Find Local or Online
Nursing Programs

Select a program:

Select your state:

Follow NurseGroups on Pinterest

Develop Life Skills with a Career in Nursing

Many people are aware of how personally fulfilling a career in nursing can be. Nurses are also highly in demand, and the median salary for those in nursing is higher than many other careers nationwide. However, personal satisfaction and financial benefits are not the only benefits of working as a nurse. In nursing school and on the job, nursing students and nurses also gain many skills that they can apply in everyday life.

Medical Knowledge

One nursing skill that can be applied in everyday life is also the most obvious: the medical knowledge that nurses acquire in nursing school and on the job. Having been trained to treat people with a wide variety of ailments, those who work in nursing occupations are often the most capable person in the room when it comes to helping to diagnose and treat the ailments of their friends and family. Moreover, in the event that a serious injury or ailment occurs, the medical knowledge and skill gained through a nursing education allows nurses to apply potentially life-saving care as a first responder and avoid making mistakes that could hamper the later medical attention that will be given to the injured or sick individual.


The second nursing skill that nurses can apply outside the hospital is empathy. Contrary to what some may think, empathy, the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes, is not something that an individual must be born with or that cannot be improved upon with experience. Of course, those who enter nursing programs tend to be very empathetic people. Nevertheless, even these individuals can find their ability to empathize with others expand with training and with experience treating other people. Empathy is a key skill promoted in any nursing education program, and it is an important part of a nurse’s code of ethics.

After developing empathy through education and work experience, it can then be used elsewhere, in almost any situation. At home, the ability to empathize helps nurses understand their spouses and children better. People with empathy have more meaningful relationships with deeper connections than those who are not able to understand the feelings of other people. Nurses who serve on homeowners associations, church boards, and in leadership in other volunteer-based organizations will also find that the empathy they have developed will help them to deal with difficult people and situations.

Those who go on to other careers after working as a nurse for many years may also find that the empathy they developed as nurses makes them more capable employees in their new jobs. This is true whether the new career is in a nursing-related field such as teaching nursing in a college or the career is completely unrelated to nursing. Some nurses go on to work in large corporations, and their ability to empathize can make them more effective supervisors and minimize problems with subordinates and overseers.

Listening to Others

All nurses know the importance of being able to listen to other people with a critical ear — not to criticize but to get to the heart of the problem. Critical listening skills represent the third nursing skill that can be applied in everyday life. Nursing schools must all train nurses to be able to make an accurate assessment of a patient’s condition and read between the lines to discover if the patient left out any relevant information.

Communication Skills

Nurses skilled in communication are far more adept at conveying information to others in everyday life. A well-trained nurse gains these skills on the job and can more easily converse with family members, friends, and anyone whom they meet in public. Nurses know the right questions to ask, how to ask them, and when to ask them. This is beneficial to a nurse in all aspects of life.

Clearly, nursing programs give a person more than just nursing skills. The skills developed at nursing schools can just as easily be defined as life skills. Truly, nursing is a professional that enriches all aspects of life, and that is not common for most other careers.

Additional Resouces