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12 Registered Nurse Skills: Definition and Examples

A registered nurse (RN) is a nurse who has completed an accredited nursing program and passed a national licensing exam. RNs are the largest group of health care professionals in the United States. There are many different types of RNs, each with their own unique set of skills. The 12 skills that all RNs should possess are: critical thinking, communication, empathy, teamwork, problem-solving, flexibility, time management, physical stamina, emotional stability, attention to detail, multitasking, and stress management.

Registered Nurse Resume Example
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Registered Nurse Skills

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make a judgement based on that analysis. As a registered nurse, you will need this skill in order to make decisions about patient care.

Problem solving

Registered nurses need strong problem-solving skills to be able to quickly and effectively identify and treat patients’ health problems. They must be able to think on their feet and make decisions in fast-paced, stressful situations. Good problem-solving skills are essential for registered nurses who want to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Patient advocacy

Patient advocacy is the act of speaking up for patients' rights and best interests. Nurses need this skill to ensure that their patients receive the best possible care and to protect them from harm.


Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common goal. It is an important skill for registered nurses because they often have to work with other health care professionals in order to provide care for patients.


Registered nurses need strong communication skills in order to effectively interact with patients, families, and other members of the healthcare team. They need to be able to clearly and concisely explain medical procedures and provide instructions for follow-up care. Additionally, they need to be able to listen attentively to patients in order to accurately assess their needs and concerns.


Documentation is a critical skill for registered nurses. Good documentation can help to ensure that patients receive the best possible care, and it can also help to protect nurses from liability. Documentation also helps to create a record of care that can be used for research or quality improvement purposes.

Time management

Time management is a skill that is needed in order to be an effective registered nurse. This is because registered nurses have to juggle a lot of tasks and responsibilities throughout the day. They need to be able to prioritize their tasks, so that they can get everything done in a timely manner.

Stress management

Stress management is a set of techniques and practices that can help a person to deal with stress. It can involve relaxation techniques, lifestyle changes, and counseling. Stress management can help to reduce the symptoms of stress and improve overall health.

Infection control

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

Medication administration

The skill of medication administration is the ability to safely and effectively administer medications to patients. This skill is necessary in order to ensure that patients receive the correct medication, in the correct dose, and at the correct time. Medication errors can have serious consequences, so it is important for nurses to be able to competently administer medications.

IV therapy

IV therapy is a type of treatment that involves delivering medication or other fluids directly into the bloodstream through an IV. This can be done for a variety of reasons, including to provide hydration, to deliver medications or nutrients, or to treat an underlying medical condition.

Wound care

Wound care is the process of caring for a wound, which is an injury to the body that breaks the skin or other tissues. Wounds can be caused by surgery, trauma, or diseases such as diabetes or cancer. Proper wound care is important to prevent infection and promote healing.

How to improve registered nurse skills

There is no one answer to the question of how best to improve registered nurse skills. However, there are a number of ways in which nurses can continue to develop their skills throughout their careers. One way to improve registered nurse skills is by continuing education. Nurses can take advantage of continuing education opportunities offered by their employers, professional organizations, or online. By pursuing continued education, nurses can stay up-to-date on the latest evidence-based practices and learn new techniques that can help them provide better patient care.

Another way to improve registered nurse skills is by seeking out opportunities for professional development. Professional development opportunities can include attending conferences or workshops, participating in online learning modules, or shadowing more experienced nurses. These activities can help nurses learn new information and gain new insights into best practices for patient care.

In addition to continuing education and professional development, nurses can also improve their skills by staying current on changes in the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and new technologies and treatments are constantly being developed. By keeping up with these changes, nurses can ensure that they are providing the best possible care to their patients.

Finally, one of the best ways to improve registered nurse skills is simply by taking good care of oneself. Nurses work long hours and often have very demanding schedules. It is important for nurses to take care of themselves physically and emotionally in order to be able to provide the best possible care to their patients. When nurses are well-rested and have a positive outlook on life, they are more likely to be able to provide high-quality patient care.

How to highlight registered nurse skills

If you're a registered nurse, you have a lot of skills that can be useful in a variety of settings. Here are some tips for highlighting your skills: -Talk about your experience in different settings. Whether you've worked in a hospital, clinic, or home health care, you have valuable experience that can be transferable to other settings. -Highlight your ability to work with different types of patients. Registered nurses have the skills to work with all types of patients, from those who are healthy to those who are critically ill. -Mention your education and training. As a registered nurse, you have completed an accredited nursing program and have passed the NCLEX exam. This shows that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality care. -Talk about your bedside manner. Registered nurses are known for their compassionate care and ability to build rapport with patients and families. By highlighting your skills as a registered nurse, you will show potential employers that you are a well-rounded and experienced professional who is capable of providing excellent care.

On a resume

In order to highlight your skills as a Registered Nurse on your resume, you should include your experience in the field, as well as any specialties you may have. You should also list any awards or recognition you have received for your work. Additionally, you can highlight any relevant coursework or training you have completed.

In a cover letter

In your cover letter, be sure to highlight your skills as a Registered Nurse. Include your experience working in a hospital setting, as well as any specialties you may have. Be sure to detail your ability to provide excellent patient care, and how you are able to work well under pressure.

During an interview

When interviewing for a position as a registered nurse, be sure to highlight your skills and experience in the field. Discuss your clinical experience, and how you have helped patients in the past. Describe your bedside manner, and how you work to ensure that each patient receives the best possible care. Be sure to mention any awards or recognition you have received, and how your nursing practice has positively impacted the lives of those you have cared for.