By Caroline Zaayer Kaufman
Monster Contributing Writer
Registered nurses are among the most in-demand professionals in the U.S., and the need for people to fill open nursing positions continues to grow. A study by Wanted Analytics
looked at the most advertised for skills and technology in nursing-job listings to determine what skills employers are looking for in registered nurses. Among the top 20 are nurses who are bilingual, those who have crisis-intervention skills, and those with the ability to use specialized equipment such as dialysis and electrocardiograph machines.
Here are the top 5 skills health care employers are looking for in registered nurses today:
1. Emergency Room
Emergency departments are suffering a shortage of nurses and many are willing to hire new nurses and train them for the ups and downs of an emergency setting, according to the Emergency Nurses Association
Nurses in an emergency room must be able to care for patients of all ages in all conditions. Delivering babies, handling trauma and delivering medication, might all be part of a day’s work. Emergency room nurses must have strong multitasking skills, the ability to shift gears rapidly and maintain a sense of humor while personally coping with all sorts of situations.
2. Process Improvement
Health care is a constantly evolving science, and the ability to improve the process by which it’s delivered is an important skill to many facilities looking to hire nurses.
Many nurses spend most of their time on non-patient activities, says the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
. Generating new ideas and solving problems in the health care process that will increase patient-nurse interaction are important skills for registered nurses to have.
3. Quality Assurance
Quality assurance nurses are in high demand to oversee medical and legal practices in all types of facilities. These nurses must know the laws governing Medicare and Medicaid reporting, patient record keeping and privacy practices.
Hospitals and clinics want nurses who can conduct studies about process improvement plans, teach others how to correct problems and be sure staff members are following all necessary procedures.
4. Behavioral Health
Nurses in behavioral health fields are needed for a variety of mental health care positions. Psychiatric mental health nurses assess and implement care for families, individuals and communities, according to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.
Theses nurses can work with children, adolescents, addicts and those suffering from a variety of mental illnesses. Additionally, nurses with advanced degrees in psychiatric health can diagnose, treat and implement changes in the health care system.
5. Patient Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
Electronic Medical Records are being employed in health care facilities across the nation. Offices are replacing their old paper charting systems with computers, and nurses are needed to use and manage these systems effectively.
EMRs track a patient’s health history at one practice and are used to diagnose, treat and track patient progress, according to HealthIT.gov
. The goal of EMRs is to improve overall patient care, and nurses with strong skills in EMRs can shorten the time spent on record-keeping to allow for more time with patients. EMRs differ from Electronic Health Records because they are focused on one practice. EHRs are used across facilities and are more comprehensive medical histories.