The nursing field is projected to grow for the foreseeable future. This means that it’s a great time to consider a career in nursing. Jobs are plentiful and there will be an ongoing need for good, qualified staff.

For those just entering the field and those already established, nursing provides excellent career advancement with the opportunity to truly help people throughout the course of your employment. As a nurse, you can choose the type of care you’d like to specialize in and there are a variety of facilities that need qualified staff. Some professionals thrive in the fast paced environment of large hospitals. Others prefer the ability to foster connections with regular patients in local practices or clinics. Nurses are needed for in-home care, nursing facilities, and institutions, such as schools and universities.

There are some skills you’ll need to develop that are particular to the type of nursing path you’ll choose. The following list applies generally to all nurses.

5 Skills to Grow Your Career 

Nurses are often on the front line of healthcare during every type of emergency, as well as routine well care situations. No matter which type of nursing career you choose, it’s important that you master the basic skills necessary for your licensure. The best nurses will continue to develop skills and update their education with new innovations throughout their career.

Here are a few of the skills necessary for a career in nursing:

  1. Clinical Skills. The clinical skills you learn through nursing school and while working with patients are integral to your ability to competently care for those who enter your facility. These skills become a day-in, day-out part of your routine but there’s never any room to take them for granted. Mistakes can put patients in danger. Mastering your clinical skills is important. Maintaining the ability to carry through with all steps of protocol and updating your knowledge throughout your career will help you to stay at the top of your profession.
  2. Time Management/Case Management. Case management skills are taught during your nursing curriculum but you won’t have a chance to truly master them in theory. Once you get into your chosen specialty, time management will become an essential tool. Each situation is different and patient needs will not always follow a set schedule. Case management skills are a delicate balance of knowledge of procedures, quality patient care, and good communication.
  3. Assessment Ability. As a nurse, you’ll often hear more about the patient’s experience than any physician. It’s important to develop assessment skills that allow you to identify symptoms that the patient might omit to help physicians during any exam. Many patients have early warning signs that they won’t have the knowledge or ability to properly identify. As a nurse, your powers of observation will help you stay ahead of your case load and identify possible issues proactively.
  4. Patients and their families often come to you when they have a serious health issue. Even small issues can be unnerving for family members. A great nurse will empathize with what their patients are going through. This allows you to better understand the true extent of their needs while also catering to their emotional well-being.
  5. Most nurses go into the field because they truly want to help people during a difficult time. That’s a great goal. You do need to develop some detachment in dealing with your caseload. Becoming too attached to patients can compromise your ability to accurately assess their case and it can add a great deal of stress to your emotions over time.

Nursing can be a rewarding career path, with many options to put your skills to use in a way that helps you touch and improve lives.