What makes a good clinical nurse specialist?

14 March 2022  •  Locum
What makes a good clinical nurse specialist?

Clinical nurse specialists play an integral role in the provision of care for patients in a range of different circumstances. They are trained in specific areas with the intention of treating complex illnesses, so having the right skill set is essential. Read on to find out more about what makes a good clinical nurse specialist and some of the skills clinical nurses need in the workplace to be at their best on a consistent basis.

What makes a good clinical nurse specialist?

There are several skills and abilities critical nurse specialists have. These vary significantly depending on the nature of the nurse's role in their clinic or setting. The skills and competencies that make a good clinical nurse include:


Resilience is an underlying part of the nursing profession. Dealing with patients who have serious illnesses is a burden on the emotional state of any nurse, which emphasises the necessity for resilience. Clinical nurse specialists deal with a range of ailments, and these ailments often leave people in critical conditions, running the risk of permanent injury and even death. Clinical nurse specialists work up close and personal with their patients, often for weeks and months at a time, so a high level of emotional resilience is essential for any candidate.

Practical qualities

Although rarely considered a key aspect of the life of a nurse, having certain physical qualities is an essential part of a nurse's work. From switching IV drips from one bag to another to even the simplest of tasks such as supporting a patient in moving from one bed to the next, having physical qualities including strength and dexterity is essential for providing the best standards of care possible. Focusing on hiring members of staff that are good with their hands and capable of dealing with the physical difficulties of the role is at the heart of high-quality services on the part of your clinic.

Medical qualifications

Having a qualification in clinical nursing or a related field is an essential part of being a clinical nurse specialist. After all, in nursing degrees, candidates pick up a significant amount of experience, as the vast majority of nursing degrees entail clinical placements within a hospital. This means that hiring nursing candidates with degrees is almost a guarantee of having experience. Furthermore, focusing on ensuring that international staff have the right qualifications is key. Qualifications change from one country to the next, ultimately creating confusion amongst hiring teams. Ensure that all of your staff reach the right standard no matter where they're from by getting a better idea of what each qualification practically means.

If you are looking to work as a nurse in the UK, you much apply to join the register of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). You can find out more about the requirements of joining the NMC here.

Emotional intelligence

In addition to the resilience to get through difficult circumstances regarding patients and their health, a high level of emotional intelligence is at the heart of good nursing. Empathy with your patients allows you to emote with them on a personal level, discussing their personal circumstances and the way through it in an honest manner that best resonates with them. Patients deserve to understand where they are in the healing process, and only through a high level of emotional intelligence can you best communicate with your patients.

Problem-solving skills

Medical issues are very rarely simple issues that are one exclusive problem. For example, people struggling with an illness may not display all of the symptoms, or two illnesses being present at once leads to a misdiagnosis of both of the illnesses in question. Higher levels of problem-solving skills assist in the diagnosis process, benefiting the clinic's treatment times in the long term. The faster you understand what an issue is, the faster you can fix it, making problem-solving skills one of the most essential abilities on a ward.

Why hiring the right nurse is essential

One of the most important parts of operating a medical clinic is the hiring process for brand new members of staff. These members of staff are the backbone of your clinic's future, so picking out the right members of staff is key. Read on to learn why hiring the best nurses possible with your understanding of what makes a good clinical nurse specialist is essential.

More efficient work

As with all other workplaces, the best employees can do more work with less in terms of resources. In this case, finding out what the issue is with a patient and being as attentive as possible provides the best possible opportunity for good care provision. Knowing exactly what a patient is going through provides a route to a solution, and reaching cures and treatments as soon as possible means that a patient is clear of their condition as fast as possible.

Better service

In addition to the provision of faster services, better staff means you provide better services for your customers and patients. In this specific case, it means that issues are cured without ongoing trouble. You get better reviews from your patients, driving even more people towards your services as a response to your high standards. Clinics benefit from strong word of mouth, and you foster word of mouth advertising by offering the best possible services.


Good employees foster a good culture within the practice; a culture of hard work, high standards and the best possible results. Setting the tone with strong recruitment means that your staff push each other to the next level, and the clinic on the whole benefits from the associated increase in standards. Your clinic is in good stead for years to come, with benefits down the line including profitability and a strong reputation.

Get in touch with Globe Locums

At Globe Locums, we offer quality staff for a range of specialisms. Get in touch with our team today to find out more about what we can do for you and how our services improve the performance of our clients.

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