12 Nurse Extern Skills: Definition and Examples

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Published September 1, 2022

Nurse externs are new graduate nurses who are in their first year of practice. They possess the clinical skills and knowledge to provide direct patient care, but may not have the experience to work independently. The following 12 skills are essential for nurse externs: 1. Patient assessment 2. Patient education 3. Medication administration 4. IV insertion 5. Phlebotomy 6. Wound care 7. Documentation 8. Time management 9. Communication 10. Critical thinking 11. Teamwork 12. Stress management

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Nurse Extern Skills


Communication is the process of sharing information between two or more people. It is a key skill for nurse externs, who must be able to effectively communicate with patients, families, and other members of the healthcare team. Good communication skills can help externs build rapport with patients, understand their needs, and provide them with high-quality care.

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are the ability to communicate and interact with others. As a nurse extern, you will need to be able to effectively communicate with patients, families, and other healthcare providers. Good interpersonal skills can help you build relationships, provide quality patient care, and resolve conflict.

Organizational skills

Organizational skills are important for nurse externs because they need to be able to keep track of patients, medications, and other important information.

Time management

Time management is the ability to use your time wisely, so that you can get more done in less time. This is an important skill for nurse externs because they often have a lot of tasks to complete in a short amount of time. By learning how to manage their time wisely, they can make sure that they complete all of their tasks and have some time left over for themselves.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make a judgement based on that analysis. As a nurse extern, you will need to be able to critically think in order to provide the best possible care for your patients.

Nursing process

The nursing process is a systematic, evidence-based approach to patient care that is used by nurses to individualize care for each patient. This skill is important because it helps nurses to assess patients' needs, plan and implement care, and evaluate the effectiveness of that care.

Patient assessment

Patient assessment is the process of gathering information about a patient's medical history, current condition, and symptoms. This information is used to develop a plan of care for the patient.


Documentation is the process of recording patient care information. It is important to document patient care in order to provide a record of the care that was provided, as well as to communicate information to other members of the healthcare team.

Medication administration

The ability to administer medication safely and effectively is a critical skill for nurse externs. This skill is needed to ensure that patients receive the correct medication and dose, and that they do not experience any adverse effects from the medication.

IV therapy

IV therapy is the administration of fluids and medications through a vein. It is a common treatment for patients who are dehydrated or need medication that cannot be taken orally.


Phlebotomy is the process of drawing blood from a patient. This skill is needed in order to collect blood samples for testing, transfusions, or donations.

Patient education

Patient education is the process of providing information to patients about their health condition, treatment options, and self-care. It is important for nurses to be able to provide patient education because it can help patients better understand their health condition, make informed decisions about their treatment, and improve their overall health.

How to improve nurse extern skills

Nurse externs are new graduate nurses who have completed their nursing program and are working in a hospital to gain experience. They are usually paired with a preceptor, an experienced nurse who can help them learn the ropes and improve their skills. Here are some ways to help nurse externs improve their skills:

1. Encourage them to ask questions. Asking questions is a great way to learn, and no question is too small or silly. Externs should feel comfortable asking their preceptor or other experienced nurses any questions they have.

2. Help them develop a strong foundation of clinical knowledge. One way to do this is by providing them with resources, such as textbooks, articles, and websites. They should also be encouraged to attend educational events, such as grand rounds or conferences.

3. Teach them how to think like a nurse. This includes critical thinking skills, such as how to assess a patient and make decisions about their care. Externs should also be taught how to document their findings and communicate with other members of the healthcare team.

4. Show them how to be a professional nurse. This includes learning how to interact with patients and families, as well as other healthcare providers. Externs should also be taught about the importance of maintaining confidentiality and following hospital policies and procedures.

5. Help them understand the importance of self-care. Being a nurse is demanding, both physically and emotionally. Externs should be taught about the importance of taking care of themselves, both in terms of physical health (e.g., getting enough rest, eating healthy) and mental health (e

How to highlight nurse extern skills

As a nurse extern, you will be working closely with patients and providing them with care. It is important to highlight your skills and abilities so that you can provide the best care possible. Here are some ways to highlight your skills as a nurse extern: -Be a good listener: This is one of the most important skills you can have as a nurse. Patients will often times tell you things that they may not tell their doctor. It is important to be able to listen to what they are saying and understand their needs. -Be patient: This is another important skill to have when working with patients. They may not always understand what you are saying or doing and it is important to be patient with them. -Be compassionate: This is one of the most important qualities you can have as a nurse. Patients are going through a tough time and need someone who cares about them and their situation.

On a resume

In order to highlight your skills as a Nurse Extern on a resume, you should list your experience in the field, as well as any relevant coursework or training. You should also highlight any special skills or qualifications that you have, such as CPR certification or experience with a particular type of medical equipment. Finally, be sure to list any awards or recognition that you have received for your work as a Nurse Extern.

In a cover letter

In your cover letter, be sure to highlight your skills as a Nurse Extern. Include your clinical rotation experiences and how they have prepared you for the role of a Nurse Extern. Discuss your patient interaction skills and how you are able to provide compassionate care. Also, mention your organizational skills and how you are able to keep a clinical area running smoothly. Finally, talk about your ability to work well under pressure and how you are able to think on your feet in fast-paced environments.

During an interview

You should highlight your skills as a Nurse Extern during your interview by discussing your clinical experience, your education, and your professional goals. Clinical experience is an important part of becoming a nurse, and you should discuss any relevant experience you have in your interview. Your education is also important, and you should discuss any relevant coursework or training you have completed. Finally, you should discuss your professional goals and how becoming a Nurse Extern would help you achieve those goals.