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5 Unexpected Skills You’ll Need for an Outstanding Career in Nursing

If you have all of these, you’re set.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on August 28, 2023

Nurse Putting On Gloves

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If you’re planning on becoming a nurse, you probably already know that being successful in this field requires way much more than can be taught in class.

Of course, it’s essential to have a high degree of empathy, attention to detail, and work ethic; as well as superb communication and teamwork skills.

But a satisfying and rewarding career in nursing may require certain skills that are often less spoken off.

With this said, below are five unexpected skills you may need for an outstanding career as a nurse.


1. Patience and Understanding


Patience and understanding are both incredibly essential skills for any nursing professional.

The job often demands the ability to listen, comprehend, and respond appropriately to patients in challenging situations where emotions can run high.

As a nurse, you’ll also need to foster positive relationships with colleagues, and this includes maintaining empathy and understanding during difficult conversations.


2. Ability to Work Under Pressure


Being a nurse comes with its own unique set of pressure levels: from quickly responding in an emergency to understanding complicated medical terminology, and sometimes working extremely long shifts.

In times of urgency, nurses are expected to think on their feet and be ready to jump into action, as someone else’s life might depend on it.

This makes it crucial for aspiring nurses to cultivate the ability to work positively under pressure.

Developing this mentality could serve you well in both personal and professional environments once you take up a job as a professional nurse.


3. Problem-Solving with a Creative, Rational Mindset


As a nurse, you will often come across challenging situations, many of them requiring immediate solutions.

To best tackle them, nurses need to employ creativity while simultaneously maintaining objectivity and logic.

And since each and every patient’s needs may vary from the next one, they often have to think beyond their job descriptions when catering to the sick.

This, therefore, means that creative nursing professionals with problem-solving skills and a rational mindset may have higher chances of excelling in their careers.


4. Self-Care: Balancing Work and Home Life


More often than not, being a nurse requires hard work, dedication, and long hours where you may be separated from your loved ones.

Some days can be horrifying, such as witnessing a patient die after struggling with an illness for a while.

Simply put, the job can take quite a toll on one’s physical and mental health unless they prioritize self-care.

The latter makes it incredibly important to have resilience in dealing with stress.

Beyond that, it also pays to achieve a healthy work-life balance as a nurse.

You could consider taking time off from work every now and then, setting boundaries both in your personal life as well as at work, and investing quality time in relationships that bring joy and positivity into your life.

Such self-care measures can help balance out the demands of being a nursing professional without necessarily burning yourself out too soon!


5. Adaptability: Feeling Comfortable in New Places and Situations


As a nurse, you’ll often encounter unfamiliar people, processes, and locales regularly.

And needless to reiterate, hospitals are often fast-paced places with lots of moving parts in many different departments.

Nurses need to be able to manage stress and adjust themselves quickly when faced with new settings or circumstances.

The ability to stay professional and content while entering unknown environments is key.

It can especially be an incredible skill to have for a trained nurse who’s looking to travel or relocate to a different state or country for personal or professional reasons.

Many of which excel at Medical Solutions for recruitment, multiple websites are available that link travel nurses and other medics to interstate, regional, or global hospitals, clinics, and health facilities in need of nursing care personnel.




An outstanding nursing career requires more than just a bachelor’s degree or basic on-the-job training.

Aspiring nurses should prepare to equip themselves with a range of important hard and soft skills.

These range from essential skills like empathy and communication – to rare yet critical ones like adaptability and creative problem-solving, as well as the ability to strike a balance between work and personal life or family.

With these abilities, it can be easier to excel in your nursing career, no matter where you are on the globe.

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