5 Professional Nursing Skills to Land a Job

The professional nursing field is the largest segment of the healthcare industry in the United States, and is projected to continue growing for the foreseeable future. According to the Rasmussen College 2012 Healthcare Job Outlook eBook, “The nursing field has experienced consistent yearly growth and is expected to add 582,000 nursing jobs by 2018.”

In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that growth will occur primarily because of technological advancements, an increased emphasis on preventative care, and the large, aging baby-boomer population who will demand more healthcare services as they live longer and more active lives.

Perhaps it relieves some stress knowing there is no shortage of professional nursing job opportunities; however, it is important to make sure you have the right skills to help you stand out among your competition during the job search process.

We have a list of five professional nursing skills that employers are searching for, and will help make you successful:

1. Compassion

Nurses often spend more time with patients than doctors. Therefore, compassion is absolutely necessary in this field. “[Nurses] are the different entry points that a patient comes in contact with – whether you’re dealing with the ER, ICU or long-term care,” said Jodi Zastrow, Rasmussen College regional dean of nursing.

And part of being compassionate as a nurse is having the ability to reach out to patients, and listen, comfort and soothe them.

“I think it’s innate in you,” Amy Matthys, Rasmussen College Online faculty manager for nursing, said. “The heart of nursing is the art of caring.

2. Patience

On any given day, a number of things could happen that will test your patience. Whether dealing with an irate patient, a confused family or a moody supervisor, it is the patience in which you bring your colleagues, patients and their families that will help solidify your success as a nurse.


You must be organized and diligent. You are responsible for taking care of other people (and their lives), and without organization, chaos could ensue. You must also demonstrate knowledge in being able to communicate well with patients and families.


You must obey rules, be prompt, flexible and display good work habits, time-management skills and endurance.

5. Detail-Oriented

Paying attention to minute details is important in professional nursing. For example, nurses must document everything they do on patients’ charts, listen closely to a patients’ description of symptoms, ask the right questions, and remember to bring medications at the correct times. Therefore, being detail oriented is crucial for a nurse.

For more information regarding nursing or other positions in the healthcare field, download the Rasmussen College 2012 Healthcare Job Outlook eBook.

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Jennifer is a Content and Social Media Specialist at Rasmussen College. She researches, writes and edits blog posts designed to help and inspire current, past and future students through their entire educational process in an effort to encourage learning at a college level and beyond.

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