The annual “Honesty and Ethics” survey, conducted by Gallup, proves that nurses have earned a lot of trust from their charges. With the exception of 2001, the nursing industry has topped this list, showcasing the highest levels of honesty and ethical behavior since 1999. Even so, recent surveys have shown that many hospital patients feel their stays could have been greatly improved by a better experience with their nurse. So, where’s the breakdown? Likely not an issue with clinical skill, the deterioration of satisfaction is likely the result of poor “soft skills.” These skills, often identified in compassion, communication, and leadership, are proving to be just as important as the technical skills nurses learn in school. Here’s a look at what denotes a soft skill, why they matter, and common sense ways to improve them and enhance patient satisfaction.