What Is a Nursing Skills Checklist?
According to the National Library of Medicine, a nursing skills checklist provides you with a basic outline of what an excellent nurse should and shouldn’t do in order to perform their job well.
For nurses and healthcare professionals, the nursing skills checklist can be used as a measure for career growth. The checklist can also help them keep track of the skills they have attained and the ones that need improvement. They can also use it as a reference when applying for jobs or other professional positions.
For seasoned healthcare professionals, a nursing skill assessment checklist can serve as an assessment tool. For example, if you’re looking to move up in your hospital’s hierarchy or if you want to get into a nursing specialization, this checklist will help you identify what skills need improvement before you apply for those positions.
A nursing skill assessment checklist will also help you figure out which ones are more important for your advancement than others based on their level of difficulty (and therefore the amount of time spent studying).
The checklist is also useful for those who want to become nurses but aren’t currently working toward that goal yet because they don’t know what they need to learn first. This nursing skill assessment checklist will help guide them on their path toward becoming a nurse by showing them which areas they need to cover fist.
What Are The Nursing Skills A Nurse Should Have?
The table below are among the clinical skills needed for a nurse to perform at their optimal levels. These skills should be included in your printable nursing skills competency checklist:
- Competence in performing physical assessment and health screening
- Competence in providing care to patients with acute illnesses and injuries (e.g., trauma, heart attack)
- Competence in providing care to patients with chronic illnesses (e.g., diabetes mellitus, asthma)
- Competence in providing preventive health care counseling for individuals and families
- Competence in assisting physicians with procedures and diagnostic tests
What Are The Nursing Skills To Include In A Competency Checklist?
A printable nursing skills competency checklist can vary depending on what are the nursing skills needed for the department the nurses are in, but all checklists should include the following:
- A nurse’s personal profile and medical history, including the patient’s current medications, dosages, past medical conditions, surgeries, and hospitalizations.
- Assessment of a nurse’ complete skills in all medical areas, including the fields of neurological, cardiopulmonary and genitourinary interventions.
- Certifications to demonstrate competence in a given scope within one’s nursing specialty (e.g., pediatric or geriatric).
In this article, the following points are explained:
What are the skills to assess in an RN nursing skills checklist?
In a Forbes report, it was shown that nurses need to regularly assess and improve their skills to make sure that their patients are being treated properly, and they can grow their career in the right direction.
Here are some of the skills to include in an RN nursing skills checklist to assess a nurse’s competence:
- Ability to give physical care and comfort to patients, including handling of equipment and instruments.
- Knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the patient’s body systems, including all major organs and their functions.
- Ability to assess patients’ conditions, including taking vital signs (blood pressure, pulse rate), measuring height/weight, checking for wounds or other injuries, assessing breathing patterns by listening with a stethoscope or observing chest movements, and many more.
- Other basic tasks a nurse should master include: checking skin color/temperature; observing eye color/movement; palpating lymph nodes; monitoring urine output; listening to lung sounds using a stethoscope; taking pulses at various points on the body; checking reflexes (stimulating nerve endings with light touch); testing gait (walking).
- Ability to interpret test results such as blood tests, X-rays, CT scans, MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), EKGs (Electrocardiograms), EEGs (Electroencephalographs) etc…
- The ability to make decisions about difficult problems and situations, often with incomplete information, in a timely manner.
- The capacity to write and speak numbers fluently, compute accurately in a wide range of complex scenarios, and estimate quickly the amount that will be needed or wanted at any given time.
- Knowledge of leadership, management, and the capacity of nursing supervisors and managers to plan their work effectively; delegate tasks among their employees efficiently; and coordinate the work of several departments within an organization (such as nurses) .
- Ability to motivate workers toward shared goals; resolve conflicts between coworkers when necessary; enforce safety regulations on equipment use based on scientific evidence provided by medical professionals such as doctors or pharmacists who specialize in this field.
How do you make the most comprehensive RN nursing skills checklist?
It’s one thing to have a checklist, but it’s another thing to have a great one. Here are some tips on how to make the most accurate nursing skills checklist for your nursing career or hospital department:
1. A nursing checklist should be comprehensive, and the best way to ensure that all the required items are included is to use a template. A template can help you check off all of the items on your checklist, make sure they are in the correct order, and make sure that nothing has been left out or misordered.
2. When creating a nursing checklist template, it is important to make sure that each item on your list has been fully researched before including it. This will allow you to avoid any errors or confusion in your final product, whether in the clinical area or department (e.g., medical-surgical, pediatrics) or specialty areas of practice (e.g., critical care).
3. It should include the most common skills that nurses need to know in order to provide quality care. These skills should be divided into sections by level of training and responsibility, so that a nurse who is newly hired can get a feel for what they need to learn.
4. Update frequently. If you’re not updating your skills checklist regularly, then you’ll miss out on important updates that could improve patient care and safety—or worse, lead to mistakes being made due to outdated information being provided by staff members who aren’t aware that something has changed since last time they looked at their copy of the list.
What are the benefits of using a digital nursing skills checklist?
The digital nursing skills checklist can be used for any type of nursing and provides countless benefits. If you are a nurse, your digital checklist can help you be the best nurse in your department by always checking up on your skills improvement.
If you are a hospital administrator, you know how important it is for your nurses to always check and update if they have all the skillset in their toolkit. A digital checklist makes sure they can monitor all of them 24/7.
With Lumiform, you can create the best nursing skills checklist to execute a nurse’s’ complete performance evaluation. In just a few clicks, you can create a customized nursing skills checklist that will be used in your organization and help you manage your nurses effectively.
Here are some of the benefits of a digital nursing skills checklist:
- Better assessment of a candidate’s ability to perform tasks and duties. This will save your company time and money, as you avoid hiring the wrong nurse for the job.
- A more efficient process because it is automated, systematic and easy to use by med students or nurses who need to practice their skills on an actual patient or client.
- Ensure that nurses are competent in all skills before they are reassigned or promoted through automated reporting and analysis..
- Improved Communication — the highly intuitive mobile app allows you to complete nurses’ evaluations faster and error-free, increasing 10X your productivity and work performance.
- Reduce the risk of error when nurses are unfamiliar with a new procedure with the use of digital checklists.
- Faster Evaluations, because you’re using the power of state-of-the-art technology, you can complete nursing skills assessment up to 30%-40% faster than before.