5 Ways Nurses Can Upskill Their Nursing Practice

The Vital Nursing Skills Every RN Should Have

Every day, Registered Nurses (RNs) work diligently to keep patients healthy, treat ailments, and prevent the spread of diseases.

This profession is multi-dimensional and for this reason, there are several skills that nurses must have in their back pockets at all times—some of which are vital to keeping their careers alive.

1 - Effective Communication

Effective communication is essential to function as a part of a multidisciplinary team. Evaluating a patient’s condition, formulating treatment plans, and interacting with the family all require good communication skills. Nurses must listen to the concerns of the patients carefully and stay aware of non-verbal cues. They should be mindful of the patient’s perspective and be able to pass it forward to the other members of the team so that shared decision-ma can be done. In times when patients are critically ill and lifesaving treatments are beings administered nurses should participate in closed-loop communication. This allows all the members of the team to be aware of the situation promptly and reduces the chance of error.

2 - Attention to Detail

Being detailed-oriented is important for nurses as the situations they handle can be matter of life and death. A nurse must be diligent in ensuring the dosage, route, and time of medication administration. On change of shift, they should go through the handoff in detail so that no aspect of patient care is missed. Nurses should keep track of the vital signs and should alarm the doctors of any new changes. For unconscious and nonverbal patients nurses should be mindful of signs that can suggest that the patient is uncomfortable or in pain so that changes can be made in management quickly. They should be scrupulously attentive to the doctor’s instructions, discuss the patient’s health, and plan what to do next.

"Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription." – Val Saintsbury

3 - Joining Professional Nursing Organization

Professional nursing organizations are a useful resource for nurses in terms of networking, professional development, advocacy, and education. This can help in maintaining practice proficiency and keeping professional knowledge up-to-date. This will also provide an opportunity to create communities of interest among nurses to share current information.

4 - Commitment to Learning

As things are changing rapidly and new diseases are being discovered with the formulation of complicated treatments; continuous learning plays an important role in this field. Hence, nurses must upskill their nursing practice by constantly learning new medications and advanced medical machines. Furthermore, research has proved that hospitals with more baccalaureate-prepared nurses have improved patient outcomes. Nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) tend to have more job prospects compared to those who do not. This is why continued education is extremely important for nurses to stay updated with new medical technology and maintain RN licensure.

5 - Flexibility and Adaptability

Being flexible and adaptable is one of the most important skills a nurse can acquire. As the situation in the health care system gets tough day by day, nurses must adapt to last-minute changing plans, schedules, and treatments of a patient regarding their conditions. Along with this, nurses must be mentally prepared for emergency cases, urgent need of medication, and rotational shifts/ward rounds.


As nursing is an immensely hardworking career path, where meeting multiple patients with complicated diseases can be extremely stressful. Therefore, a nurse should be prepared to tackle any situation that comes and for that constantly learning, good communication, being adaptive and flexible, having an eye for detail, and joining a professional nursing organization can surely upskill their nursing practice.