19 Important Technical and Interpersonal Nursing Skills for Your CV

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A career in nursing requires you to have a wide range of both hard and soft skills to be successful. The skills section of your CV shows potential employers you have the abilities to be successful in the role for which you're applying. Including effective nursing skills on your resume or CV can help you get the attention of the hiring managers. In this article, we discuss the difference between technical and soft skills and share a list of some important nursing skills to develop and how to express these skills to your employer.

10 examples of technical nursing skills

Technical, also known as hard, nursing skills are the abilities that these medical professionals have that directly impact aspects of their job performance. For example, reading vital signs and administering medication. Including these skills in your nursing CV often helps prove your competency to employers. Here are some examples of some of the best skills to include:

1. Urgent care and emergency care

Urgent care and emergency care skills involve the ability to respond promptly to medical issues a patient is experiencing. One example of urgent care and emergency care skills is the ability to properly care for and dress a wound. Even nurses who don't work in the emergency room (ER) may find themselves in situations where they need to apply basic urgent care and emergency care skills, making it a vital skill for all nursing professionals.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Hard Skills

2. Checking and monitoring vital signs

One of the basic responsibilities of every nurse is to know how to check and monitor their patients' vital signs. Nurses know how to check and monitor a patient's heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and temperature. Vital signs provide nurses with important information to determine which treatment protocols to follow, track how treatments are working and provide critical information to make life-saving decisions.

3. Patient and family education

Proper patient and family education inform the patient and their family about their condition and how they should care for themselves upon discharge to prevent a return to the hospital. Patient and family education also allows patients to make informed decisions relating to their health and wellbeing. Nurses play a critical role in educating their patients and their families on important safety precautions, diagnosis and course of treatments.

4. Patient safety

Patient safety involves properly educating patients and their families, creating safe environments that minimise the risk of falls, preventing errors and learning from errors when they occur. Nurses play a vital role in keeping patients safe during their visits. Patient safety helps minimise the risk of patient harm, maximise recoveries and protect medical facilities and staff from liability issues.

Related: What Does Nurse Do? Understanding the Role of a Nurse in Healthcare

5. Technology skills

Technology skills involve the ability to use a wide range of technology to be successful in your work environment. It's very important for nurses to have a wide range of technology skills. Nurses may use technology to share patient and family history information, monitor vital signs and maintain patient records. More hospitals are moving towards electronic medical record systems. Electronic medical record systems are a digital version of a patient's medical chart. This means nurses often know how to use these electronic medical record systems to record their notes and information they gather from the patient.

6. Infection control

Infection control is a speciality technical skill that nursing can have. This ability allows them to be proficient in identifying and treating infections while following a strict protocol on how to ensure the infection doesn't spread. To possess this skill, nurses often renew their knowledge and conduct research to understand the current policies and infection risks. This skill can help keep both nurses and patients safe from the infections and diseases they may encounter.

7. Surgical procedures

Surgical nurses can work in various departments in a hospital, specialising in areas such as cardiology, emergency care and paediatrics. Though not all nurses need these technical skills, having knowledge of surgical procedure policies and practices allows them to assist doctors during surgeries. Having surgical procedure skills also helps nurses improve the pre-and post-operation care they give to patients. Listing these skills on your resume can help qualify you for nursing positions in surgical wards and emergency rooms.

8. Geriatric care

Geriatric care refers to the practice of treating elderly patients, who may have different needs because of their age. Geriatric care skills can include the ability to help patients with mobility issues, adjust medication dosages and recognise illnesses and conditions that may be more common for geriatric patients. Listing these skills on your resume can help you find special positions in assisted living facilities and centres for specific conditions.

9. Record keeping

Record-keeping skills allow nurses to complete patient charts and file them correctly. Because nurses are often the professionals who gather the most information about patients, it's important for them to be skilled at record-keeping and note-taking. Having accurate and orderly records can help doctors and other medical professionals remember important details about their patients. Professionals and patients also use these records for legal, personal and insurance reasons.

10. Testing

Testing skills are important technical abilities for nurses because they allow these professionals to administer tests and interpret the results. This can include the entire testing process, starting with the knowledge to understand which tests to recommend to the ability to conduct the test and analyse the results. Nurses may recommend or help conduct a series of tests on patients for health screening purposes. This skill is useful to nurses working in any medical environment.

9 examples of soft skills to include on your nursing CV

Soft skills are abilities that closely relate to qualities and more general competencies of professionals, such as organisation. Listing these skills on your resume can help express your professional style and personality to employers while also showing that you have the core competencies to manage your responsibilities. Here are some of the soft skills that you might want to include on your nursing resume:

  • Communication: Nurses use their communication skills to collaborate with other medical professionals and interact with patients.

  • Empathy: Because nurses work with people when they are vulnerable due to an illness or condition, it's important for these professionals to consider the feelings of their patients and act accordingly.

  • Time management: Time management skills help nurses manage the care of multiple patients during one shift.

  • Physical strength: Nurses need physical strength, dexterity and stamina to stand for long periods of time, administer treatments and help patients with their ambulatory needs.

  • Ethics: Because professionals in the medical field often encounter sensitive situations that require confidentiality and empathy, it's also important for these professionals to have a strong sense of ethics.

  • Teamwork: Nurses collaborate with each other to help care for patients and communicate with doctors to create and follow care plans.

  • Critical thinking: Critical thinking skills help nurses analyse patient conditions and find solutions to problems that may arise during their shift.

  • Active listening: Active listening allows nurses to hear and consider what their patient is telling them, which can help nurses exercise empathy and include vital information in the patient's chart to help lead to a diagnosis.

  • Observation: Observation skills help nurses recognise symptoms patients may not communicate.

Related: Important Soft Skills Employers in Hong Kong Look For

Tips for sharing your skills as a nurse with employers

Expressing your skill set to employers can often help you find jobs, earn promotions and receive pay raises. Here are some ways you can show your skills as a nurse:

On your CV

You can use your RN skills list in a few different areas of your resume. You may use them as keywords throughout your CV summary and descriptions of responsibilities in your prior work history. You may also have a section in your CV which highlights your strongest skills. Review the job description for which you're applying for more skills and other keywords you can include.

Related: 10 Best Skills to Include on a CV

In your cover letter

You can choose a few of your strongest skills and provide specific examples of how you have shown those skills in your prior work experience. You can keep your cover letter brief, so it's important to only choose one or two skills to highlight. When mentioning skills in your cover letter, try to include practical applications in which you used them. For example, you might mention your active listening and geriatric care skills in relation to explaining your experience working in an assisted living home.

During an interview

Using keywords from your RN skills list can help you stand out during an interview. You may have specific examples of how you have proven these skills to provide to the hiring manager. Make sure you read the job description carefully and create your list using the skills identified within the job posting and skills you know are crucial to your specialisation. You often find the skills the employer is seeking within the descriptions of the education, requirements and desired skills sections of the job posting.

In performance reviews

While you may not explicitly list out your skill set, you can express your skills in the self-assessment part of performance reviews. This can help remind your supervisors which skills in which you have strong proficiency. Supporting your performance review with examples of the ways you exhibit your skills can help prove your value as an employee, which sometimes can lead to promotions and pay increases.

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