10 Skills Nursing Students Must Have to Succeed in Their Career
Nursing students must have many skills to succeed in this career.
So, you chose to be a future nurse? Excellent choice! But to succeed in nursing school, you must have innate qualities and skills to help you enjoy your time while studying to become a good nurse in the future. Here’s what you need to have.
You must have confidence.
Your future job requires you to meet and be with different people from all walks of life. If you are not confident with yourself or have the confidence to talk to patients, how can you provide quality care? Not only that, but you will be making decisions for your patient’s care and needs. It is why your nursing school will help you and make you ready for this job.
Confidence is about being able to carry yourself and being optimistic, assertive, and independent. It is about your enthusiasm for your work and emotional maturity to help you do your job at a higher level than others.
You must have communication skills.
Communication is the number one skill you must have as a nurse. Most of the time, you will talk to people in the hospital. Proper communication also helps in giving quality care to patients. Keep in mind that you will also be talking to doctors and other medical professionals in the future. Good communication skills also foster meaningful workplace relationships with your peers. It will also aid you and your group in studying for nursing school.
You must have leadership skills.
As a future nurse, one of your roles is to handle patients and families looking to you for guidance and updates. You will also work with your fellow nurses and may require your leadership. You must know how to manage your time, especially when you have projects, emergencies, and even conflicts in school or your future job.
You must have critical thinking skills.
As a student nurse, you will constantly face situations that require you to observe, think critically, and make the right decisions. You must also remember that nursing students are often exposed to high-stressed situations like demonstrating procedures at school.
You may have the skills to do the procedure, but with quick thinking to make decisions in high-stressed situations, you will be able to succeed as a future nurse. Thus having critical thinking skills are vital.
You must have a passion for nursing.
Besides your critical thinking and leadership skills, you must also have a passion for nursing. With passion, you can use these skills. You won’t even try to do your best in nursing school.
As a student nurse, you’ll be constantly challenged to learn new skills. You will also study for exams. And if you are truly ready to become a nurse, your hard work and passion for this profession are worth it.
You must have learning skills.
Nursing school is still ongoing once you have earned your degree. As you prepare for your job and even as a nurse, your learning does not end. You will constantly explore, develop your critical thinking skills, and question things you encounter at work.
The healthcare field is constantly changing, just like a nurse’s role evolves. You must be ready and having the desire to learn and adapt is essential; it is one of the vital skills nursing students must have. Whether a student nurse or a professional nurse, you’ll always have something to discover and learn about.
You must have teamwork skills.
As a student nurse, you’ll meet different people from different places and with whom you’ll study. There will be situations where you will be working together in class or in hospital exposures. Without cooperation, you will fail nursing school. Understand that nursing and nursing school are collaborative fields.
Working together as a team to accomplish goals is essential. You will also need this skill when you become a future nurse as you work with doctors, health aids, lab techs, and other members of the healthcare field.
You must have the skill to handle high-stress situations.
Nursing school can become stressful, especially in the months leading to your graduation. You will be dealing with many exams, school assignments, projects, and many requirements to pass and graduate. As you become a professional nurse, you will also be constantly on the go and face stressful situations. You will deal with patients, their families, as well as other members of the healthcare team. When your patient is in critical condition, that stressful time is when you are needed the most. Managing these situations and keeping a clear head will help you become a great student nurse and future nurse. It’s also one of the essential skills nursing students must have.
You must have the skills to ask for humility and feedback.
As a student nurse, you are there to learn everything in nursing school. You’ll probably feel clueless when you start, so be ready to seek guidance. Ask questions and accept constructive criticism from your mentors or instructors. Remember, everyone has been in your shoes as they were starting to be a nurse. Seeking humility and accepting advice will help you become the best nurse you can be.
You must be an advocate for patients.
As a student nurse, you will be your patient’s advocate. Learning this skill will help you better assist a patient and become the person to debrief team members or interpret tests. You’ll also explain procedures and instructions for patients and families. All of these are vital as you become a patient advocate.
Nursing is a beautiful profession, and if you want to be a successful nurse someday, you must train yourself to be the best while in nursing school. And the more you adapt to that mindset, the easier it will be for you to handle any difficulties you’ll encounter in this job. Start now; you’ll be glad that you did!
Nurses are among the essential workers in the healthcare world, especially now that we have a pandemic. However, miscommunication among nurses is an issue that happens quite often. How can this be avoided? What causes miscommunication among nurses?
How Can Miscommunication Among Nurses Be Avoided?
There are a couple of ways that nurses can avoid miscommunication. Keep in mind that being able to relay the correct information about their patients can make a difference in nursing care. As a nurse, you must provide accurate data regarding their condition so proper nursing can be given. Here’s how you can do that:
1. Make eye contact when endorsing patients.
There is a sense of relief whenever the shift is over, especially if it has been a toxic one since you first clocked in. While it is exciting to exit the nurse’s station once your shift is over, make proper endorsements first. The best way to ensure no miscommunication is to make eye contact with the next nurse on duty when endorsing the patient’s chart.
