Career Development

16 Nursing Supervisor Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Nursing Supervisor skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Nursing supervisors have a lot of responsibility when it comes to managing a nursing staff and ensuring that patients receive the best possible care. Nursing supervisors need to have a variety of skills to be successful in their role, from leadership and communication to organization and critical thinking. If you’re interested in becoming a nursing supervisor, learning about the necessary skills can help you prepare for this rewarding career.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is the ability to identify and address issues that may arise in a work environment. As a nurse supervisor, you may need to solve problems related to patient care or employee relations. For example, if an employee files a complaint about another employee’s behavior, you may need to resolve the issue by interviewing all parties involved and determining how to proceed.


Communication is the ability to convey information clearly. As a nursing supervisor, you may need to communicate with patients and other members of your team. You can use effective communication skills in meetings when discussing patient care plans or during one-on-one conversations with employees who are seeking feedback on their performance.


A nursing supervisor needs to be able to read and interpret charts that track patient health. This includes understanding how to read the data on a chart, what each type of data means and how to identify trends in the data. For example, if a patient’s blood pressure is consistently high, a nursing supervisor should know how to interpret this information and take action accordingly.

Medication Administration

A nursing supervisor may need to oversee the administration of medications, including ensuring that nurses have the correct dosage and type of medication for patients. This requires knowledge about different types of medications and how they work in the body. It also requires attention to detail when entering information into a patient’s medical records or treatment plans.


Flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. As a nursing supervisor, you may need to shift your duties or responsibilities when an employee becomes ill or leaves work unexpectedly. Being flexible can help you adjust quickly and maintain productivity in your department. You may also need flexibility when it comes to scheduling shifts for employees who have family obligations or other time-sensitive needs.


Organization is the ability to keep track of multiple tasks and responsibilities. As a nursing supervisor, you may have many duties that require your attention at any given time. Having strong organizational skills can help you manage your schedule effectively so you can complete all your work on time. It’s also important to be organized when managing your staff so they know what their responsibilities are and how to perform them.

Emergency Management

Emergency management is the ability to respond quickly and effectively when a crisis occurs. As a nursing supervisor, you may be responsible for overseeing emergency situations in your workplace. For example, if an employee experiences a medical emergency or there’s a fire in the building, it’s important that you can assess the situation and take action accordingly.

Care Planning

Care planning involves the ability to develop and implement plans for patient treatment. This includes creating individualized care plans that outline goals, objectives and strategies for improving a patient’s health status. It also involves developing organizational structures for providing care, such as by creating schedules for shifts or teams of nurses.

Decision Making

A nursing supervisor needs to be able to make decisions quickly and confidently. You may need to decide on treatment options for patients, determine how to handle staff conflicts or address other workplace issues. Your ability to make quick decisions can help you maintain a safe and productive work environment.

You also need to make important long-term decisions about the future of your department or facility. For example, if you notice that your hospital is experiencing an increase in patient demand, you might need to hire more nurses to ensure adequate staffing levels.


A strong leadership skill set can help a nurse supervisor develop the ability to lead their team and motivate them to achieve organizational goals. Nurse supervisors who are effective leaders may be able to increase productivity, reduce workplace conflict and improve employee morale. They can also use their leadership skills to delegate tasks effectively and mentor other nurse supervisors.

Infection Control

Infection control is the ability to prevent and treat infections in patients. As a nursing supervisor, you may be responsible for ensuring that your staff follows proper infection control procedures when treating patients. This includes instructing them on how to sterilize equipment, wash their hands and use protective clothing. You can also help ensure that your facility maintains high standards of cleanliness by monitoring employee compliance with infection control protocols.

Quality Improvement

Quality improvement is the ability to identify areas of a process that can be improved and then take steps to make those improvements. As a nursing supervisor, you may have responsibility for improving patient care processes in your hospital or clinic. This requires an understanding of how these processes work and what aspects of them can be changed to improve outcomes.

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance is the ability to follow rules and regulations set by governing bodies. As a nursing supervisor, you may be responsible for ensuring that your facility or team follows all applicable laws and standards of care. This requires attention to detail and an understanding of what’s required to maintain compliance. It also means knowing how to navigate any challenges that arise when trying to meet regulatory requirements.

Patient Education

Patient education is a crucial part of the nursing supervisor role, as you may be responsible for instructing patients on how to use medical equipment and explaining treatment plans. Patient education can also include educating patients about their health conditions and helping them understand what they need to do to maintain their health.

Staff Supervision

Supervisors often oversee the work of other employees, including nurses. Having strong supervisory skills can help you manage your team and ensure they are completing their duties effectively. You may also need to supervise new or inexperienced staff members who may require additional guidance. Your ability to provide feedback and guidance can be an important aspect of being a successful supervisor.

Patient Assessment

A nursing supervisor needs to be able to assess patient conditions and determine the best course of treatment. This involves reviewing medical records, asking questions about symptoms and observing how patients respond to treatment. It’s also important for a nursing supervisor to evaluate their own skills and knowledge in order to identify areas where they may need additional training or resources.

How Can I Learn These Nursing Supervisor Skills?

There are a few ways to learn nursing supervisor skills. One way is to find a nursing supervisor position in a hospital or other healthcare setting and observe how they perform their duties. Another way is to take a course on nursing supervision or management. Finally, you can read books or articles on the subject to learn more about the skills needed to be a successful nursing supervisor.


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