Berry Mathew

Updated on:


Let’s face it; no healthcare facility can remain operational without highly qualified and skilled nurses. These professionals collaborate with other medical professionals like doctors and physicians to give patients the highest standard of care possible.

That said, it is relevant to note that you cannot just decide to work as a nurse because you care about people. You must possess outstanding expertise and exceptional traits that set you apart from your peers. Simply put, employers no longer solely hire nurses with clinical expertise. They are instead seeking professionals with unique personality skills.

So are you a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and wondering what skills you must develop and polish to succeed in your career? In that case, you have come to the right place. 

Following are some qualities that can help you to grow in your career as a nurse practitioner:

Do you have a thirst for continuous learning? That’s great!

Most likely, employers will prefer nurses who want to keep studying even after securing a job. In the end, competent nurses are the ones who are dedicated to lifelong learning. 

Furthermore, the nursing industry is constantly changing. Therefore, nursing professionals must keep up with the most recent research and breakthroughs by continuing their education.

However, unfortunately, many nurses are reluctant to continue their education because of their hectic work and family commitments. 

If such is the case with you, there is no need to worry. Today, different nursing schools offer accelerated one-year programs to aspiring nurses. Thus, you can look for 1 year nurse practitioner programs online and expand your career as a primary care professional. 

  • Communication

Good communication skills with patients, doctors or physicians, management, and other staff members are essential for NP success.

Effective communication involves more than just articulating your thoughts. Instead, you need to be able to listen actively. You risk missing crucial information if you do not heed what the other party is saying. As a result, your efforts to provide your patient with the best care could be in vain. 

As an NP, you must have the ability to communicate sensitive information and engage in challenging dialogues. The ability to navigate communication paths that cut across various contexts and cultures is another skill that nurse practitioners possess. 

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  • Critical thinking

Of course, no two days are the same in the life of a nurse. Each day, nurses encounter new illnesses, patients, and symptoms. Furthermore, a patient’s state of health might occasionally change in seconds or minutes. Thus, critical thinking is an essential skill that nurses must develop.

Critical thinking is a person’s capacity to examine the situation actively, logically connect the dots, and arrive at a logical conclusion. Thus, being an NP, you must consider the whole picture and all the available data and make sure your clinical decision-making is grounded in critical thought.

As a nurse, you must act quickly without sacrificing accuracy to improve the patient’s health. For instance, a patient’s condition can worsen if the doctor’s prescribed treatments don’t work out. Therefore, having excellent critical thinking skills might help you deal with such difficult situations.

  • Attention to detail

Nurses are one of many members of the healthcare team who work directly with patients. 

Throughout their shifts, these professionals are in charge of carrying out many tasks. For example, they order and interpret diagnostic tests, record patients’ medical history, administer medicines, educate patients and their families, collaborate with other healthcare professionals, and much more. Thus, nurse practitioners might experience extreme stress while juggling their daily obligations. 

But since patients’ lives are at risk, nurses need to develop and polish their attention to detail skills if they wish to succeed in their careers. Put this way, paying close attention to even the most minor details while managing the demands of your day-to-day duties can help you do your work well and prevent medical mistakes.

  • Flexibility 

Have you been too accustomed to a particular routine? That might not be wise. The uncertainties of your day-to-day job duties might worry you in the long run. The reason is the working environment for most nurses is usually unpredictable. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated to nurses and medical professionals that anything may occur at any time. Therefore, you must be flexible to roll with the punches if you wish to grow and progress in your career. 

Flexibility refers to a person’s capacity to adjust quickly to a developing or uncertain circumstance. Flexibility allows you to respond quickly, deliver high-quality care, and maximize your time. Be mindful that being flexible also entails remaining current with the latest developments in the field.

  • Leadership

Another exceptional skill you must hone as a nurse practitioner is leadership skills.

As the healthcare sector develops, many states now give NPs more autonomy than ever. Therefore, you must polish your leadership skills to make difficult decisions and provide top-notch patient care. Moreover, being a nurse practitioner, you will significantly influence your patients’ lives. Therefore, leadership skills will be necessary to inspire people to improve their health.

However, remember that effective leadership does not entail dictating to everyone or sitting back and letting your team handle everything. Instead, good leadership requires various skills like delegation, communication, integrity, and confidence.

  • Time management

If you don’t have good time management skills, how do you think you’ll be able to advance and be successful in your career? Unfortunately, the nursing industry is time-sensitive, high-pressure, and fast-paced. Even the slightest delay in giving injections or medications to the patient can negatively impact the patient’s condition. Undeniably, nurse practitioners juggle many tasks each day. Therefore, to succeed in this profession, you must develop the ability to manage your time well at work.

Setting task priorities can help you efficiently manage your time so that you may focus on urgent matters. Additionally, having excellent organizational and delegating abilities can reduce stress at work, give you a sense of control, and help you stay productive.


Statistics show more than 355,000 licensed nurse practitioners (NPS) are presently working in the United States. And as time passes, this number will increase. However, even though you might find this news exciting, being an NP is no walk in the park.

Today’s nurse practitioners are working to fill the physician shortage by providing high-quality care to the growing number of patients worldwide. Therefore, you must acquire and hone the necessary skills to handle the work challenges and succeed in your career.

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