Take the time to explain everything, from the procedures done to the patient, medications given, the diagnosis (if you have to), and even the physician/s who came to check in with them.
Making eye contact gives you the chance to scan for any uncertainty in their face or if they understood what was said to them. It is also the best way to engage someone in a conversation and ensure they listen to what you say.
2. Use bedside nursing boards.
Bedside nursing boards are also commonly known as bed-census boards. These can help you with an open line of communication among nurses in the team/building, the patient’s families, and you as health care providers.
The boards help with the patient’s condition and communicate with their families and the rest of the hospital staff. Understand that there are tons of healthcare providers in the hospital working on patients. Failing to communicate properly can lead to negative consequences.
Bedside boards are essential in providing reports to the next nurse on duty. It can help them understand what happened during your shift and fill them in on the patient’s history if this is their first time handling them. Bed-census boards also prove to the patient’s families that proper care is given to their loved ones.
3. Take time to talk to your patients.
Nurses are often busy in each shift, and it is not surprising that they cannot give their patients full attention. However, taking the time to check on your patients, listen to their concerns, and show that you can help are enough to put them at ease. It is also a good nursing quality to have.
Allowing a few minutes of one-on-one conversation with your patients can be rewarding. It is easier to see how they are improving and establish a sense of trust as their nurse. Although you may not do this every day, it is best to create a routine and stick to it.
How Can Nurses Improve Their Communication Skills
Improving communication among nurses is possible. To do this, nurses like you practice patience and become better listeners. When you listen, you don’t offer one ear but both. Keep in mind that you are working with other nurses who are also busy. Listening to each other is crucial to providing better services to patients.
You can also avoid communication conflict when you practice active listening. Active listening is repeating the key points of the conversation to the speaker. So, make it a habit to listen to your coworkers and improve your listening skills.
Another way to avoid miscommunication among nurses is not to interrupt the speaker. This could be helpful during endorsements at the end of the shift. Allow the person to finish talking first before asking questions.
Keep in mind that even the slightest cues can determine the condition of patients. Resist the urge to ask questions whenever someone is talking.
As a nurse, you must also learn to maintain a positive attitude. Remember, happiness is contagious! Your positive outlook can also affect your coworkers and even your patients.
When things get a little serious, be sure to keep your emotions in check. Your nurse training taught you to remain professional and courteous during conversations. No matter how angry or upset you are, keep it cool.
Be aware that your emotions can affect others and your ability to communicate at work. When you do so, miscommunication among nurses will not happen.
Communication is an essential part of patient care, and when this is done accordingly, it is nurses can work together effectively. If you feel like you or your coworkers are missing out on proper communication, take the step to address this issue. It will surely help your team and other hospital staff to do better as you provide nursing care to your patients.
6 Key Points in Nailing Your Travel Nurse Interview
Are you interested in working as a travel nurse? Nailing your travel nurse interview is the key to your success! But how can you do that? What are the critical points in answering an interview for this position?
1. Conduct your research about the healthcare facility.
The first thing you must do is research the company, health care facility, or clinic interested in working as a travel nurse. For a potential employer to be interested in you, you must also show them that you share the same sentiment.
Reading about the facility before the interview helps you know the kind of nursing services they offer. It will also give you an idea of what they are known for (ex., if they specialize in treating cancer patients, care for the elderly, etc.) and if your skills match what they are looking for. It is also essential for nailing your travel nurse interview on your first try.
2. Get a grip on what travel nursing is.
As a nurse, your primary concern is to take care of patients. However, as a travel nurse, your contract is a bit different. Your first travel nurse job may vary from the usual staff nurse duties. Having a broad understanding of what this job is about can help you nail that interview.
For your first interview, you must show your ability to organize and prioritize tasks even with few instructions. Your ability to adjust to different settings and willingness to float is essential to let your future company know.
3. Ask your travel nursing agency for help.
Use your travel nurse agency if you want to pass the interview on your first try. A good travel nursing agency will help you go through the process of your initial onboarding . They can walk you through what you need to know and how you can answer the health care company or facility correctly.
Your recruiter is familiar with the clients, personalities, and even the staff. They can fill you in with that, so it is easier for you to answer questions. It is also your recruiter’s job to act as your career coach. They can help you create a better resume and even schedule mock interviews. This way, you are fully prepared for the travel nursing interview.
4. Create an ideal interview setup.
Understand that there will be times when the interview for your travel nursing job will not be face-to-face. Of course, there will be instances when you will be asked to come for an interview. But most of the time, it could be via video chat, phone, or video apps like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet.
