Job seekers hear a lot about transferable skills. And anyone in the nursing profession will hear about transferable skills even more. Within a profession that’s so broad and provides skills that are easily adapted to many roles, nurses should always be aware of how their skills are valuable marketable assets that will be a benefit in many roles.

That means an ER nurse can show how excellent critical thinking skills are just as important in a charge nurse role. A flight nurse’s ability to adapt to unpredictable conditions could transfer to a travel nurse role or would be valuable in an administrator position.

Whether you’re looking for a new job, considering a lateral move to another area of nursing, or just think it’s time to advocate for a promotion or a pay raise, understanding the true value of your transferable skills is essential.

You might be surprised at how broad your skills really are. Here’s why it matters.

Knowing your value makes it easier to explain how you can adapt to a new role.

Knowing your skill set is essential. But taking the extra step of connecting your skills in your daily job with skills you’ll need in new pursuits is especially telling. You might find you’re much more qualified than you think. And when you can demonstrate that in your resume or in an interview, your chances of reaching your goals are that much greater.

Your skills make you valuable.

When it comes time for a review, stating how much you do for your organization gives you leverage. If you leave, your skills go with you. That means your replacement will have to learn the ropes of how your organization works, how teams operate most efficiently and effectively, and what the routines are. You also take your own personal expertise at nuances like accurately assessing pain levels, communicating with families in crisis, or working with pediatric patients. You shouldn’t demand a raise, but you can matter-of-factly explain how your skills benefit your organization.

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Other organizations need your skills.

If you are considering a move to a new area of nursing, you probably know your nursing degree has equipped you with the most essential skills. But any other capabilities you have developed in your current role can also be valuable in a new role. You just have to think about how. When you apply for a position that is different from what you do now, showing your adaptability reveals your understanding of how you are a good candidate.

The more skilled you are, the more money you can make.

Let’s face it: the more skills you have mastered means you can earn a bigger salary. But if you don’t toot your own horn every now and then, no one will know about it. Are you the kind of nurse who learns constantly? Do you have certifications or do you investigate complex conditions you sometimes see in your patients? Are you a nurse who is diligent about becoming culturally competent? Make sure your supervisor knows about it all.

It’s a confidence boost.

You know how much you do but you might not always know the entire scope until you pull it together. Even if you aren’t looking for a new job, it helps to continually add to your list of skills and understand what those skills would look like in another role. When the time comes to look for a new job (or when you’ve had a particularly tough week and need a pat on the back), your list will come in handy.

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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