Effective Communication Skills Every Nurse Must Possess

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Nursing may not be one of the oldest professions out there, but it is undoubtedly one of the most esteemed and well-regarded ones. However, it wasn’t always this way. It has evolved immensely since its conception because of the likes of people such as Florence Nightingale and continues to grow to this day.

Nightingale, the daughter of a wealthy and aristocratic family, defied odds and entered a profession that was seen as lowly and revolutionized it entirely. So, while nursing may have evolved immensely over the years, some core tenants remain the same. Human dignity, altruism, honesty, and empathy are just a few of these core tenants that guide nursing as a profession.

However, one fundamental tenant is good communication. Much of the nurse’s work relies on effective communication, to which there are many layers. Nurses act as mediators between healthcare administration and doctors and the patients, ensuring that all parties are satisfied. If you’re looking to enter this profession, you need to have your communication skills on point. Below, we’ve listed the top communication skills each nurse needs to have.

Verbal communication

Verbal communication is the most well-known form of interaction and often the most stressed upon. Nurses need to be eloquent, clear, and precise when communicating with patients and medical staff members alike. Nurses need to know their audience and how they can communicate effectively and clearly. Ineffective communication can affect health outcomes severely, so it’s essential to keep the tone and words in check at all times. Nurses need to understand their patients and offer them help, even when the clients might be challenging to deal with.

Family nurse practitioners are some of the most valuable members of any medical setup. They cater to patients of all ages and generally have long-lasting relationships with their patients starting from childhood. With fnp online programs, nurses equip themselves with the verbal communication skills necessary to excel on the job. It can teach you how to get through to your patients and ensure the best patient outcomes.

Educating patients

A vital part of the nurse’s job is educating patients and familial caretakers on dealing with their condition. Nursing is about creating independence in the patients and allowing them to build greater self-efficacy with time. Nurses can’t be around patients all the time. Therefore, patients and other caretakers need to know how to care for the client daily.

Educating patients can include informing them of the diagnosis, treatment protocols, any complications, and things they need to take care of. Patient teach-back is an instrumental communication technique nurses can use to ensure patients remember all the care instructions. A landmark study shows that most patients forget about 80% of the medical practitioners’ information during appointments. Patient teach-back involves asking patients to repeat back information that nurses tell them. It can lead to better retention and can drastically improve patient outcomes.

Inspire personal connection

While effective communication and education are vital to ensure better treatment, what sets nurses apart from other health practitioners is the human element. Nurses often witness patients in their weakest moments. Many patients might have their mobility restricted and rely on nurses to perform even the most basic tasks. In such situations, having a friendly face around can do more good than you may imagine.

Nurses need to connect to their patients on a human level to provide them truly empathic care. When patients feel comfortable and relaxed in your presence, they are more likely to open up to you more. This means that they can share any uncomfortable symptoms they might be experiencing sooner, leading to better treatment. Furthermore, patients are more likely to trust your medical opinion and take your advice seriously with a comfortable relationship.  Inspiring a personal connection doesn’t have to be complicated. You need to open up a little about your personal life and have a comfortable, understanding air.

Cultural and social sensitivity

As globalization increases, it’s much more common to encounter various cultures around us. Nurses work with patients of all demographics, cultures, ages, and races. They must have the correct sensitivities to deal with each group. What might be okay for one culture may be a faux-pas in another, so it’s essential to know how to act socially.

Furthermore, you may encounter patients with limited mastery over English, so it’s vital to understand how to communicate effectively with them without being condescending. If you encounter Trans patients, it’s vital to use their preferred pronouns.

Overall, nurses must bring sensitivity and awareness to the room and help patients feel respected and understood. With high cultural and social sensitivity, you can relate better to your patients. They can be better disposed to comply with treatments. You can research different cultures before beginning treatments with patients to help you act acceptably. Even if you do slip up, it’s essential to recognize and own up to your mistakes. You can ask patients to help you if you struggle, which can strengthen the relationship too.

Presentation skills

Nurses don’t just work with patients, but with other nurses in the organization too. Furthermore, they play a vital role in communicating patient concerns to doctors and developing better treatment protocols. Nursing research has a tremendous influence on creating a better quality of life for patients. Research conducted by doctors focuses mainly on disease prevention and on prolonging the lifespan. While these are admirable achievements, for many people, a more extended lifespan can mean several issues.

Nurses help address these concerns and more and work towards better patient care at all stages of life. Presentation skills are essential for nurses to impart their knowledge to other healthcare practitioners for patient advocacy. They can explain and implement the latest research to enhance patient wellbeing. Presentation skills can also help during client hand-overs to other nurses and can be especially beneficial for nurse leaders.


Nurses who have mastered these communication skills can expect to work with various clients and healthcare organizations with ease. They can become reliable caretakers for their patients and valuable assets to the healthcare sector in no time. These communication skills allow nurses to ensure the best implementation of treatment protocols and create safe spaces for their clients. While the nursing profession will continue to evolve, these communication skills will remain vital tenants for years to come.

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