5 Skills to Master While Earning Your Master’s Degree in Nursing

Since the healthcare industry is a growing one, getting a Master’s degree in nursing is a good bet for job security. This line of work is fulfilling, and it generally pays well. While earning your Master’s degree in nursing, be sure to conquer a few skills.

Resource: 30 Most Affordable Online Nursing Administration Degrees (MSN)

Five of the most helpful nursing skills include:

Communication

Communication is one of the most important nursing skills to master while you’re still studying because once you start your career, you’ll need to interact with patients, doctors and coworkers. Communication skills will allow you to provide complete patient care. While conquering your ability to communicate, pay particular attention to your listening skills. To be successful in this career, you must understand how a patient is feeling and what is ailing him or her. If you work in a hospital or clinic, your discussions with others will need to be direct, soft and polite. Consider learning more than one language because bilingual RNs usually earn a higher salary.

Patience

When you’re taking care of sick people, you’ll need to be patient and dedicated to their wellbeing. Ill people are generally anxious or frightened. They are also likely to misunderstand you and their doctors. Ailing people often have trouble paying attention. They may also need you to help them make medical decisions. With dedication and patience, you’ll be a powerful advocate for sick or hurt people at a time when they need the most help. By getting your Master’s degree in nursing, you’ll extend your knowledge in the field, and you may even learn new techniques for staying calm in stressful situations.

Critical Thinking

As your nursing experience grows, you’ll begin to identify the problems of a patient before his or her doctor arrives to provide an official diagnosis. With critical thinking, you’ll increase your self-sufficiency in the line of work. This will allow you to adjust to changing situations. In healthcare, a patient’s medical problems can often be resolved through several different channels. Critical thinking is vital for analyzing an issue to determine the best resolution. As a nurse, you’ll need to react quickly in high-pressure situations. By mastering the ability to think critically, you’ll have the skills to assess a situation to take the appropriate action.

Computer and Technology

For the last few decades, computer and technology have been useful skills to have in a nursing career, but today, these skills are required. In 2014, the federal government enacted the “meaningful use” of electronic healthcare records law. If medical facilities fail to comply, they lose Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. The need for technically savvy nurses has even created a hybrid career. This new career is called nursing informatics. General nurses do not need as many computer skills as those who work in nursing informatics, but make sure that you’re comfortable with basic computer operations and healthcare software. While working your way through your master’s program, be sure to focus on the technical side.

Detail Oriented

If you’re not naturally detail oriented, be sure to master this skill while getting your degree. In the field, you’ll need to be an agile thinker and able to remember minute details. Documenting medical reports and giving patients medication requires an attention to detail. You must listen carefully as a patient describes his or her symptoms while recording the information. You must also ask the proper follow-up questions to get an accurate report. Keep in mind that the slightest error could put a patient’s life in danger. It will also be up to you to follow the exact orders of a patient’s doctor, so make sure that you have the ability to take thorough notes.

By mastering these five nursing skills while you’re completing your education, you’ll be ready for the challenges of this complex and rewarding career. In addition, your master’s in nursing will give you the knowledge that you need to excel as a nurse.

Additional Resource: 30 Most Affordable Masters in Healthcare Administration Degree Programs 2015