12 Skills Every Nursing Student Should Learn

photo @lunit.io

Let’s not beat around the bush; nursing school is hard work, and it’s going to take a lot of grit and determination to stick to your studies and complete your degree.

Nursing school courses are also some of the few vocational programs where you don’t need (or get) much time off, which means teaching yourself some self-study habits early on is essential.

While there are many, many skills that it’s tempting to think of as essential to nursing students; sometimes, it’s not what you know but how you know it that counts.

photo @Care-o-Bot 4 @Phoenix Design

What Makes A Good Nursing Student?

Well, first of all, being a good nurse is about being a whole person. You have to be able to do more than just what you are good at. It’s not just about being able to do the tests on the boards – it’s also about doing them well.

There are different types of tests that you can take to gain your final nursing credentials; some simply require you to do the very basics, whilst others are more demanding and require skill and expertise of an advanced level.

Whatever type of test you give yourself, make sure it’s something you can do well.

Developing Your Skills For Nursing School

There are a lot of things that you need to know and learn to become a nurse. You might feel intimidated or lose confidence when you consider what’s required of you, but it doesn’t have to be scary; if your goal is to study nursing school, you must remember there is such a thing as fun when it comes to learning!

The best way for you to make the transition from everyday life into the classroom is by finding ways to enjoy your studies and developing some skills that will keep your brain in high gear.

Leadership Skills

Nursing school demands that you act as a competent, compassionate caregiver at all times, but what’s even more important than that is your ability to take charge.

You will be expected to act as a leader for at least part of your clinical rotation; it’s not easy, but it’s something that any good nurse should be able to manage.

Study Skills

The confidence you need to keep pushing forward with your studies will come from knowing that you are doing everything possible to succeed.

Study skills like time management can make the difference between passing and failing; it doesn’t matter what kind of person you are – every student needs good study habits to excel.

You’ll also need study skills if you decide to take your nursing studies further, such as taking a Doctor of Nursing Practice doctorate program.

photo @Aktiia

Problem-Solving Skills

College life demands that you can solve problems on your own. You will receive guidance and mentoring from instructors, professors and tutors, but the final responsibility to get things right lie with you. If something has gone wrong, do you have the ability to figure out how to fix it?

You might think that problem-solving skills are just something that comes naturally, but this isn’t true. A lot of people believe they are good at solving problems – until the problem is right in front of them.

Personal Skills

Speaking of being in front of a problem – sometimes, what stands between doing well in nursing school is your ability to be patient with others.

Learning to control your emotions and being able to explain yourself will come in handy when you’re having a disagreement with an instructor or need to explain yourself when you’re sick.


Interpersonal and Professional Skills

A lot of students forget that there’s a difference between being an effective nurse and being the kind of nurse that employers or colleagues would want to work with.

You will have colleagues, classmates, partners, families and managers who all have opinions about how you should act. Learning to understand your worth as a student is not just about grades – it’s about being able to meet people whilst having the confidence in yourself not to take others’ opinions too seriously.


You’ll be busy. You will learn a lot. You might even make mistakes and feel like you’re failing. But waiting and waiting and waiting for the perfect opportunity to ‘show off’ won’t help you – patience means not getting frustrated.

It means knowing that there is no chance of success without hard work, effort and dedication on your part.


Speaking of hard work: it’s easy to be cheap when it comes to time or money as a student nurse.

You could spend money on public transport rather than paying the fees for your student nurse card, and you could try to cram classes into your calendar without taking care of yourself, but this kind of behavior proves that you are only in it for yourself – no matter what kind of job you want to do when you’re done with school, there is no honesty in cheapness.

Let’s face it: nursing school is hard. You will find it difficult at times, but that doesn’t mean that anything can beat you down! Sometimes, learning how to be honest with yourself means identifying the things in your life that need a little work and a lot more practice.

photo @Occuity at @medica tradefair 2021

Critical Thinking

Nursing school is a process of lifelong learning. The get the best out of nursing school, you need to learn how to think for yourself.

It might take a while, but this is the best way to make sure you’ll be able to solve any problem that might come your way in the real world.

Teamwork Skills

If you want to make it far as a nurse, you will need to develop the skills that will enable you to work with others. Sometimes, this means making smart decisions with people who are smarter than you; sometimes, it means getting your hands dirty.

Nursing isn’t about being an island; it’s about using your best talents to contribute to a team effort.

Planning Skills

Nursing school isn’t just about studying and taking tests. It’s about setting goals – both for yourself and for others! For your exam results to be the best they can be, you need to work with your instructor to build a plan that will lead you up to your best chance of success.

Organizational Skills

When it comes time for nursing school, you’ll need to know how to set up a files system for yourself and organize your schoolwork. The more organized you are, the easier it will be for you and your classmates to follow through on projects, assignments and recommendations. You can’t be an effective nurse unless you know how to keep a handle on things.

Employability Skills

You might want a job as a nurse after medical school – but you’ll need to make sure that the kind of nursing career you want requires the skills that come with a degree from nursing school.

@Coburg Training Center muscle models at @Medica 2021

A Love Of Learning

Nursing is never boring. There are always new things to learn, problems to solve and challenges to conquer.

Some nursing schools even offer classes in things like wine appreciation and tattoo culture. Though this might not be what you’re looking for in the fun department, nursing school does provide opportunities to gain new skills and learning experiences that can add a lot of value to your life.

A Love Of Medicine

Everyone is different, but if you find yourself in nursing school without a great deal of enthusiasm for medicine – it might be time to reexamine your priorities.

A love of medicine is the cornerstone of every nurse’s professional and personal life. You might need to work hard at keeping up an interest in reading medical journals, joining your local practice and keeping up with health news in general.

photo @intin.kr

Making Nursing School Fun

Yes, there are times when it will be better not to go out and party; but there are also times when it doesn’t matter if you don’t go out and party- the thing that matters is that you’re studying well and working hard!

Don’t let your friends stop you from studying; if they respect that you’re busy, they’ll understand.

If you enjoy nursing school – that’s great! If you study just to pass the time – that’s okay, too.

If being in nursing school doesn’t feel good, though, it’s time to find a new focus for your energy. Sometimes, the key to finding something that does feel good is knowing what things in your life can improve their quality and working with those things to make healthy change happen.

How To Be The Most Successful Student Nurse

Learn how to be a vital member of your nursing school team. You might be on an intensive care unit, working with a few other students, or you might be on a ward with hundreds of others. Regardless of the situation, you’ll have people to work with – and you can learn from them all!

These are just some ways to be that student nurse that everyone wants to work with is possible.

Make sure that your patients are in the best possible care by focusing on your skills, which means not just passing them around so they can be used by someone else.

Be aware of how you communicate with your teachers and classmates. If you know how to listen carefully to feedback, give appropriate feedback in return and accept where you need improvement, you’ll have the edge over the other students in your class.

photos @mebster