Nursing is one of the fastest-growing professions in the healthcare industry. Nurses have many important responsibilities, but the most essential is their role in patient recovery. This is because nurses are the ones who take care of the patient 24/7. They interact with the patient and form a connection with them. This provides the patient with emotional support during hard times.
From taking care of the patients’ medication to being their advocate, nurses do it all. They work tirelessly and at odd hours to take care of people in need.
Nursing career paths
There is a constant demand for qualified and experienced nurses in various roles and settings.
A nurse practitioner is one of the most common career choices in nursing. NPs can assess, diagnose and treat patients at a medical facility. Moreover, nurse practitioners can also specialize in their areas of interest. This includes labor and delivery nurse, emergency room registered nurses, home care registered nurses, and more.
Specialization in a certain area is no easy feat. Moreover, most nurses’ goal is to excel in that particular field. On the other hand, some nurses are interested in utilizing their skills outside of a clinical setting. Thus, some nurses often struggle to decide between nurse administrator vs nurse practitioner when choosing the next career step.
However, this decision is solely based upon what you’re better at or prefer doing. For instance, nurse practitioners are directly involved in dealing with patients and have many responsibilities related to patient treatment. On the other hand, nurse administrators are interested in managing the nursing team and the department. They are involved in hiring, creating and implementing policies, and ensure that everything goes smoothly.
What skills do you need to boost your nursing career?
There are almost 3 million registered nurses in the US. Yet, due to various factors, the demand for nurses is still very high. If you intend to establish a successful career as a nurse, you should be ready to give it your all. Moreover, no matter which career path you choose, some skills are crucial to excel as a nurse. So, let’s take a look at these skills:
The first quality that a nurse should have is compassion. A hospital’s environment can often be frightening and overwhelming. Thus, patients can be confused and scared. It is the nurse’s job to put them at ease. Moreover, nurses often have to deliver unfavorable news to patients or their families, and showing compassion can go a long way.
Strong leadership skills
Leadership skills are important, especially for nurses at higher levels—administrators and managers—because they have to manage and direct multiple teams. They are responsible for training staff and solving their problems. Thus, strong leadership skills can provide your teammates with a clear sense of direction and help them stay organized and motivated.
Ability to keep up
The healthcare industry is ever-evolving. With constant discoveries and technologies, it can be hard to keep up. Thus, a good nurse should be flexible enough to adapt to their ever-changing environment. These changes can include new hospital or insurance policies, new technology, new treatments, and more.
Good communication skills
Communication skills are an essential skill in nursing, especially in clinical settings. Nurses are advocates for patients. This means that they are responsible for relaying information from the doctors to the patients and vice versa. Moreover, nurses have to keep an eye on the patients’ vitals and update the doctors. Nurses also have to talk to administrators, other professionals, and the patients’ families as well. So, it is necessary to be clear, respectful, and accurate.
Hospitals can be very busy at times. So, being a team player is important for working as a nurse. You may be put in teams with different people at times. Furthermore, you may have to help out your colleagues on busy days and take up extra work as well. So, you should know how to work with others and focus on the collective goal; the patients’ well-being.
Being a nurse can be emotionally draining. Nurses often get attached to their patients when they spend a long time together. Moreover, nurses have to witness people suffering almost every day. Sometimes the outcomes are good, and sometimes they aren’t. However, it is a part of the job. So, emotional resilience can help you deal with such situations and remain objective.
Ability to think on your feet
A hospital’s environment can be stressful. So, nursing requires good decision-making skills and quick thinking. You may often face situations where someone’s life depends on how fast you make a decision. Thus, it is important to make informed decisions and not let fear take over.
The first step to success is believing in yourself. Nurses are required to make quick and often hard decisions. Thus, it is important to be confident in yourself and your ability to tackle any situation, perform procedures and guide patients on treatment options.
Professionalism and workplace ethics
Just like any other field, it is necessary to consider workplace ethics and professionalism to succeed. So, treat everyone with respect and follow your workplace’s code of conduct.
In addition to this, many types of people may come to the hospital for treatment. You may not agree with someone’s views or lifestyle. However, you have to give them your best and remain unbiased and professional as a nurse.
Nursing is a rapidly growing profession in the healthcare industry. It is a rewarding career where you are an important part of people’s journey of recovery. There are many career paths you can choose from if you have a passion for nursing. However, no matter what you choose, you need to have certain skills to succeed. For instance, nurses need to be compassionate and confident enough to tackle difficult situations. Moreover, they also need to possess good decision-making, leadership, and communication skills. While technical skills are essential, the soft skills mentioned above can make all the difference in your nursing career.