Good communication skills are foundational in every aspect and facet of life. We learn early on from life experience that our ability to communicate effectively in our personal lives leads to more satisfying relationships with friends and family. We feel happier and more content when we have healthy, balanced connections. Even better, we feel confident that we can be open and honest–and expect the same in return. It is this mutual give and take that cultivates respect. 

So it is true in our professional lives as well. When we focus on improving our communication skills in the workplace, we can anticipate almost immediate improvements in our work relationships. Effective communication positions us for more successful careers, and nowhere is good communication more important than in the healthcare field, where oftentimes the manner in which you send and receive information can quickly become a matter of life and death. 

Why Do Nurses Need Good Communication Skills?

In a medical setting, albeit a hospital or clinic, a good set of communication skills will carry you far. As nurses, particularly a travel nurse, the ability to communicate effectively separates the average from the exceptional. When your work setting is consistently changing–as you move from one assignment to the next, it can be hard to establish strong connections with your colleagues and coworkers. It can be difficult to do so with your patients as well. As soon as you grow comfortable with your surroundings and the people you interact with on a daily basis, you might be off to your next role. Thus, one of the most crucial things you can arm yourself with as a traveler is strong communication skills, particularly assertive communication skills. 

Those skills play a pivotal role in travel nursing, and are a good indicator of how well you can do your job. It will garner you swift respect in the nursing field. Whether you are in a place for a few weeks or several months, you can establish a strong presence. 

What Is Assertive Communication? Why Is It One of the Most Essential Nursing Skills?

Most experts will tell you that assertiveness is all about the approach of the communicator, and strong communication skills have as much to do with listening as they do with speaking. Here are three of the most sound strategies that can help you take your communication skills to the next level:

Active Listening 

This is your first line of defense in communication. It is about awareness, and requires practice to become a part of your skill set. You must concentrate on what’s being conveyed and engage with the person conveying it so they feel understood. 


Pay attention to nonverbal cues when a person is speaking. This will better equip you in your response. Nonverbal communication includes eye contact, facial expressions, and body language. 

Removing Emotion 

Emotion plays a large part in our decision-making. In a fast-paced working environment of the medical field, emotional responses can be catastrophic. Therefore, it’s highly important to be intentional in sidelining them–especially when it comes to caring for your patients.

Hone Your Nursing Skills

According to the Mayo Clinic, assertiveness is a core communication skill and is described as “a way to help you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view, while also respecting the rights and beliefs of others.” As a travel nurse, assertive communication is an invaluable asset. You change assignments regularly, so being an assertive communicator is paramount to your success. While is common to confuse assertiveness with aggressiveness—and considered the opposite of passivity—assertive communication is actually the perfect balance of the two. It is a staple skill possessed by highly effective nursing professionals. 

Do you feel like your communication skills are up to par? Do you want to parlay those skills into a new nursing role? Are you interested in learning more about travel nursing jobs?  Let New Directions Staffing take you to a place that inspires and challenges your career aspirations!