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How should a travel nurse fill out the nursing skills assessment?

Written by Chelsea Idzior on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Posted in Application & Interviews

Part of applying to be a travel nurse requires filling out a nursing skills assessment. This is an assessment where nurses rate themselves on a scale to indicate how much experience they have performing particular skills.

Generally, a nursing skills assessment will have a scale from “0” to “4” with “0” indicating no experience and "4" indicating proficiency with a skill. However, it is important to read the scale key and instructions for every skills assessment test because not all of them will be scaled the same.

The nursing skills assessment is a very important part of a nursing application—whenever a nurse learns or becomes more proficient in a skill they should update the assessment and keep the most recent version in the file with their resume and other paperwork.

Filling out the nursing skills assessment is not a time for nurses to be modest about their abilities. If a nurse feels confident in his or her abilities, he or she should not hesitate to mark the highest rating on the scale. The hospital manager at a facility will compare nurses' skills assessments to see which nurses are more confident and capable of performing skills. This means that nurses who don't rate themselves to the fullest of their abilities could easily miss out on a job opportunity.

The difference between a "3" and a "4" on a skills assessment test largely depends on the confidence of a nurse. A nurse might know how to perform a task but rate his or herself a "3" because they doubt themselves. Nurses should always be honest about their abilities when filling out an assessment and be confident in the skills they know they can perform.

On the other hand, nurses should never overrate themselves on nursing skills assessments. Nurses who rate themselves a "3" or "4" on a skill will be required to meet a certain expectation for those skills. Not only is overrating on a skills assessment dishonest, but also, nurses who overrate could lose their assignments if they are not meeting the expectations of the ratings they indicated on the assessment.

When you fill out your skills assessment, keep these things in mind:

  • Take the skills assessment seriously and don't brush it off as "just a piece of paperwork".
  • Don't be modest, and have confidence in your abilities.
  • Be honest about what skills you can perform.
  • Don't overrate yourself.
  • Always keep an up-to-date skills assessment on file.