Skilled nurses have multiple job choices

On the job, nurses need not just be emphathetic, but also be capable to handle the numerous queries of their inquisitive patients. Prachi Rege lists the skills and job roles

Care and communicate are essential skills in a nursing job. "A well-informed nurse is the need-of-the-hour, as today people browse through internet for information about their illness before visiting the hospital. So it is vital for nurses to be able to answer their queries," explains Suseel.

Certificate programmes organised by institutes and hospitals help the new nurses to keep abreast with the latest knowledge and clinical skills. According to Dr Reetha Devi, principal, DM WIMS Nursing College, "compassion, ethics, critical thinking, attention to detail, confidence and adaptability are some of the key skills required to be a good nurse."

Soft skills training provided by hospitals play an important role in imparting information in a simple clear and honest manner. Empathy towards a patient and his/ her family is a quality that is expected from a nurse. "They need to be on the same page as the doctor," Lad emphasises. "While doctors make visits to see and treat the patient at intervals, a nurse is the only medical professional who works closely with the patient," she adds.

Job roles

Apart from the main role of care provider, graduate nurses have scope to work as a nursing educator, case manager, research coordinator and may don even managerial roles. A nurse is expected to multitask right from billing to being a phlebotomist (drawing blood for tests or transfusions etc,). Earlier, nurses were considered or required to be docile and subservient professionals in a hospital. However, this mindset is changing. "The nursing sector is all about taking care. It is not just another regular job," says Kolothodi. They now function shoulder to shoulder with the physicians assisting them in medical work. While the remuneration for a fresher could range between Rs 18,000 to 19,000 per month, abroad nurses get paid Rs 80,000 to a lakh.