Unlocking Your Nursing Potential in Australia:
Top Skills That Make a Difference

See also: Compassion

Nurses make up the largest clinical workforce in Australia. Without them, the country’s healthcare system simply couldn’t operate effectively. Every day, more than 365,000 nurses and midwives are looking after patients across the Australian continent, and demand continues to grow.

While nursing is both a calling and a crisis-resistant career, there are a few skills that can help you take your nursing career to the next level. Here is a closer look at five game-changing skills that can make the difference between an acceptable or a highly lucrative and rewarding nursing career.

Essential Skills for Nurses to Earn Well

Nursing may often be referred to as a single field, but it is more than that. Within nursing, there is a range of specializations available for practitioners who are happy to add to their basic qualifications. They’re rewarded with more variety in their day job as well as receiving a bigger paycheck. Granted, money isn’t everything when it comes to choosing the right nursing career for you.

However, understanding which specialties pay more than others can help you choose if you’re still undecided. At the time of writing, certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) were the highest-paid nurses in Australia. CRNAs earned between AU$ 77,000 and AU$ 258,000 per year, with an average salary of AU$ 104,000.

Their relatively high salary is a reflection of the skills and knowledge required to work alongside anesthetists during surgical and other medical procedures. It’s also related to the fact that CRNAs need to study for a master’s degree in nursing, among other qualifications, and gain experience in their field.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNs) and nurse educators are following closely behind CRNAs with an average annual salary of AU$ 103,000 and just over AU$ 102,000, respectively. Both of these specializations require a master’s degree and experience to qualify for top jobs.

But specialist nursing skills are not the only qualifications and qualities that healthcare providers are looking for in nursing staff. Take a look at the non-technical skills below. Developing your command of those can make as much of a difference as picking a high-paying nursing specialty.

Critical Thinking Skills

To be successful, nurses in Australia need to be able to think on their feet and make judgments about patient care quickly and reliably.

In most hospital scenarios, nurses will be given instructions by doctors relating to medication and care. But nurses tend to spend more time with individual patients and are therefore better able to assess how patients are responding to their treatments. Critical thinking involves assessing whether the treatment is working or if an alternative needs to be considered.

Not every treatment can be well-planned. For example, when a patient becomes acutely ill or has an allergic reaction nurses need to make quick decisions. Keeping calm and thinking clearly in these high-stress situations is essential for top nurses.

Information Technology and Analytical Skills

Dressing wounds or giving IVs is no longer enough for leading nurses in Australia. Modern healthcare providers expect their nursing staff to use information technology such as patient management systems and apply analytical skills during day-to-day patient care.

In short, unlocking the potential of your nursing career requires a commitment to lifelong learning, within the realms of medicine and patient care as well as beyond those. Top nurses constantly analyze their patients’ care, applying the skills they learned in college or at university to real-life scenarios in front of them. Analytical thinking skills help nurses develop and ask the right questions to gain a better insight into patient needs, allowing them to deliver better care.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

What’s your bedside manner like? Some of the most successful nurses are kind, but they also know how to stand up for themselves. Hospital environments can make for high-stress workplaces, and not everyone is cut out for those.

Leading nurses have learned to strike the right balance between being confident and assertive while also having great listening skills. Both are equally critical for effective patient care. In addition, connecting to patients and their families like this allows nurses to gather information and insights they may not otherwise have gained access to.

Having strong communication and interpersonal skills allows nurses in Australia to keep patients and their loved ones feeling informed, cared for, and safe. As a result, the healthcare provider’s reputation benefits.

Moreover, the same skills allow nurses to build trust within their teams. Clear communications between team members make handovers between shifts easy, increase morale, and lead to better patient outcomes.

Problem-Solving Skills and Creativity

Creativity may not be the first skill you think of when we’re talking about nursing careers. But take another look at the profession and what it means to be creative. According to Psychology Today, creativity is the “ability to discover new and original ideas, connections, and solutions to problems.

Creativity is not restricted to artistic occupations. Anyone needing to solve problems in their line of work needs to be creative. Finding solutions to accommodate complex patient care requirements and overcoming problems during patient recovery requires innovative thought.

The same problem-solving skills also help resolve workplace conflicts. Hospitals expect nurses to collaborate with their fellow nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals from the moment they set foot in the building. However, because many healthcare environments can be prone to high-stress situations, it’s not uncommon for tempers to flare.

Excellent nurses know how to calm their colleagues, patients, and others down, paving the way for constructive solutions that benefit everyone’s physical and mental well-being.

The Next Step

Are you ready to take your nursing career to the next level? Or are you just getting started in the medical field? In either case, take some time to identify the skills you think will help you unlock the next level of your career. Once you know what these skills are, it’s easier to look for courses, and support materials, or even team up with colleagues to work on achieving your potential within the medical field. The opportunities are right in front of you!

About the Author

This article was written by the Medshop Editor - Medshop is a leading medical supplier, servicing the Australasian region with an unbeatable range of medical supplies and a drive to exceed consumer needs.