To accurately and effectively care for patients, nurses need a combination of soft and hard skills. These skills are also part of routine administrative responsibilities that ensure nurses can collaborate with other healthcare providers and offer comprehensive assistance to the patient and the medical team.
Nursing skills can always be improved, just like any other skill. For instance, communication methods can be improved by paying closer attention and taking more thorough notes.
In addition, observation can be done more skillfully by paying attention to patients’ body language, and teamwork can be strengthened by understanding each member’s role and when they might need assistance.
Here are some ways to improve your nursing skills and manage your responsibilities.
Go for higher education
With the ever-changing world, the demand for skilled nurses has increased. Healthcare systems prefer a skillful nurse with a higher degree or experience. Therefore, you must look for courses to be a better and more efficient nurse.
After completing the RN or BSN degree, you can go for higher studies in different fields, like a cardiac nurse, clinical nurse, critical care nurse, or family nurse practitioner. You can opt for classes on campus, but online courses are also available if you wish to continue your practice and earn a higher degree simultaneously.
For example, suppose you choose to be a family nurse practitioner. In that case, you will have to complete the FNP program. After that, you can work as a primary healthcare worker in almost every healthcare facility and deal with various cases from all age groups.
You can even diagnose illnesses, perform medical exams and prescribe medications to patients. Thus, specializing in any nursing field will not only widen your knowledge and enhance your skills but also open new doors for you.
Get a mentor
If you’re trying to improve your nursing skills, look for a mentor who can help and guide you. Look for someone in the same field as you who has been doing it for a long time.
You’ll be able to get advice about what kind of things you should know and try, which will help take some of the pressure off.
Plus, they’ll be able to show you how they did it so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every step of the way. They might even offer to sit with you while you’re learning something new so they can give pointers on how to do it properly.
Join a study group
Another great way to improve your nursing skills is by joining a study group.
Find one online if you don’t have time for a regular study group. You can post what you’re struggling with on the forum, and someone will be able to help you answer questions, offer tips, or even do some of the work for you.
Joining a study group has advantages such as better knowledge and comprehension of the subject. You can even make enduring friendships and connections with people who have similar interests.
Volunteering at different hospitals
One of the best ways to improve your nursing skills is by volunteering at different hospitals. It’s a great way to get experience and try new things.
In addition, it will help you determine what type of nursing field suits you best. Remember that there are many types of nurses: nurse practitioner, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, certified nursing assistant, and more. You might want to try a few different types before you choose which one fits you best.
Read nursing journals
Reading up on the latest developments in your field is a great way to stay up-to-date and improve your skills. One of the best ways to do this is by reading journals about nursing.
The following are some journals for nurses:
Journal of Nursing Administration, Journal of Nursing Research, American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare, Nurse Educator and Nurse Researcher.
Most journals have an online version where you can read abstracts and download articles for free or at a low cost.
Stay up-to-date with the latest technology
Technology is constantly changing, which can be confusing and overwhelming at times. But by staying up-to-date with the latest technology, you’ll be better able to provide high-quality care for your patients.
You’ll also have more opportunities for career advancement and increased earning potential. Staying up-to-date with the latest technology will help you provide high-quality patient care. Plus, it will help you advance your career or increase your earnings.
Develop communication skills
Effective communication is a key skill for nurses. It can help with patient care and building relationships and trust.
Here are some ways you can hone your communication skills:
- Practice active listening by repeating what the other person just said in your own words without judgment or interruption.
- Write down important information that might be difficult for someone else to remember.
- Avoid jargon and acronyms when talking with patients or family members about their care plans.
- Make sure you speak clearly and don’t mumble on the phone or face-to-face.
- Ask patients if there’s anything they don’t understand about their treatment plan before leaving the room so that you can clear up any confusion.
- Use sign language. It might seem silly, but when a patient has a hearing problem, they may not understand lip reading well, and using sign language could be helpful if you want them to know something important.
Nursing is a challenging profession, but with effort and dedication, it can be rewarding.
With the right strategies, you can improve your nursing skills and continue your growth as a professional. Some tips are:
- Take responsibility for your actions.
- Learn from mistakes.
- Educate yourself about the latest practices in your field.
- Stay open to new possibilities.
- Keep learning even when you have mastered one area of nursing care.
- Find mentors who will support and encourage you on the journey ahead of you as a nurse.
No matter how experienced you are, there’s always room to improve your job. You should strive to improve your skills daily to serve your patients better.