Generally speaking, nerve cells (usually referred to as neurons) allow communication from your organs and muscles to your brain and spinal cord (and vice versa) by forming circuit-like neural pathways. Neural pathways are made up of many neurons that meet at synapses, which are tiny gaps between neurons through which one-way chemical signals (neurotransmitters) are sent.
The process is very detailed and not easy to answer in one paragraph. There are many sites other than Wikipedia that do an excellent job of teaching how nerves work. Here are few to browse:
Neuroscience for Kids
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