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12 Practical Nurse Skills: Definition and Examples

Practical nurses provide care to patients in a variety of settings. They must have strong communication and organizational skills. In addition, practical nurses must be able to assess patients, provide treatments and medications, and educate patients and their families on health and wellness.

Practical Nurse Resume Example
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Practical Nurse Skills


Practical nurses need excellent communication skills in order to effectively communicate with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals. They must be able to clearly and concisely explain medical procedures and treatments, as well as provide emotional support to patients and their families.


Documentation is a critical skill for practical nurses, as it is essential for communicating patient care information to other members of the healthcare team. Good documentation can help to ensure that patients receive the best possible care, and can also help to protect nurses from liability in the event of a patient safety incident.

Patient assessment

Patient assessment is the process of gathering information about a patient's health condition in order to determine the best course of treatment. This skill is important for practical nurses because it allows them to collect the necessary data to make informed decisions about their patients' care.

Nursing care planning

Practical nurses need to be able to develop care plans for their patients. This skill is important because it allows practical nurses to individualize care for each patient and to ensure that all of the patient's needs are being met.

Medication administration

The skill of medication administration is the ability to safely and effectively administer medications to patients. This skill is essential for practical nurses, as they are often responsible for administering medications to patients under their care. Medication administration requires a knowledge of different types of medications, their effects, and how to properly administer them. It also requires the ability to assess a patient's condition and respond accordingly if there are any adverse reactions.

IV therapy

IV therapy is a type of treatment that involves delivering medication or other fluids directly into the veins of a patient. This can be done for a variety of reasons, including to provide hydration, to deliver medications, or to provide nutrition.

Wound care

Wound care is the process of caring for a wound, which is an injury to the body that involves the skin or other tissues. It includes cleaning the wound, removing debris, and protecting it from further damage. Wound care is important because it helps to prevent infection and promote healing.

Patient education

Patient education is the process of providing information to patients about their health condition, treatment options, and self-care. It is important because it helps patients make informed decisions about their health care and enables them to take an active role in their own care.

Infection control

Infection control is a set of practices used to prevent the spread of infection. It is important for practical nurses to be familiar with these practices in order to protect their patients and themselves from potential harm.

Time management

Time management is the ability to use your time effectively and efficiently. It is important for practical nurses to be good at time management so that they can provide quality care to their patients while also meeting deadlines.


The ability to prioritize is an important skill for practical nurses. This is because practical nurses often have to juggle multiple tasks and patients at the same time. Prioritizing helps ensure that the most important tasks are completed first and that patients receive the care they need in a timely manner.

Emotional stability

Emotional stability is the ability to remain calm and level-headed in stressful or difficult situations. It is an important skill for practical nurses because they often work with patients who are experiencing a great deal of physical and emotional stress. Practical nurses must be able to maintain their own composure in order to provide care and support to their patients.

How to improve practical nurse skills

Practical nurses play an important role in providing care to patients and families. They are responsible for a wide range of tasks, from taking vital signs and administering medications to providing emotional support and teaching patients about their health. To be successful, practical nurses need a strong foundation in both clinical and communication skills.

Clinical skills are the bread and butter of practical nursing. These skills include basic nursing interventions such as taking vital signs, administering medications, and performing wound care. In addition, practical nurses must be able to assess patients for changes in their condition and make appropriate decisions about when to escalate care or call for help. To hone their clinical skills, practical nurses should take advantage of opportunities to shadow experienced nurses, participate in simulation labs, and attend continuing education classes.

Communication skills are just as important as clinical skills for practical nurses. Practical nurses must be able to effectively communicate with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team. This includes being able to explain complex medical concepts in layman’s terms, providing emotional support, and advocating for patients’ needs. Strong communication skills can be developed through practice, so practical nurses should make a conscious effort to improve their communication skills by participating in activities such as role-playing exercises and attending workshops on effective communication.

By focusing on both clinical and communication skills, practical nurses can become more well-rounded caregivers who are better equipped to meet the needs of their patients.

How to highlight practical nurse skills

If you are a practical nurse, you may be wondering how to best highlight your skills on your resume. Here are some tips: -Include a section on your resume titled "Skills" or "Skills and Qualifications." -In this section, list any relevant skills you have that would make you a good practical nurse. These might include things like experience with wound care, experience caring for patients with chronic illnesses, or experience working in a fast-paced environment. -Make sure to include specific examples of when you have used these skills. For instance, if you say you have experience with wound care, describe a time when you had to care for a patient with a wound. -If you have any certification in areas related to practical nursing, be sure to mention this in this section as well.

On a resume

In order to highlight your skills as a Practical Nurse on your resume, you should include your experience in the field, as well as any relevant education or training. You should also highlight any special skills or qualifications that you have that make you a good fit for the position.

In a cover letter

When writing a cover letter as a Practical Nurse, be sure to highlight your skills and experience in the field. Include any relevant clinical experience you have, as well as any specialties or areas of expertise. Be sure to mention your licensure and certification, as well as any continuing education courses you have taken. If you have any experience working with specific populations or in certain settings, be sure to mention that as well.

During an interview

Be sure to highlight your skills as a Practical Nurse during your interview. You may want to focus on your ability to provide care for patients, your knowledge of the nursing process, and your ability to work well with other members of the healthcare team. Be sure to provide specific examples of how you have used these skills in your previous roles.