Is Organization on Your Skills List?


Posted to Nursing, Travel Nursing

Is organization on your skills list?

Organization is an essential skill for nurses. Whether you are planning out your day, providing patient education or preparing to call a physician about a patient, having “all your ducks in a row” is of extreme importance.

Yes, many nurses are not organized and somehow they do manage to get through the day, but their stress levels are usually quite high. Taking the time to make sure you have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s the first time around can save you a lot of heartache and frustration.

For example, you know that whenever you have to call a physician, he’s going to want more information. If all you can say is that your patient is still having pain after one dose of Tylenol #3 (acetaminophen with 30 mg. codeine), you’re going to be bombarded with questions.

If you’re prepared and provide the physician with a complete report of recent vital signs and a list of other pain measures you’ve tried along with a complete pain assessment, you’re likely to have an easier time requesting a repeat dose or additional medication.

When completing your charting, if you have a list of notes to review, chances are that your documentation will go faster and be complete and accurate.

In addition to your daily routine, keeping track of your professional information is important too. Learn to organize these items. A small file box or even a shoe box can be an easy way to keep track of this information. Make copies of your license(s). Put reminders on your calendar about renewals. Create a file for your ceu information and certificates. Keep a copy of your skills list and resume in a file and review/update them quarterly. Include any new skills, education, and experience you have gained.

You can and should also have electronic copies of all of this information. Scan paper copies such as licenses and certificates. Keep this information updated and accessible on your computer. Add a password to the file if necessary. You can also copy these files onto a CD which can be password protected as well. Put a copy in a safe deposit box or other safe place.

If you are a travel nurse, you will need access to this information often. Keeping it all together in one place will assist you in applying for new assignments efficiently. If you have access to both hard copies as well as electronic copies (i.e. .pdf or .doc files) of your information you will have options for emailing or FAXING the information quickly.

Keeping your CV or resume updated can be very rewarding. You never know when someone will ask for it and offer you an exciting opportunity. If you have to stop and create one, you might lose out.

While you’re at it, be sure to include organization to your skills list as well as your computer skills and proficiency with various software.

By Kathy Quan RN BSN.
Kathy is the author of The Everything New Nurse Book and author/owner of