What are the Soft Skills in Nursing?

Posted On January 22,2021

While nurses are expected to acquire the necessary skills needed to deliver patient care through their training and schooling, the most successful nurses also possess other, less tangible skills. These very important skills are known as soft skills. These are non-academic in nature and are typically defined as the areas of emotional intelligence, such as communication, professionalism, self-awareness, and leadership qualities.

Smiling nursing student standing in a medical office.

Why are Soft Skills Important in Healthcare?

Most people have likely heard the term “good bedside manner” and that basically refers to healthcare workers who have mastered the art of these soft skills. Nurses and healthcare professionals often deal with patients during difficult and emotional circumstances, so the best nurses help patients remain calm. They do this by staying calm themselves and maintaining professionalism while interacting with patients and their families. Patients respond better to nurses who understand the importance of soft skills and seem to have a higher level of trust and confidence in their abilities.

What are the Soft Skills in Nursing?

If you’re interested in a healthcare career, it’s never too early to start focusing on improving the essential soft skills that will greatly benefit you in your nursing career. 

  • Communication

As a nurse, it’s really important that you’re able to listen, comprehend, and give instructions to patients and caregivers. Good communication skills are a must. Nurses need to ask questions respectfully and carefully listen to patient responses in order to obtain vital and accurate information needed for an assessment. As a nurse you will also provide critical information to other healthcare professionals and staff who are treating the patient. Failure to effectively communicate just isn’t an option in the healthcare field.

  • Critical Thinking

Nurses need to be able to think fast in a fast-paced environment, so the ability to make critical, potentially life-saving decisions in a stressful environment is an extremely important soft skill to own in the healthcare field. 

  • Compassion

Since nurses work directly with patients, having compassion and empathy is extremely important while providing care. Many patients feel scared and they are in pain and feeling very vulnerable, so being able to comfort them when they need it the most will help make them feel less anxious and more receptive to taking your advice.

  • Professionalism

Nurses are required to uphold certain standards as the work they perform directly affects the patient experience. These standards are based on academic knowledge, societal values, and ethics. They not only maintain the integrity of the nursing profession, but also help to foster trust and confidence between nurses and their patients while providing quality care.

  • Teamwork

Nurses rarely work alone, so those who understand the importance of working together as a team to accomplish a shared goal will go much farther than those who don’t work well with others. Long shifts, emotional ups and downs, and stressful situations are much easier to deal with when you’re supported by a team-and they’ll be counting on your support too. 

Are you Interested in a Career in Healthcare?

A successful nursing career is not only defined by a degree, but also in the ability to use soft skills to provide the best possible patient care. While you’ll learn the clinical skills necessary to perform your job, it’s important that you also develop and sharpen the soft skills you need to be your best. If you’re interested in training for a rewarding and fulfilling nursing career, contact Athena Career Academy for more information. If you’re motivated and passionate about caring for others and making a difference, you likely already possess some of the soft skills necessary to make an excellent future nurse.