12 Nursing Assistant Skills: Definition and Examples

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Published September 1, 2022

The nursing assistant role is vital to the nursing team. They provide basic patient care and support, under the supervision of a registered nurse. There are 12 key skills that nursing assistants need to master to be successful in their role. These skills are: 1. Communication 2. Patient Assessment 3. Patient Care 4. Infection Control 5. Documentation 6. Medication Administration 7. Vital Signs 8. Blood Pressure 9. Temperature 10. Glucose 11. Respiration 12. Weight

Create your resume
Select from 7 professional resume templates

Nursing Assistant Skills


Communication is the process of sending and receiving messages. It is important for nursing assistants to be able to communicate effectively in order to provide quality patient care.

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are the skills that allow you to interact with other people. They include communication, empathy, and problem-solving. As a nursing assistant, you will need these skills to be able to effectively communicate with patients and their families, understand their needs, and help resolve any issues they may be having.

Organizational skills

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

Time management

Time management is the ability to plan, organize, and prioritize one's time in order to achieve specific goals. It is a critical skill for nursing assistants, who must often juggle multiple tasks and deadlines. Good time management can help nursing assistants to be more efficient and productive, and to avoid burnout.


Documentation is a critical skill for nursing assistants. It is important to document everything that happens during a shift, including vital signs, changes in condition, medications administered, and anything else that may be relevant. This information is essential for providing continuity of care and ensuring that the patient receives the best possible care.

Infection control

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

Patient assessment

Patient assessment is the process of gathering information about a patient's medical history, current symptoms, and overall health. This information is used to develop a plan of care and determine the best course of treatment.

Personal care

Personal care is the process of providing basic care and hygiene for another person. This can include tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and using the restroom. It is important for nursing assistants to have good personal care skills in order to provide quality care for their patients.

Medication administration

Medication administration is the process of giving medication to a patient. This skill is important for nursing assistants because they may be responsible for administering medication to patients.


A nursing assistant needs to have a basic understanding of nutrition so that they can provide their patients with the proper diet and nutrition. They need to be able to understand the different nutrients and how they benefit the body, as well as be able to identify signs of malnutrition.

Restorative care

Restorative care is a type of nursing care that helps people regain their independence after an illness or injury. This type of care can help people regain their strength, mobility, and ability to perform activities of daily living.


Rehabilitation is the process of helping a person to recover from an injury or illness. It can involve physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy. A nursing assistant may need to provide rehabilitation services to patients who are recovering from a surgery, stroke, or other medical condition.

How to improve nursing assistant skills

As a nursing assistant, you play a vital role in the healthcare team. Your responsibilities are important in providing quality patient care. In order to be an effective nursing assistant, you need to possess certain skills. These skills can be improved with practice and by learning new techniques.

One of the most important skills for a nursing assistant is communication. You need to be able to communicate effectively with patients, families, and other members of the healthcare team. This includes being able to listen attentively and understand what is being said. It is also important to be able to express yourself clearly. When communicating with patients, it is important to use language that they will be able to understand. Another important aspect of communication is documentation. As a nursing assistant, you will be responsible for documenting patients’ vital signs, symptoms, and other information. This documentation needs to be accurate and complete in order to provide the best possible care for the patient.

Another essential skill for nursing assistants is critical thinking. This means being able to assess a situation and make decisions based on what is best for the patient. For example, if a patient is having difficulty breathing, you need to be able to quickly assess the situation and decide whether or not to call for help or start CPR. Critical thinking also involves being able to recognize when something is wrong and taking action accordingly. For example, if you notice that a patient’s skin color is abnormal or they are having difficulty speaking, you should notify the nurse immediately.

In addition to communication and critical thinking skills, nursing assistants also need to have excellent organizational skills. This includes being able to keep track of multiple tasks at one time and prioritize them based on importance. For example, if you are caring for multiple patients at once, you need to be able to keep track of each patient’s individual needs and make sure that they are all being met in a timely manner. Organizational skills are also important when it comes to stocking supplies and keeping the nurses’ station organized and clean.

Finally, nursing assistants need to have good physical stamina and strength. This job requires standing for long periods of time and lifting patients who may weigh a significant amount. It is also important to be able physically demanding tasks such as moving patients from their bed into a wheelchair or helping them walk around the unit. Good physical stamina helps prevent injuries and ensures that you are able to perform your job duties effectively.

By possessing these essential skills, nursing assistants can provide quality patient care and play an important role on the healthcare team.

How to highlight nursing assistant skills

In order to highlight your skills as a Nursing Assistant, you should first consider what skills you have that would be beneficial in the role. For example, if you have experience caring for elderly patients, this would be a valuable skill to highlight. You should also highlight any experience you have in providing personal care, such as bathing and dressing patients. If you have experience with wound care or other medical procedures, be sure to mention this as well. Finally, emphasize your compassionate nature and your ability to provide emotional support to patients and their families.

On a resume

As a nursing assistant, you will want to highlight your skills on your resume. You will want to include your clinical skills, as well as your ability to work with patients. You should also include your ability to communicate with patients and their families.

In a cover letter

When highlighting your skills as a Nursing Assistant in a cover letter, be sure to include your experience in providing direct patient care, as well as your ability to perform vital signs and other nursing assessments. Also mention your experience in providing medication and treatments, and your ability to document patient care. Finally, emphasize your excellent communication and interpersonal skills, which are essential in working with patients and their families.

During an interview

In order to highlight your skills as a nursing assistant during an interview, you should first assess what the interviewer is looking for. Are they looking for someone with experience in a particular area? If so, be sure to mention your experience in that area. If they are looking for someone with good people skills, be sure to give examples of times when you have provided excellent patient care. Whatever the case may be, be sure to tailor your answer to the specific needs of the interviewer.