Whether you are asked to come for a face-to-face interview or video call, you must wear clothes suitable for the interview. Wearing appropriate attire for this interview is a must. The right clothes help, of course. Keep in mind that you are a professional, so you also have to dress to impress. It will also show how confident you are.
If, by chance, you are asked to do a video call for an interview, make sure to check your setup. Ensuring that your mic is working correctly, the audio is good, lighting is enough to light your face, the internet connection is excellent, and your camera is working correctly are essential in helping you land that job.
5. Be ready to answer their questions.
During the interview, make sure to take the time before answering the question. Ask your travel nursing agency if they can give you an idea of the questions that companies usually ask potential nurses. Since they know the clients better, agencies can provide you with some tips on what is expected during the interview. Here are some common yet essential questions that potential clients will ask you:
Why do you want to be a travel nurse? – this is the part where you can “sell” yourself about your interest in becoming a travel nurse. Show your excitement and eagerness in this field, and why you chose this path, they might consider you for the job.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a travel nurse or a nurse in general? – if you decide to answer this question with a weakness, make sure to follow it with your strengths. Be sure to emphasize this strength and tell them how this has helped you in your career as a nurse.
How are you in your current nursing position? – reflect on your current work status, your education, and credentials. Tell them if you have any plans for additional education or certifications in the future.
Can you share or describe an experience where you have handled a difficult patient? – in this question, share any experience that you may have when it comes to handling unruly patients. Did you have a good experience? If yes, explain how it went and what you learned from that experience.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask your questions as well.
An interview is not a one-way street between you and your potential employers . It would be best if you also asked questions to show them that you are genuine in your interest in working as a travel nurse.
It is always good to be ready with your questions once you set foot in the interview room. Your questions will help you determine if this is indeed a suitable travel nursing contract to pursue or not.
What are the most common questions you can ask your potential employer? Here’s what we have gathered:
What is your policy or policies regarding floating?
Do you use any type(s) of charting?
What kind of onboarding or orientation would be available to me?
How long does onboard briefing take?
Can you describe the culture of the unit/management?
What shifts are available, and what are your scheduling methods?
Is call available? If yes, is it required?
What are your overtime policies?
Do you frequently offer extensions for contract assignments?
Why are you bringing in travel nurses?
Why do you continue to bring in travel nurses?
What are the nurse-to-patient ratios?
Do you require a patient ratio?
You can also add your questions to our list. If you don’t have any in mind yet, this would be a great way to engage with the potential employer.
Being a travel nurse is ideal for nurses who want to avoid hospital politics and enjoy working and exploring in different locations. If this sounds like you, it would be best to contact a travel nurse agency for an assignment.
Before you sign a contract, an interview is conducted to see if you fit the position. Coming in ready and confident for the job is a must. Hopefully, our post gave you an idea of what to expect during the interview. So, break a leg and nail that job interview! Good luck!
Communication with friends, family, and coworkers is crucial for success. It gets your message across to others and allows you to understand what others need and want. Without proper communication, personal progression is impossible. It’s just as necessary for the speaker to get the message across as it is for the listener to understand.
1. Non-Verbal Communication
Communication begins with nonverbal cues. How often have you looked at someone and known they were open to a conversation, or even that time someone seemed that they didn’t want to be bothered. The nonverbal cues are the first things we notice.
Nonverbal communication is used throughout a conversation; think about:
2. Active Listening
Listen to understand, not just to respond. Really think about that because often, when someone is talking, we are already thinking of a way to respond. This leads to missing the whole picture or the other person not feeling understood.
It’s good to repeat a portion of what the person is saying to ensure that the intent is clear and that there are no misunderstandings.
Not everyone is coming to you for a solution sometimes, people just want to be heard and understood, not told what to do in response.
3. Inspire Trust
Keep your word. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, no matter how small. People tend to remember you for your best actions and for how you didn’t follow through with what you said.
Be honest; don’t say you can if you can’t do something.
An excellent way to build honest trust is to be open with your flaws. Share your mistakes and show your vulnerability. We are all human.
This is important when speaking with management. You might not see them every day, but it is essential not to sugarcoat things and really talk about how you feel about the unit environment.
4. Cultural awareness makes better nursing communication
People come from all walks of life, even your coworkers and managers. Don’t judge them on what they do. Don’t be ignorant, be open. Instead of judging, ask to learn about the things you don’t understand.
5. Verbal Communication
Verbal communication is the most important. It’s the primary way we get our message across.
Know what you are going to say and why. Is it going to be a serious conversation with a manager, or are you just catching up with a friend?
The most important thing to remember is to just talk to people. Talk to your coworkers and make them more than just a body to help you with turns. Share with them things about you and your stories, and ask them questions.
