12 Nurse Specialist Skills: Definition and Examples

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Published September 1, 2022

Nurse specialists are advanced practice nurses who have completed graduate-level education and training in a specific area of nursing. They use their specialized knowledge and skills to provide high-quality care for patients with complex health needs. The 12 nurse specialist skills are: 1. Assessment 2. Diagnosis 3. Planning 4. Intervention 5. Evaluation 6. Research 7. Teaching 8. Leadership 9. Consultation 10. Administration 11. Supervision 12. Collaboration

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Nurse Specialist Skills


The ability to effectively communicate with patients and families is essential for nurse specialists. They need to be able to explain complex medical information in a way that is easy to understand, and they need to be able to build relationships of trust with patients and families.

Critical care

Critical care is a branch of nursing that focuses on the care of patients who are critically ill or at risk for becoming critically ill. Critical care nurses provide care for patients in a variety of settings, including intensive care units, emergency departments, and operating rooms. They work closely with other members of the healthcare team to provide comprehensive care for their patients.


The ability to effectively communicate with children is an important skill for nurse specialists working in pediatrics. This includes being able to understand and respond to the child's needs, as well as explain procedures and treatments in age-appropriate language. Good communication skills can help build trust and rapport with patients and their families, which can lead to better outcomes.


The Neonatal Nurse Specialist Skill Set provides the skills and knowledge required to provide care for newborn infants and their families. This includes assessment, diagnosis, and management of neonatal health problems.


The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) defines oncology nursing as "the care of cancer patients and their families before, during, and after cancer treatment." As an oncology nurse, you will need to have a strong understanding of cancer biology and the various treatments available. You will also need to be able to provide emotional support to patients and their families.

Women's health

The ability to provide comprehensive care for women across the lifespan. This includes knowledge of reproductive anatomy and physiology, as well as common health concerns and issues specific to women.


The Geriatrics Nurse Specialist Skill Set provides the registered nurse with the knowledge and skills required to provide care for older adults. This includes assessment, diagnosis, and management of common problems associated with aging, such as frailty, falls, cognitive decline, and depression.

Emergency care

Emergency care is the provision of immediate medical treatment to someone who has suffered a sudden injury or illness. It can be provided by emergency medical services, such as ambulance crews and paramedics, or by other trained medical personnel, such as doctors and nurses.

Emergency care is vital in order to save lives and minimize the risk of further injury or illness. It is important for nurse specialists to have this skill in order to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Mental health

Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual is able to cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and make a contribution to his or her community. A nurse specialist in mental health is a professional who is specially trained to provide care and support to people with mental health problems.


Rehabilitation is the process of helping patients recover from injuries or illnesses. It can involve physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as other types of treatment. Nurses who specialize in rehabilitation help patients regain their strength and independence.

Home health

The home health nurse specialist skill is the ability to provide nursing care to patients in their homes. This includes assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of nursing care. Home health nurse specialists need this skill to be able to effectively care for patients in the home setting.


The Hospice Skill for Nurse Specialist is a certification that demonstrates a nurse's ability to provide care for terminally ill patients and their families. This certification is important because it shows that the nurse has the necessary skills to provide compassionate and competent care for this population.

How to improve nurse specialist skills

As the healthcare industry continues to grow and evolve, so too must the nurses who work within it. Nurse specialists play a vital role in providing high-quality patient care, and as such, their skills must be constantly updated and refined. There are many ways in which nurse specialists can improve their skills, but some of the most important include:

1. Pursuing continuing education opportunities: In order to keep up with the latest changes in healthcare, nurse specialists must pursue continuing education opportunities on a regular basis. This could involve taking courses, attending conferences or workshops, or even simply reading up on new developments in the field.

2. Staying up-to-date with technology: Technology is playing an increasingly important role in healthcare, and nurse specialists must make sure they are familiar with the latest tools and systems. This could involve attending training sessions on new software or equipment, or simply keeping up-to-date with the latest news and developments in healthcare technology.

3. Maintaining strong communication skills: Strong communication skills are essential for any nurse specialist, as they need to be able to effectively communicate with patients, families, and other members of the healthcare team. There are many ways to improve communication skills, including taking courses or attending workshops on effective communication techniques.

4. Developing strong clinical skills: As patient care becomes more complex, it is crucial for nurse specialists to have strong clinical skills. This could involve taking courses on specific diseases or conditions, or shadowing experienced clinicians in order to learn best practices.

5. Building a strong network: Networking is important for any professional, but it is especially crucial for nurse specialists. By building strong relationships with other nurses and healthcare professionals, nurse specialists can stay up-to-date on the latest developments in healthcare and share best practices.

How to highlight nurse specialist skills

If you're a nurse specialist, you have a lot to offer employers. Here's how to make sure your skills and experience stand out: 1. Start by creating a list of your key skills and experience. Include everything from patient care and assessment to teaching and leadership. 2. Highlight your most relevant skills and experience in your resume and cover letter. Be sure to tailor your materials to each employer's specific needs. 3. When you're interviewing, be prepared to discuss your skills and experience in detail. Be ready to give examples of how you've helped patients, led teams, and overcome challenges. 4. Don't forget to highlight your people skills! As a nurse specialist, you deal with patients, families, and staff on a daily basis. Employers will want to know that you're able to effectively communicate and build relationships.

On a resume

To highlight your skills as a Nurse Specialist on your resume, you should list your experience in the field, as well as any relevant education or certification you have. You should also highlight any specialties or areas of expertise you have. Be sure to list any awards or recognition you have received for your work as a Nurse Specialist.

In a cover letter

In your cover letter, be sure to highlight your skills as a Nurse Specialist. Include your experience working with patients, as well as your education and training in the field. Be sure to detail why you would be an asset to the team and how you can contribute to the organization.

During an interview

When interviewers ask about your nursing experience, be sure to highlight your skills as a nurse specialist. Emphasize your clinical expertise and focus on the specialty area in which you work. Describe how you use your skills to provide high-quality patient care. Be sure to give specific examples of how you have made a positive difference in the lives of your patients.