4 Surprising Skills You Didn’t Know Nurses Needed

To be a nurse requires a high degree of medical knowledge, procedural expertise, compassion, and the desire to help others. Nurses work long, odd hours and require compassion and bedside manner. There are other skills nurses need, however, that aren’t so obvious. Here are 4 of those skills:

Computer & Technology

The medical world has become highly digital and nurses now need to be technologically savvy in order to manage electronic patient records and prescriptions. Many doctors offices and hospitals now use tablets in place of paperwork, and nurses must learn how to translate their care and precision in caring for patients into an electronic format.

Technical Writing

Whether on a tablet or by hand, nurses do a lot of writing. Besides documenting patient outcomes, communicating with other healthcare professionals, and recording important data for later use, nurses who intend to continue their education also need to do an enormous amount of academic writing. Skillfulness in both professional and academic writing is an asset both during a nurse’s education and in the profession.

Physical Stamina

Nursing is a profession not just mentally and emotionally taxing but physically demanding, as well. Nurses must be fit to lift and transport patients, respond quickly to emergency calls and situations and move from patient to patient throughout the day. In fact, nurses may walk 4 to 5 miles on any given shift. Nurses have the physical stamina to provide committed, hands-on care to many patients throughout a twelve-hour shift.


The medical field is constantly evolving and a nurse must be at the ready to adapt to advancements in both medicine and technology. If a more effective course of treatment in the care of a disease is discovered, for example, a nurse must be willing and able to let go of old tradition and learn the knowledge and skills necessary to master this new task. The technological diagnostic tools that a nurse uses will often change over the course of just a few years. The role of the nurse itself is fluid, as well. As nurses are held accountable for more, and more complex, responsibilities in medicine, a high degree of adaptability is essential in successfully fulfilling the duties of the nurse.

Nursing is a profession that requires an incredible number of skills and abilities, which is what makes the nurses we see every day some of the most highly skilled and knowledgeable people in the workforce. The skills required to take care of patients can be surprising, but they are all necessary.

Are you interested in nursing as a career? Check out some Medidex articles about nursing and medical careers:

Simon Greenberg

Simon is a health tech enthusiast who believes information technology can bring major improvements in healthcare cost and quality. He is currently working on ways to improve how we can connect and interact with our healthcare system. You can find him on and .

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