Essential Skills for a Nurse Practitioner

Posted in Career Blog

When it comes to being successful as a nurse practitioner, there are four skills that you should possess. These are the skills that hiring managers often look for above all others, and they will likely dictate whether or not you are able to get a lucrative position with a large salary and benefits.

Practice Skills

A nurse practitioner can have various specialties just like a physician. You may choose to work in internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology or many other fields. You will need the skills necessary to excel in your chosen field which usually involves a solid understanding of the latest trends and treatments, an understanding of the laws and ethics as they apply to your specialty, and advanced knowledge of the various conditions that your patients will report. You will also be responsible for providing treatments and prescription medications under the physician for whom you work, so a good knowledge of how various medications and treatment options work is crucial.

Time Management Skills
Like doctors, nurse practitioners often have hectic work schedules that require them to see several patients per day. Aside from your standard caseload and scheduled appointments, you will also have to work in patients on an emergency basis. Depending upon the field in which you work, you may also be expected to work odd hours or be on call during certain days of the week. For example, if you work in obstetrics, you may be required to report to the hospital to evaluate a laboring patient and determine whether or not the doctor should be called. Essentially, you will be responsible for managing your own time as well as the time of the doctor for whom you work.

Teamwork Skills

In order to provide the best patient care possible in any situation, it is important that all of the people who provide care to the patient, including the nurse practitioner, work together. A nurse practitioner works directly with a physician to provide care to patients, so effective communication with that physician is incredibly important. You should feel confident enough in your abilities to make decisions on your own, but you should also be humble enough to ask the physician for assistance when making a tough diagnosis or creating the best treatment plan possible for a condition that can be difficult to manage.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills encompass a wide range of different things, including the ability to work well under pressure, handle emergencies with conviction, remain caring and empathetic to patients at all times, and retain the confidence necessary to provide adequate patient care. Essentially, these interpersonal skills should be present so that you can provide ample patient care when it comes to diagnosis and treatment, all the while making the patient feel as comfortable as possible.

A nurse practitioner’s job duties are many, and you will be responsible for the health and well-being of your patients on a daily basis. The skills listed here will help you in your career and allow you to care for all of your patients to the best of your ability.

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