Nurse Resume Example

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.

Rohit Sahay
Written by Rohit Sahay • Last updated on Apr 09, 2021
Nurse Resume Example
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Overview of a Nursing Career

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.

How do you write a great Nurse resume?

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.

  • Resume Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education & Certifications
  • Relevant Skills
  • Professional Affiliations, Honors & Achievements

How to Write a Great Nurse Resume Summary

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.

Experienced Applicant

Incorrect:

Pediatric RN with years of experience overseeing the treatment and health records of children.

Correct:

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.

Inexperienced Applicant

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.

Incorrect:

Newly licensed nurse searching for a challenging nursing opportunity in a medical facility to put my skills to trial.

Correct:

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

How to List Work Experiences in a Nurse Resume

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.

Junior level work experience for Nurse

  • Coordinated nursing care activities with other professionals to ensure that the nursing plan is integrated with the treatment plan.
  • Worked with clinical staff to improve nursing standards of practice and procedures.
  • Provided advice and consultation on nursing related matters to patients.
  • Provided health education/teaching for clients and their families.
  • Administered nursing care to ill, injured, or disabled patients
  • Diagnosed and established patient treatment plans
  • Monitored and reported changes in patient symptoms or behavior
  • Communicated with collaborating physicians or specialists regarding patient care
  • Educated patients about health maintenance and disease prevention
  • Facilitated referrals to other healthcare professionals and medical facilities
  • Maintained accurate patient medical records
  • Provided advice and emotional support to patients and their family members

Senior level work experience for Nurse

  • Assisted the Physician and staff with the daily coordination of patient care and physician access for a healthcare facility that receives over 600 patients per year
  • Functioned as the liaison between the patients, staff and physicians• Improved patient flow by identifying efficiency opportunities and working with the staff to make operational changes.
  • Delivered direct patient care within the scope of licensure and in accordance with the SMG policy
  • Ensured proper preparation for patient visit• Administered injections according to appropriate protocol
  • Reviewed and updated medication list in EHR

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:

The incorrect way:

  • I offered patient care
  • Administered drugs as required
  • Collaborated with unit team
  • Applied my specialties to the patients

While this looks like a good approach, it lacks some vital features.

  • It eats up space. You could relay all the information under the same bullet point.
  • It’s not unique. The achievements and skills and the duties you present are not outstanding. Therefore, your resume will not stand out.

Here’s the correct way to list your responsibilities::

  • Took care of patients in a Cardiac ICU which took in post-coronary interposition patients with Impella heart pumps in combination with patients who had suffered cardiac arrest and needed therapeutic hypothermia.
  • A key member of a unit’s team assigned the duty to recognize and assess quality issues, check on patient numbers, and issue staff assignments.

Within your work experience details, make sure to include the following details as applicable to your background:

Include Relevant Details That Show Your Specializations

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:

  • The type of facility. Acute Care Hospital, Senior Nursing facility, Long term, and Long term acute care.
  • Trauma designation. You can include the level of the trauma center. Make use of words. they can be 1,2,3,4,5
  • Research hospital. If you worked at a research hospital, make sure to include that information.
  • Rural designation or travel nurse designation. You can mention whether you have worked in an assignment like a Rural Referral center or Critical Access Hospital.

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:

  • Your unit type. You already know the unit you work under. Therefore, you can put it here, whether it be ICU, ER, MS, CVICU, or any other.
  • Ratio of nurse to patient.
  • Also include the number of patients you see as a nurse each day together with the number of patients you receive as a unit.
  • The support staff numbers.
  • Include whether your unit used to take in overflow from other departments. Remember to mention the units too, and the patients you saw from the departments.
  • If you had worked in other units when there was a need, remember to mention that in this segment. That can work as a bonus on your case.
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.

Listing Education in Your Nurse Resume

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:

  • Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN)
  • California State University Sacramento, Sacramento, CA
  • Graduated magna cum laude (3.68 GPA)
  • Dean’s Award 2019: Exemplary Student
  • Received the Elizabeth Moran Award for Excellence – The award is that the school gives the student nominated by the faculty due to the student’s academic excellence in the study. Also, excellence in problem-solving skills and leadership qualities.

Nursing License and Certification Details

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:

Nursing License Details

  1. License type (LPN, RN, NP, or CRNA).
  2. Licensing State/Body.
  3. Name on the license if it differs from the name on the resume.
  4. The expiration date of the license and its number.
  5. If the license is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, then indicate it.

Certifications

  1. Name of certification (BLS, ACLS, PALS, or TNCC).
  2. Certifying body (AHA, etc.).
  3. Expiry date or date acquired if it has no official expiration date.
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.

Adding Relevant Hard & Soft Skills

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.

Related Skills for a Nurse

  • Patient Care
  • Patient Assessment
  • Attention to detail
  • Teamwork
  • Empathy

Related Technologies for a Nurse

  • Epic EMR
  • Kareo
  • MediTouch
  • Microsoft Suite

Include Professional Affiliation, Honors & Achievements

Professional Affiliations

This section is a great place to call out accomplishments and achievements. Here's an example of listing your professional affiliations:

  • Committee Lead, The American Nurses Association (ANA)
  • Member, South Georgia Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • Member, Atlanta Chapter United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

Honors & Achievements

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.

Rohit Sahay
Rohit is a software engineer, entrepreneur, and investor with a passion for helping others advance in their career. He interviews experts across different industries, researches job market trends, and provides career advice at every step of the job search process.
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