Top 10 Nursing Student Skills: What It Takes to Conquer an Accelerated BSN Program

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Key nursing student skills include interpersonal communication, a passion for nursing, dedication, efficiency, teamwork, humility, comfort working with patients and the ability to handle high-stress environments. Other practical nursing student skills include physical fitness and proficiency with technology.

Top 10 skills to excel in Nursing School

If you are considering going to nursing school, the question often comes to mind, do you have what it takes to succeed in an accelerated nursing program? At Averett University School of Nursing, we want to see our students graduate and succeed in their nursing aspirations. Reflecting on key nursing student skills can help you determine if you are ready to tackle nursing school.

Our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program gives students the opportunity to earn a BSN in as few as 16 months. This short timeline means you can finish your education and launch your new career sooner. However, it is important to understand the rigors that come with an accelerated BSN program.

Before beginning nursing school, look inside yourself and your strengths to determine if your personality and values fit with the challenges that come with an accelerated nursing education and a career in nursing. When you have passion for your studies and career goals, you will be able to stay motivated in challenging times. Reflecting on your personal traits, skills, and career goals will help you determine if nursing school is the right fit for you.

Now let’s go through the best 10 nursing student skills that we find useful for excelling in nursing school:

1. Interpersonal Communication Skills

Success in nursing school as well as in a career as a nurse is all about people. Every day, nurses talk with patients, families, doctors and other medical professionals. An ability to interact and communicate well with everyone you meet will serve you well as a nursing student.

When you are in nursing school, you will be interacting with patients and families in the health care environment. You will also need to communicate well with professors, classmates, and preceptors. Fostering meaningful working relationships with your peers will aid you in your skills and simulation labs as well as with group studying for your courses.

nursing students in skills lab

2. A Strong Passion for Nursing

Starting an accelerated nursing program can be difficult work, and you will be challenged as you learn new skills and study for exams. However, if a nursing career is a light at the end of the tunnel for you, then you can be assured that all the hard work is worth it.

In 10 or 20 years, do you see yourself working in the field of nursing, and does this bring you joy? If so, then remember that feeling, and hold it tight during nursing school. If you can wake up in the morning with a passion for patient care and being on the front lines of health care, then this will set you up to succeed in an ABSN program.

3. Dedication and Focus

Dedication will serve you well as you work through the Averett accelerated nursing program. The benefit of our program is you can earn a BSN in as few as 16 months. This does require commitment on your part to maintain focus and learn the material because you can expect to complete the same curriculum in the Averett ABSN program as you would in a traditional program.

The days can get long when you are managing online courses, skills and simulation labs and clinicals. It will help you if you can put in long hours and study even when you are tired. It will also be important to focus on school as your top priority. Be prepared to spend evenings and weekends on school rather than social events.

4. Efficiency with Learning

The pace of an ABSN program is fast, so the ability to learn quickly will help you stay on top of your courses. Efficiency is key to finding effective study methods. You want to make the most of your time so you can also have time for personal health and wellness. Learning to multitask and balance courses and other commitments will also help you do well in nursing school.

Students often have success with making schedules and having set times each day for studying and wellness activities. We are committed to our students’ success, and our success coaches are adept at helping students build an effective study plan and good time management skills.

nursing student sitting in class with notebook

5. Teamwork

Nursing is a collaborative field, and nursing school is as well. Being able to work together as a cohesive group to accomplish goals is essential to patient care. A patient’s care team is a unit made up of nurses, doctors, therapists, nursing aids, lab techs, and countless other members. You are all working toward the goal of caring for the patient, but each person has a unique role.

Nursing requires you to rely on and trust the people working alongside you. As a nursing student, you will use teamwork in the hospital with your preceptor and other clinical staff. You will also benefit from a similar mindset in all your work with classmates. You are all working toward the common goal of succeeding in your ABSN program, and you want to collaborate and help each other.

6. Comfort with Working with Patients

Being a nurse means that most of your time is spent with people who are sick or struggling with a medical problem. One of the key nursing student skills is maintaining a comfort level with blood, bodily fluids and other aspects of patient care.

The nurse is the go-to person during a patient’s hospital stay or clinic visit, so you should be prepared to be involved in all aspects of their care.

7. Humility with Learning and Asking for Feedback

Being in nursing school means you do not yet know everything. You are out of your depth, and you will probably feel like you are clueless when you start out. Be prepared to ask questions and seek guidance and feedback from mentors, instructors and preceptors.

Remember that everyone has been in your shoes, and they remember what it’s like to be new to nursing. Humility in seeking their advice will help you become the best possible nurse for your future patients.

Averett ABSN instructor working with students in skills lab

8. Ability to Handle High-Stress Situations

A patient can be fine one minute and then urgently ill the next. As a nursing student, you will need to think on your feet and keep a clear head when moments get intense. Rest assured that when you get started with clinical rotations, you will work closely with a preceptor, and we will ease you into responsibilities slowly.

When you become an experienced nurse, if your patient is in critical condition, that stressful time is when you are needed the most. Remembering your education and processes for managing these situations in the heat of the moment will help you succeed in health care as a student and as a nurse.

9. Physical Fitness

Being a nurse is physical work, and you will experience this when you begin rotating in health care facilities. In the hospital, you will help move patients, walk around the unit and hospital often, and be on your feet for many hours a day. Being physically fit can help prepare you for your career as a nurse.

Physical fitness is also key for mental health. Making exercise a priority can help you stay well and balanced during nursing school.

10. Proficiency with Computers

In our online-based ABSN program, computers will be your tool as you learn about the human body and how to care for patients. You will also use them in the hospitals and clinics to document patient care in the medical record. Computers will remain a central part of health care. Being comfortable and detail-oriented with computers will serve you well in nursing school and after you earn your BSN.

Do I Need to Have All These Skills Mastered Today?

At Averett, we are committed to helping you realize your dreams of earning your BSN. We don’t expect you to have all these nursing student skills mastered on day one of your accelerated nursing program.

As you go through our ABSN program, you will experience professional and personal growth. You will become stronger in your weak areas. Every student’s journey is unique, and we are here to guide you and shape you into an excellent nurse. Just remember that we will support you every step of the way.

averett nursing student examining a patient's ear

Reach Out to Learn More

If you have any questions about starting an accelerated BSN at Averett, reach out to us today. We are here to answer questions and help you get started with an ABSN.