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Nurse Practitioner Skills List

Take time to review the most important skills and requirements needed to become a nurse practitioner.

About Nurse Practitioner Jobs

A nurse practitioner is a nurse with a postgraduate education in nursing and is considered a mid-level practitioner. Becoming a nurse practitioner requires preparation through advanced didactic and clinical education, along with specific nursing knowledge and education. Generally speaking, NPs manage acute and chronic medical conditions through prevention methods, physical exams, and by ordering a variety of diagnostic tests.

Nurse practitioners must possess a wide variety of personal and technical skills. Between colleagues and patients, you are constantly interacting with a diverse population of people. As a result, your ability to communicate as a nurse practitioner is imperative for success. In addition to communicating effectively, a nurse practitioner needs to also demonstrate compassion, confidence, and endurance among many other personal qualities and characteristics.

The environment in which a nurse practitioner works will determine which specific medical skills are required. Between general nursing, surgery, orthopedics, dermatology, and many other fields, the amount and variety of skills an NP might possess can seem overwhelming.

How to Use Skills Checklists

The purpose of a skills list such as this one is to help you with your job search. These essential skills can be used in your resume and even cover letter when discussing prior work experience. Once you lock down that interview, you can also use this skills checklist as a guide for different talking points. You may use this list to simply audit your current skillset, by recognizing your current strengths and pointing out areas of weakness. 

Standard Nurse Practitioner Skills

  • Collect patient health history
  • Conduct physical exam
  • Critical Thinking
  • Vital Sign Monitoring
  • Automatic External Defibrillator
  • Portable EKG Monitor
  • Pain Assessment / Management
  • Organizational Skills
  • Order Diagnostic Procedures
  • Order Diagnostic Tests
  • Interpret Clinical Findings
  • Time Management Skills
  • Listening Skills
  • Develop Differential Diagnoses
  • Develop Health Care Problems List
  • Implement Plan for patient
  • Communication Skills
  • Arrange referrals
  • Prescribe Specific Medications
  • Prescribe Specific Therapeutic Interventions
  • Collaborative Skills
  • Authorize - Coordinate Admission/Discharge
  • Coordinates Medical Follow-up
  • Develop Health Promotion Plan
  • Implement Illness Prevention Plan
  • Develop Injury Prevention Plan
  • Provide Patient Education & Counseling
  • Provide Immunizations
  • Documentation to Established Standards
  • Participate in Quality Assurance Activities
  • Participate in Audit Activities
  • Participate in Risk Management Activities
  • Participate in Research Activities
  • Policy & Procedure Development
  • Promote Evidence Based Practice