Interpersonal Skills for Nursing

Updated March 23, 2017

The ability to interact with co-workers, patients and other individuals in a health care setting is often dependent on an individual's interpersonal skills. These skills affect the way he communicates as well as how he will handle a problem. Since nurses work with a variety of individuals on a daily basis, it's important that they have developed excellent interpersonal skills for nursing.


Nurses are tasked with communicating with patients regarding health problems, medications and more. It's important that nurses have the interpersonal skills to communicate as they should inform patients of the care they are going to give prior to touching the patient.


Nurses work as a part of a team with other nurses, doctors, nurse aides, speciality technicians and more. It's important that nurses have teamwork interpersonal skills that allow them to have positive and helpful relationships with their co-workers. This means communicating with them, being courteous, and showing respect for their thoughts, ideas and actions.

Conflict Resolution

If there is a breakdown in teamwork or a problem with a co-worker or supervisor does occur, it's important for nurses to have the interpersonal skills for effective conflict resolution. These skills allow a nurse to communicate her concerns or feelings in an appropriate manner to her peer or supervisor without getting angry or upset. The nurse also listens while the other person states her point of view, and then they work together to find a resolution to the problem they can both agree on.

Constructive Criticism

As a nurse, it's important to be able to receive and give constructive criticism in an appropriate manner. Supervisors provide feedback to nurses to let them know on areas they need to improve. Nurses need to be able to accept this criticism and use it to improve their skills rather than take it personally and get upset or angry. If a nurse is a supervisor, she needs to have the interpersonal skills to communicate the criticism in a manner that helps the employee learn and improve in the workplace.

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About the Author

Allison Dodge has been a writer since 2005, specializing in education, careers, health and travel. She has worked at educational institutions for more than 10 years. Dodge has a master's degree in education administration.