What Skills Are Needed For A Nurse?

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A nurse is trained to help people maintain and rebuild their health. To be able to do this effectively and well, a range of skills and competences are needed in addition to basic education.

In this article, we provide you with a skills description for a nurse, so you can learn more about what is required in the professional role.

What duties does a nurse have?

A nurse’s duties vary depending on the type of care facility she works at. Some examples of common duties are assessing patients’ health and determining the type of care needed and administering medications and providing treatment.

Nurses also document patients’ health conditions and treatments in medical records. They carry out treatments in the form of wound care, blood sampling and injections and measure and monitor patients’ vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate.

Nurses collaborate with doctors, physiotherapists and dieticians to provide patients with the best possible care. A large part of the job also involves providing support and advice to patients and their families during treatment, as well as explaining treatment plans and giving instructions to facilitate the patient’s recovery.

How do you become a nurse?

To be able to work as a nurse, a university education is required. The education is available at a number of colleges and universities around the country.

Basic eligibility

In order to apply for a nursing education, you need to have basic eligibility for university studies, which usually means that you have completed high school, or the equivalent, with passing grades.

Nursing program

The next step is to apply and be admitted to a nursing program at a college or university. The basic education is three years long and contains both theoretical and practical elements.


When you have completed the training and met all the requirements, it is time to take the exam to become a registered nurse. The identification gives you the right to work as a nurse in the country in which you have been educated.

Continuing education

After you have become a licensed nurse, you have the opportunity to further your education in various specialist areas or to take a master’s degree in the area.

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Competence Description For Nurse

As I said, nurses are responsible for planning and carrying out care and treatment of patients in different care environments. Here follows a more detailed competence description for what is required in the role of nurse.

Medical knowledge and technical competence

Nurses must have extensive medical knowledge and technical skills to perform their duties. This means knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, diagnostics and various treatment methods.


As a nurse, you must have excellent communication skills to be able to have a dialogue with patients, families and other care providers. You must be able to listen to patients’ concerns and questions, explain treatment options and give clear and unambiguous instructions.

Empathy and Compassion

A nurse needs to be able to show empathy and compassion for patients’ needs and feelings. A professional and empathetic approach helps patients feel comfortable and secure in the care.

Problem Solving

A nurse must be able to identify and solve problems that may arise in connection with a patient’s care. This can, for example, involve handling emergency situations and understanding complex treatment plans and changes in the patient’s condition.

Team Work

As a nurse, you must be able to collaborate effectively with other healthcare providers. Good collaboration skills help ensure smooth care for patients.

Ethnic Diversity And Cultural Awareness

A nurse should have a good understanding and respect for different cultures and backgrounds so that she can provide care that is culturally sensitive and effective.

Administration and Documentation

Nurses must be able to document patient information accurately and efficiently. They must also have a basic understanding of administrative processes, such as how to manage patient information and adhere to hospital guidelines.

Ethics and Professionalism

A nurse needs to act in a professional and ethical manner in all situations and follow the guidelines and rules that apply to the profession. They also need to show respect for patients’ privacy and self-determination.

Ability To Work Under Pressure

Healthcare is an environment with occasional high pressure, so it is necessary for a nurse to be able to handle stressful situations, make quick decisions and prioritize tasks.


Two other important competencies that a nurse should have are leadership and pedagogy. This is to promote nursing work and create the conditions for good and safe care and to be able to communicate with patients and relatives with different skills and needs.

As a nurse, you should be able to lead, organize, prioritize and coordinate the nursing work itself. Leadership also includes being able to motivate your employees and give them constructive feedback as well as opportunities and room for development.

In healthcare, it is also important to sometimes stop and reflect on ethical dilemmas or questions that may arise. This applies both to the individual and within the team. It is the nurse’s job to initiate and motivate these moments of reflection.


Since as a nurse you often lead educational and supervision activities for both patients, relatives, students and employees, the role requires that you have pedagogical competence. This includes planning, implementing and evaluating information and educating patients and their relatives to promote health and prevent ill-health.

Part of the job as a nurse is to supervise students and to support them through educational efforts in their ability to use their theoretical knowledge in practical working life in the meeting with patients and relatives.

What does a nurse get paid?

The salary for a nurse varies depending on factors such as experience, level of education, type of workplace. According to Statistics Norway, the average salary for a basic nurse is SEK 39,500 a month in Sweden.

Salary data is taken from the source indicated and reflects the data available at the time of writing. The salary may vary depending on the employer and geographical location as well as the applicant’s experience and educational background.

Nurses are today an incredibly important part of healthcare and it is expected that there will be a continued demand for their services in the future as well.

A competency description for a nurse may look different in the future as the profession continues to develop to meet tomorrow’s demands and challenges. Regardless of how the requirements for nurses will change, the profession has good future prospects.

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