No matter how much experience you have, keeping an up to date nursing resume is a task that all nurses have to do. A resume should be a polished, well-written brief on all the skills you can bring to a prospective employer. Unfortunately, too many people don’t know how to show off all of the value that they can bring to a hospital. We want to help you by taking you through the most valuable skills employers are looking for. As well, we will answer your most frequently asked questions so that you can make the perfect resume for nursing.

Best Soft Skills on a Nursing Resume

On most resumes, soft skills are often overlooked. However, soft skills are important for nurses because you need to know how to do your job in a stressful, fast-paced environment. Oftentimes, the soft skills you use when interacting with a patient are the ones that will make the largest impact on someone’s life. Hard skills can be taught over time, but the best soft nursing skills in resume building are far rarer traits, and just as valuable.

Many people make the mistake of listing soft skills, but not including relevant experience to back them up. When you list your soft skills, make sure that you include any relevant experience that showcases these vital skills. Anyone can say they have soft skills, but by including experiences to prove them, your employer will know that you are the right candidate for the job.


For all nurses, communicating information between your team and your patients is one of your most important jobs. Success in this area can make a large difference in care and healthcare outcomes. For this reason, a nurse with great communication skills is invaluable in the larger hospital environment. 

Attention to Detail

In the medical field, there can sometimes be no more important skill than attention to detail. When the health of a patient is on the line, you need to be able to bring 100% of your focus to your job for even the most routine care. Attention to detail is not only about how you do things, but it is also how you manage your many duties. Nurses need to be able to have great time management skills so that they can get each job done in a timely matter. 

Leadership and Teamwork

Leadership and teamwork are some of the most critical nursing skills on this list. Caring for patients is always a group effort. When a patient is injured, a nurse must be able to give or take orders as needed. Being able to slip in and out of these roles will help make you an important part of the hospital workspace.

Critical Thinking

Every patient and circumstance is different, so hospitals want nurses that have more than just nursing skills. Instead, they want nurses that can think on their feet and meet all of the challenges presented to them. For this reason, critical thinking is important when considering nurse skills for resume building. Being able to use and synthesize information quickly will make you an asset to any medical team caring for a patient. 


Patience is not just a virtue, it is a necessary soft skill for patient care. Patients and their families are usually stressed, and ugly reactions to bad news can be a normal part of your job. Management wants to know that you have the patience to deal with these challenges. So, for a registered nurse, having experience with keeping your cool is an important skill to have. 

Top Hard Skills for Nurses

Hard skills are just as important as soft skills. These are the skills that are going to allow you to take care of a patient and their medical needs. Obviously, the top hard skills for a nurse are going to vary on what kind of nursing position you are applying for. However, there are some hard skills every registered nurse will use, no matter the job they are applying for.

Language Skills

Maybe not the first skill you would think of, but language skills are always in demand. If you are fluent in another language, make sure to use that on your resume. Many patients you encounter will not be English speakers. So, being able to speak with them in their language will help you get the information you need for their care. This skill will also set you apart in the eyes of management as language skills are not an easy thing to teach or find in a nurse.

Emergency Care 

No matter where your job is or what your duties are, a nurse should always be ready to perform emergency care on a patient. Even if your work keeps you away from critical patients, you never know when you may have to assist in an emergency. For this reason, having experience in this area is a must for your nursing skills. 

Record Keeping

Record keeping is another under-appreciated skill that all nurses should have. Nurses need to be able to record medical information for a patient succinctly and accurately. Doing this well means that other caregivers are aware of your patient’s history, symptoms, and current medications. Keeping detailed records of patient care is invaluable for your colleagues and your patients. 

Technical Skills For Your Position

When applying for a nursing position, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you have all of the relevant technical skills required for this job. The other skills in our list are very important, but if you can’t handle the responsibilities that you are being hired for, then you won’t have much chance. Make sure to read the posting, and then show in your resume that you can do the tasks that they want you to do. 

Common FAQs About Nursing Skills For Resumes

Final Thoughts

Whether you like it or not, resumes are powerful documents that you can use to get the job you want. By highlighting the skills that make you an effective caregiver, co-worker, and leader, you can turn your aspirations into a career. Also, make sure to use all the information you have about the position to fine-tune your resume. Leave no doubt that you are the best candidate for this job. By doing this, you can start a fulfilling career as a registered nurse, and start to make a difference in the lives of your patients.