Do you want to learn how to communicate better as a nurse? Click on the full episode here 👇
00:00 Intro 01:12 Episode Introduction 02:43 I. Non-Verbal Communication 07:13 II. Active Listening 12:37 III. Inspire Trust 16:51 IV. Cultural Awareness 27:03 V. Verbal Communication 33:49 Wrapping up the episode
Becoming a successful nursing student does not happen overnight. It takes time, practice, and of course, dedication. To become a successful nursing student, you must have discipline and apply it every day.
Be a Successful Nursing Student
Do you want to graduate on time? Of course, you do! Do you aim to be one of the best nurses in the field? If you answered yes, you must start developing good habits early on in nursing school. Here are the habits of successful nursing students.
Time management is the key.
One of the most crucial keys to passing nursing school with ease is to manage your time efficiently. Whether you are working on your BSN, MSN, or ADN, you must know how to balance time and make it work. To do this, you must break your day into blocks and decide what activity or school work fits where.. Know how much time you need for each activity so that you can manage your time more closely and allow for non-nursing-related things.
Your schoolwork takes most of your time; tests, exams, papers, assignments, reports, clinical – all of these require a lot of dedicated time. The best action to take is to plan around your study hours and remove anything that could block or affect your focus and time to study.
Study smarter, not harder.
Some people can miss a lecture and still ace an exam, but in nursing school, you must focus on each topic and understand how it is applied in the healthcare setting. Keep in mind that nursing exams are not always A or B, it may seem as if there are multiple correct answers but always think about the priority. Plus, some questions can even be selected all that apply.
When studying it is good to memorize content but also understand its function and learn how it pertains to a certain situation. Think of nursing as cause and effect, if one thing happens how does it affect the rest?
Now don’t get frustrated with the exams if you don’t always pass them. When you find yourself in a tough situation always remember to change or add a study method to study more effectively. . How can you do it?
For one, You have to know which subjects give you the hardest time or what areas take you the longest to learn. Don’t just study the same material for hours; instead, divide them. Let’s say you have allotted four hours of studying.
You can separate each hour into one subject that way you can study multiple areas and it may help you understand how each concept affects another. . It will be a lot easier for you to understand the topic.
Avoid having distractions. Stay away from things that are not part of your studies. Turn off your phone for a few hours or put it on silent mode. This way you won’t get distracted by a text or social media.
Review your notes before you go to class. See if you have retained anything from the last lecture. Try practice tests too, this will help sharpen your test-taking skills and help you remember questions when you take the actual exam.
Lastly, give yourself enough time to study. As a student, you must learn how to estimate the time it takes to understand a topic, finish a report, or complete an assignment. It will also help you open up room for some free time.
Keep your focus.
Back in the day, social media and smartphones were not a thing, so they didn’t keep us distracted. When it’s time to study, you need to have your full attention on your notes and textbooks. Unfortunately studying rarely comes without any distractions.
While technology is helpful in many ways, it is also the source of major distraction. It is so easy to get off-track and be distracted by a text or social media, before you know it you’ve spent the 30 minutes on your phone.
Turn your focus back to what you are doing. Eliminate distractions by organizing your space. Turn off your phone or tv when you are studying. When you stay focused, you can finish quicker and have more time to do other things you want to do.
Join a study team.
Another good tip on how to study better is to join a group that you can learn with . You can also find a study partner if you prefer a one-on-one study buddy. One advantage of studying with a group is listening to different perspectives while discussing a subject or topic.
Learning how other people think and apply their knowledge helps you develop critical thinking and test-taking skills. Remember, critical thinking skills are developed in nursing school and are key to a nurse’s success. It will help you when it comes to taking exams and answering different types of questions. Joining a study group or team can help you with a lot of your struggles.
Develop a study strategy.
Be honest with yourself; do you prefer studying with others or by yourself? One of the good habits of a successful nursing student is to not only know how you like to study but also what time of the day you learn best.
Do you like staying up late? or do you prefer studying early in the morning? The truth is there is no correct time to review; it is all about personal preferences!
To be successful with your study habits, create a calendar to determine the hours of studying. If you do not plan your time, it’s easy to get sidetracked because the majority of things take longer than expected.
The best plan to have is to block out study time during your most productive hours, this way you are setting yourself up for success.
Reward yourself, as you should.
I’m not going to lie; nursing school is hard work. I have been there, and I know how it goes! So when you have done everything you needed, reward yourself . Get ice cream or a froyo. Buy those shoes you have been eyeing for a while – in short, you deserve a reward for studying long hours and for keeping yourself from distractions. Get into the habit of doing something nice for yourself after all that stress. You deserve it!
You Can Do It
Yes, nursing school is not an easy path, but if others made it, so can you! You can do it, you too can become a full-fledged nurse, but to be one of the best, you must start early. Developing these habits of a successful nursing student will guide you through, not only a nursing school but through life. Start planning your way up to the top today; good luck!