12 Nurse Practitioner Skills: Definition and Examples

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Published September 1, 2022

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice registered nurses who provide primary and specialty health care services. They must possess a wide range of skills to provide high-quality patient care. This article provides an overview of 12 essential NP skills, including their definitions and how they are used to improve patient outcomes.

Create your resume
Select from 7 professional resume templates

Nurse Practitioner Skills


Communication is the process of exchanging information between two or more people. It is the foundation of all human interaction and is essential to the nurse practitioner role. Good communication skills are necessary to build rapport with patients, understand their needs, and provide them with high-quality care.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make a judgement. It is important for nurse practitioners because they need to be able to quickly assess a patient's condition and make decisions about treatment.

Problem solving

Problem solving is a skill that is essential for nurse practitioners. They need to be able to identify problems and then find solutions to those problems. This skill is important because it helps nurse practitioners provide better care for their patients.

Organizational skills

Organizational skills are important for nurse practitioners because they need to be able to keep track of patients, medications, and appointments. They also need to be able to communicate effectively with other members of the healthcare team.

Time management

Time management is a critical skill for nurse practitioners. With the demands of patient care, it is essential to be able to manage one's time effectively in order to provide quality care.


Patience is the ability to remain calm and collected in difficult or challenging situations. As a nurse practitioner, you will often be working with patients who are experiencing a great deal of stress and anxiety. It is important to be able to remain patient with them, so that you can provide them with the best possible care.


Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It is a vital skill for nurse practitioners, who must be able to connect with their patients on an emotional level in order to provide the best possible care. Empathy allows nurse practitioners to really understand what their patients are going through and to provide the support they need.


Compassion is the ability to empathize with another person's suffering and to feel a desire to help them. It is an important quality for nurse practitioners, who often work with patients who are experiencing pain, illness, or stress. Compassion can help nurse practitioners to understand their patients' experiences and provide them with the care and support they need.

Attention to detail

As a nurse practitioner, you will be responsible for providing high-quality patient care. This means paying attention to detail in order to make sure that each patient receives the best possible care. This skill is important because it can help you to catch errors and provide the best possible care for your patients.

Strong work ethic

A strong work ethic is a key skill for nurse practitioners. It is important to be able to work hard and be dedicated to your patients and your career. This skill can help you succeed in your role and advance in your career.

Ability to multitask

The ability to multitask is an important skill for nurse practitioners because they often have to juggle multiple patients, tasks, and responsibilities at the same time. This can be challenging, but it is important to be able to handle multiple demands simultaneously in order to provide the best care possible for patients.


Flexibility is the ability to adapt to change. As a nurse practitioner, you will need to be flexible in order to deal with the constantly changing needs of your patients. You will also need to be flexible in your own schedule, as you may need to work odd hours or on short notice.

How to improve nurse practitioner skills

As the healthcare landscape continues to change, so too must the way that nurse practitioners (NPs) approach their work. In order to provide the best possible care for patients, NPs must be constantly learning and improving their skills. Here are a few ways that NPs can improve their skills:

1. Stay up-to-date on the latest evidence-based guidelines. As new research is published, NPs should make sure they are familiar with the latest evidence-based guidelines for care. This way, they can be sure they are providing the most up-to-date and effective care for their patients.

2. Use technology to your advantage. There are a number of great tools and resources available online that can help NPs improve their skills. Utilizing these resources can help NPs stay current on the latest information and developments in healthcare.

3. Attend continuing education courses and conferences. Continuing education courses and conferences offer great opportunities for NPs to learn new information and network with other professionals. These events can also be a great way to stay motivated and inspired in one’s career.

4. Seek out mentorship and coaching. Find a mentor or coach who can help you grow and develop as an NP. This person can offer guidance, support, and advice when it comes to improving your skills as an NP.

5. Be open to feedback. It can be difficult to hear constructive feedback, but it is important to be open to it nonetheless. Feedback can help NPs identify areas in which they need to improve. By being open to feedback, NPs can continuously work on honing their skills and becoming better practitioners overall.

How to highlight nurse practitioner skills

As a nurse practitioner, you have a lot to offer potential employers. Here are some tips for highlighting your skills: -First, think about what skills and qualities you bring to the table. Are you patient and compassionate? Do you have excellent communication skills? Make a list of your top qualities. -Next, highlight these qualities in your resume and cover letter. If you have experience as a nurse practitioner, be sure to mention specific instances where you utilized these skills. -Finally, during interviews, be prepared to give examples of times when you utilized your skills to provide excellent patient care. By showcasing your skills and abilities, you’ll be sure to impress potential employers and land the job you want.

On a resume

As a Nurse Practitioner, you will want to highlight your skills in patient care, diagnostics, and treatments. You should list any experience you have in these areas, as well as any relevant coursework or certification. Be sure to include any awards or recognition you have received for your work as a Nurse Practitioner.

In a cover letter

When writing a cover letter as a Nurse Practitioner, it is important to highlight your skills and qualifications. Begin by introducing yourself and explaining why you are interested in the position. Then, list your relevant skills and experience, including your clinical experience and any research or publications you have authored. Be sure to tailor your letter to the specific position you are applying for, and conclude by thanking the reader for their time and consideration.

During an interview

As a Nurse Practitioner, you will be responsible for providing primary and specialty care. During your interview, be sure to highlight your skills in patient assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning, as well as your experience in prescribing medications and providing patient education. Also be sure to discuss your ability to work independently and as part of a healthcare team.