so by practicing empathy exercises.

One way of doing this is by imagining that you are the patient and writing down your thoughts and feelings about your illness or condition. After completing this exercise, try writing a letter from the patient’s perspective to a loved one.

Organization and Time Management

These are two crucial skills that you need to have as a nurse. Nursing is a fast-paced profession, and if you cannot keep up, you will quickly fall behind.

One way to work on your time management skills is by using a planner or calendar. It will help you track your appointments, tasks, and deadlines. It is also helpful to create a daily routine and stick to it as much as possible. As for organization, try creating folders and labels for your files can be very helpful. 

Remember People, Networking is Essential

Irrespective of what profession you are in, networking is essential. It is significant for nurses because we often work with doctors, patients, and other nurses. Building relationships with these people can help make your job easier and more enjoyable.

There are many ways to network, such as attending conferences, joining professional organizations, or simply meeting up for coffee. Whatever method you pick, ensure to put yourself out there and make connections.

Stay Current on Technology

It’s a fact that technology changes rapidly, and if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must keep up. It includes learning new software programs, using social media platforms professionally, and becoming familiar with EHRs (electronic health records).

Take Time for Yourself

It isn’t a skill, but you will not be effective as a nurse unless you can take care of yourself. You have a lot of responsibilities, and it is only natural for you to feel stressed out. It can even lead to feelings of burnout if left unchecked. If this happens, you may lose your passion for nursing which could affect the quality of your work and even patient outcomes.


At the end of this article, you should have some new ideas about how to hone your skills as a professional nurse. The best way is by always continuing educational pursuit and taking advantage of online resources available today with ease on our smartphones or personal computers!