nursing skills for resume

Essential Nursing Skills for Your Resume

Nursing is both a fulfilling and demanding profession that requires both hard and soft skills in order to succeed. Nurses need to have various technical skills necessary to perform medical procedures such as drawing blood, measuring vital signs, administering medication, and using medical equipment.

Other than that, it is also critical for nurses to have interpersonal skills such as therapeutic communication to get along well with other nurses and medical professionals and gain their patients’ trust and promote an environment of healing.

Technical nursing skills for resume

Technical skills in medical fields such as nursing are gained through formal training such as those included in nursing schools and in continuing medical education for nurses. Below are some of the essential technical nursing skills that you should include in your resume.

Emergency care and basic life support

Nurses respond to medical emergencies in the hospital setting almost every day, especially in critical areas like the emergency room. Therefore, they must possess emergency care skills and basic life support in order to help save lives. 

Having the right knowledge and skills to address prompt medical situations is vital even for nurses who do not work in acute settings. A patient can experience adverse drug reactions, wounds, or abrupt worsening of their condition, and a nurse must have the right skill set to attend to these situations.

Patient and family education

Nurses are more in contact with patients than any other medical professional. They are present to attend to patients’ medical needs 24/7 in the hospital setting. Therefore, it is up to the nurse to provide appropriate patient and family education.

The education you will need to provide as a nurse will vary greatly depending on the individual you are caring for. It can range from a simple medication schedule to proper wound care upon discharge. You must adequately educate your patients and their families so that their condition improves and they experience a better quality of life even if they are no longer in the hospital.

Knowledge of patient rights

Depending on what country or state you live in, patients will have fundamental rights regarding their medical care. You need to know what these fundamental patient rights are so that you can correctly administer care without infringing on your patient’s privileges.

For example, a patient has the right to refuse any treatment or hospitalization. However, there are several instances where the medical team has authority over the patient, such as if the patient poses a threat to others or himself.

Vital signs

One of the most basic functions of a nurse is taking and monitoring vital signs. It is a fundamental skill that nurses learn and practice since the beginning of nursing school; therefore, you must possess this skill.

This includes taking a patient’s blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and respiration. You can tell a lot about a patient’s condition through their vital signs. Any variations that are below or beyond the normal values may indicate specific conditions and may even mean a medical emergency.

Standard precautions

Every day, nurses face so many contagious diseases in the hospital. Facing so many patients in a day, each with different conditions, puts one at high risk for being infected, or worse, spreading the infection to other patients. That is why each and every nurse must have a fundamental knowledge of standard precautions.

The most important precautionary measure is hand-washing. This alone can prevent a whole host of infections from crossing one source to another. Others include donning personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks and aseptic technique, which is used when caring for wounds or assisting in operations.

soft nursing skills for resume

Soft nursing skills for resume

Soft skills in nursing are not just “bonus” skills that are nice to have on top of technical skills. Soft skills are equally as important as hard skills in nursing. Many of the everyday roles of nurses make critical use of soft skills when interacting with patients. Your patients need to feel comfortable around you to become fully honest about their history and present condition.

Therapeutic communication

One of the most essential soft skills you need to master as a nurse is therapeutic communication. Therapeutic communication is a technique used by medical professionals that promotes individuals’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

It is the ability to show kindness, openness, and respect while maintaining a healthy level of professionalism. In this manner, nurses provide both information and much-needed support to ailing patients while still remaining objective.

Advanced Therapeutic Communication teaches you specific language elements that you can use and their effects on the person listening to you. 

Time management

Nurses juggle a lot of tasks. These include patient monitoring, medications, bedside care, hygiene, nutrition, special procedures, documentation, and so much more. You need to be an excellent manager of time if you want to succeed in a nursing career.

Ethics and confidentiality

Working with patients exposes you to a lot of information that is usually private. Patients need to disclose a lot of physical, social, and even emotional input in order to receive an adequate level of care from the medical team. As a nurse, it is your duty to protect your patient’s information by observing ethics and confidentiality.


Nurses rarely work alone. In the hospital setting, you will be mainly working with fellow nurses in wards and special areas, but you will also collaborate with doctors, medical technologists, therapists, counselors, technicians, and other professionals involved in patient care. Therefore, you must be able to get along well with people of different backgrounds, other professions. Teaming well with the medical team within your unit will ensure that you can provide the best possible care to your patients.


People are usually at their most vulnerable state when they are ill and admitted to the hospital. Patients and their families may tend to get emotional. Nurses need to be able to relate to and understand their pain even without experiencing it.

Empathy is the ability to put yourself into someone else’s situation and understand their thoughts and reactions. At the same time, empathy allows you to connect with your patient’s emotions without becoming emotional yourself.

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