We've talked to many organizations that hire nurses and put together a strong resume example that you can use to get a head start.
Did you know that nursing is the most sought-after profession in the states? The nursing sector is highly competitive but the opportunities are endless. Job openings are increasing as the demand is going up to due to the shift in the labor market (older nurses are aging out), and the need for healthcare going up due to the increase in life expectancy. Of course, global health crises and emerging diseases like the COVID-19 pandemic also have a huge impact.
The profession also has good compensation, with the national hourly rate averaging at $32.45 per hour. It is also a fulfilling and rewarding field to venture into, especially if your passion is to care for others and rehabilitate them back into good health. There is no greater reward than to serve others.
Nurses play an integral part of the healthcare field, and the job requires passion, hard work, relevant experience and educational qualifications. Nurses must also show a sound mind and the ability to make well-informed and ethical decisions and high accountability.
Technology is becoming a prevalent part of a nursing job. Nurses in this competitive field need to keep up with technological advancements and new tools in the medical industry.
A nursing resume needs to emphasize protocol, sanitation, and patient care.
The resume should include specific examples of experiences working in an Emergency Room, Labor and Delivery Unit, Intensive Care Unit, or a Telemetry Unit. Employers usually scan for the type facilities candidates have worked in to check for relevant experience. Experiences should highlight outcomes by quantifying patient flow.
Skills should include medical specialty skills, administrative skills, and computer skills. It's important to emphasize skills based on specific job criteria. Education and Certifications must be included on a nursing resume.
Read ahead for a comprehensive step-by-step guideline to help you land that dream nursing job. If you don’t know where to start, use our template as the foundation.
We will cover the following sections of a Nurse resume.
The resume summary or objective is the section that draws the most attention on your resume, and it will be the first thing your hiring manager reads.
It's where you need to prove in the fewest words possible that you're qualified to do the job, and you're up for the new challenge. It's important to tailor your resume summary to the job description. As we mentioned above, you need to align it with the job description and include keywords as well as your most notable achievements, experiences, and relevant skills.
Let’s take a look at these examples below for both an experienced and inexperienced applicant.
Pediatric RN with years of experience overseeing the treatment and health records of children.
Certified Pediatric Nurse with 5+ years of professional experience in various units, including the ICU and outpatient units, in a Teaching and Referral Hospital. Seeking to advance my managerial skills as the head nurse of the pediatric unit at Shalom Hospital.
If you are an entry-level nurse with no experience to showcase, you can make your summary in terms of a career objective. In it, you will highlight more on your skills.
Newly licensed nurse searching for a challenging nursing opportunity in a medical facility to put my skills to trial.
Recent graduate with a B.S. in Nursing from Toledo University and co-chair of its Alumni Nursing Association. Highly dependable Registered Nurse trained with internship experiences at one of the country's largest children's hospital. Seeking to apply skills in caring for emergency room patients.
Read our guide on how to write the perfect resume summary to learn how to nail this section.ddddd
Each profession has its specific jargon. Including nursing terminology in your written job description will boost the chances of being hired. Make sure that you describe your work experiences with the relevant keywords from the job posting.
Here are some ideas on writing about your experiences dddand responsibilities as a Nurse on your resume depending on the level of experience you have.
When listing out your previous job responsibilities in this section, use a narrative to showcase your qualifications and competency rather than short bullet points that only list out duties.
Let’s review these two examples:
While this looks like a good approach, it lacks some vital features.
Within your work experience details, make sure to include the following details as applicable to your background:
Because of the high demand of nursing jobs, there are nursing jobs in all different types of institutions and facilities, and there are even travel opportunities if you are willing to relocate.
This will also indicate your specialty and experiences in dealing with the specific challenges of working in a particular facility (i.e. nursing home, hospice vs. research hospital, children’s hospital). Be as specific as you can about the types of facilities you have worked at to show a specialization and expertise, as well as diverse experiences.
Here are some examples:
While on the ground, you have numerous duties that are particular to the unit you are in. You can include this information to make your resume stand out:
Tip: Create a Strong Work Experience Section - It's important to include action verbs and quantify results. Use this list of over 350 resume action verbs as a guide to craft the most effective bullet points.
Since the nursing profession requires certification and relevant educational background, the educational details you include in your resume are vital to securing the job and will often be the first thing the recruiter confirms through a background check or reference check.
You should include all relevant information about your degree and school, including the exact degree (i.e. MSN, ASN, BSN, or ADN). Make sure to include the date you graduated, or your expected graduation date if you are still a student. You can include scholarships, campus organizations, clinical rotations, and even school-related projects you have completed if you graduated recently.
When including your education details, you should always put your recent degree first. However, if your recent degree is not relevant to the nursing job you are applying for, put the nursing credentials or degree first.
Here's a sample of how to list your education:
You can either include your licenses and certification details in the educational background or list them separately right after it. Here are the details you must include:
Tip: List Licenses & Certifications Correctly - Make sure to list any licenses or certifications on your resume in the right section for the best chance to win the interview.
This resume section is a good opportunity to highlight specific skills relevant for a Nurse position. Be sure to review the job requirements and adjust your skills accordingly. Take a look at the example Nurse below.
This section is a great place to call out accomplishments and achievements. Here's an example of listing your professional affiliations:
The honors and achievements section can play a significant role in whether you get your resume noticed and chosen for the next round. Therefore, you must make sure to include any distinctions that make you stand out. These can be honors you may have received during your nursing school years, from previous work, social clubs, professional affiliations, or even volunteer work.
In this section, you can also add any leadership roles you had in your previous work experience or any distinctions you have earned through your work. For instance you can provide information on your performance as a mentor, department lead, or administrative manager.
If you have contributed to a team’s success that received an award, you can also include that in your nurse resume.