Personal characteristics and skills required (adult nursing)

This page has information on the personal characteristics and skills needed for adult nursing. 

You'll be responsible for a number of patients, each with different needs so you'll be highly organised, flexible and able to prioritise effectively. A good adult nurse is also highly observant, able to assess patients and take responsibility for determining the best course of action for them. 

Nurse with patient

On a daily basis you will use a broad range of skills, including: 

  • listening and communication 
  • caring 
  • judgement 
  • teaching and advising 
  • counselling 
  • managing

Communication and interpersonal skills are also very important, as you will need to reassure or advise patients and their relatives or carers – sometimes in situations that they may find difficult to cope with. 

Values and behaviours

If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. 

Find out more about the NHS values

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