5 Essential Skills for Nursing Venturing Into Medical Billing and Coding

Debra Riley


Nurses are frontline healthcare workers with a skill set that is quite diverse. While they are performing excellent medical care while assisting physicians, it may seem fulfilling.

However, the demands can also be taxing as well. Nurses may also remain in healthcare but travel down a new path.

This is where medical billing and coding could be the perfect opportunity.

If you’re a nurse interested in pursuing this occupation, we’ll show you five essential skills you need in this handy guide.

Let’s get started and determine if you are making the best possible move.

medical billing and coding

Understanding terminology

Specifically, you want to understand the medical terminology. You may already have this skill handy thanks to your years of experience as a nurse. Communicating with patients and physicians has helped you build this skill for the better. Enough to where you can add it to your resume and stand out amongst the other candidates.

Excellent attention to detail

Billing and coding require one to be accurate. Especially when it comes to making sure that the data is real and no overcharging happens.

A nurse going into medical billing and coding knows that such clerical errors can be costly. And it’s not just errors that happen in health care.

Did you know that industries across the United States have lost over $3 trillion alone due to human error regarding bad or inaccurate data?

The medical facility you work for could lose money for one small error. That’s why the attention to detail makes it easier to catch errors and correct them before things get worse.

Effective communication skills

As a nurse, this skill should already be in your back pocket. Obviously, it’s required when it comes to working with patients and relaying information to the right people. Asking questions, active listening, and making sure everyone is on the same page will be important.

In medical and billing, you’ll still work with patients. However, the language will be slightly different. It’ll seem strange transitioning from the exam room to the office.

Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to make sure you use easy-to-understand language instead of complex jargon.

With effective communication, you can easily address and solve problems. This can pertain to any billing questions patients may have.

nursing changes

Adapting to regulatory guidelines

Medical billing and coding must adhere to regulations about healthcare. This includes HIPAA and similar measures.

Healthcare relies on confidentiality. It’s also important to make sure that the patient’s personal and financial data is protected accordingly.

Finding the right education

Being able to land a medical billing and coding job will require the right education. That’s why you need to find a medical billing and coding certification that will help you prepare for the path change from nurse to a billing technician.

You’ll not only understand the ins and outs of this new approach but also develop the other skills you’ll need that will be combined with some of the others you already have.

nurse working on pc

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a change in the healthcare field, medical billing and coding may be a good opportunity. Nursing may be a challenging but fulfilling career field. However, there could be a time when you can remain in healthcare but in a different capacity.

You already have some of the essential skills needed thanks to your nursing experience.

However, with the right education, you’ll learn new skills that will combine with the existing ones you have.

As a nurse, you will be more prepared to take on the challenges that come with medical billing and coding compared to others.