Nursing Resume Example
Writing a nursing resume can be challenging, since you need to convey so many technical details like your nursing certifications and education but also get across your positive attitude, excellent bedside manner, and your nursing specialties. This article will break down exactly what information to include on your registered nurse resume so you can catch the hiring manager’s attention, score interviews, and land your dream nursing role. It’ll also include a nursing resume example to help you get started.
How To Write a Nursing Resume
The nursing profession spans a broad scope of roles and specialties, including emergency nursing (ER, trauma, and ICU), pediatric nursing, oncology, radiology, labor and delivery, clinic nursing, and so much more. You can also hold a wide variety of nursing certifications, such as certified nursing assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
On your RN resume, you’ll want to outline all of your technical skills as well as your nursing soft skills in an organized manner that’s easy for potential employers to quickly read and understand. With that in mind, be sure to include the following sections and information on your nursing resume:
Resume Sections to Include
Your Name and Contact Information
First, add your full name at the top of your resume. You can include RN after your name, and/or any other post nominal letters that apply. In your header, also add your contact information, including your phone number and a professional email address. You can also include your LinkedIn URL and your address or general location.
A Strong Resume Summary or Objective
Next, start the body of your resume off strong with a powerful resume summary or objective. If you are just getting started with nursing, write a resume objective that outlines your education, qualifications, and your professional goals.
If you already have some nursing experience, use a resume summary. This should distill your entire resume down into a couple of sentences that demonstrate your experience, skills, and most impressive accomplishments.
In either case, mention the name of the organization and the role that you are applying for by name. Here’s an example of a nursing resume summary:
Passionate bilingual registered nurse with 4+ years of experience, committed to providing evidence-based care to serve patients of all needs. Eager to leverage 98%+ compassion score and experience in two major hospitals to serve as an RN at Seattle Presbyterian Hospital.
Provide Specifics in Your Work Experience Section
For each of your past positions, include your job title, the name and location of the organization you worked for, and the dates that you worked there.
Underneath that information, add bullet points that provide specifics regarding the duties that you have performed and your successes in doing so. You can also mention awards and accolades that you’ve earned in past positions. For example:
Mar 2019 - Present Registered Nurse, St. Anne's Hospital, Seattle, WA
- Managed care and long-term health plans for 15+ patients
- Assisted patients with all necessary movements and functions
- Maintained 98%+ compassion score
- Onboarded and supervised 12+ new nurses each year
- Won hospital's Nurse of the Month award 3x
Jun 2017 - Mar 2019 Registered Nurse, Seattle General Hospital, Seattle, WA
- Assessed and created care plans for 10+ patients at a time
- Practiced evidence-based care to achieve best possible health outcomes for patients
- Commended 4x for excellent patient care and service
Add Your Education
Next, list your education details, including your degree, the name and location of the college you attended, and the year you graduated. You can also include any Latin honors that you earned, relevant coursework, academic achievements, scholarships, and so forth.
If you already have a few years of professional experience, you will likely want to focus more on your work experience and professional accomplishments than on your education. However, if you are still in nursing school or have just graduated, you can lean on your academic achievements to help you score an interview. In either case, there’s no need to list your high school information. If you have multiple relevant degrees, you can absolutely list them all on your resume.
Here’s how a basic education section might look:
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
- Graduated magna cum laude in 2017
List Your Licenses and Certifications
Naturally, you’ll want to list your nursing credentials on your resume as well. Include any relevant licenses and certifications that will be useful in your target role, as well as any that you rely on in your current role. For example:
Registered Nurse, Washington, License #12345678
Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS)
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
Highlight Your Nursing-Specific Skills
Next, list your hard and soft nursing skills on your resume. It’s important to strike a balance between being a technical expert (hard skills) and a caring provider (soft skills).
Nursing Hard Skills
Hard skills are technical, job-specific skills that are easily measurable and definable. Here are some common nursing hard skills:
- Administering and monitoring oxygen
- Administering and monitoring sedation
- Assessing the respiratory system
- Catheter care
- Care and management of drains/tubes
- Creating and following care plans
- Electronic chart documentation
- Fall risk assessment and fall prevention
- General medicine expertise
- Intervention during medical complications
- IV therapy
- Nebulizer treatments
- Obtaining cultures
- Pain management
- Patient transport
- Performing complex dressing changes
- Seizure precautions
When writing your nursing resume, choose a handful of your most impressive and most relevant hard skills to highlight. If the employer mentions specific skills that they are looking for in the job description, be sure to mirror all applicable skills on your resume.
You can also add a rating system that indicates your expertise in each skill area. For example:
Assessing the respiratory system - Excellent
Care of drains and tubes - Excellent
IV therapy - Excellent
Performing complex dressing changes - Very Good
Seizure precautions - Excellent
Specimen collections - Very Good
Fall prevention - Excellent
Nursing Soft Skills
Soft skills are nearly equally as important for nurses. Soft skills are sometimes also referred to as people skills, and can include things like:
- Critical decision-making
- Critical thinking
- Emotional stability
- Problem solving
- Time management
- Work ethic
Again, choose your top soft skills to list on your resume. You can also provide a proficiency scale for your soft skills if you desire:
Collaboration - Very Good
Critical decision-making - Excellent
Communication - Excellent
Compassion - Excellent
List Your Professional Organizations and Affiliations
If you are a member of any professional organizations or associations, be sure to list these on your resume to show potential employers that you are committed to nursing and involved in the profession. List the organization as well as the years that you have been involved, and any offices that you’ve held in that organization. For example:
2017 - Present Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, member
2018 - Present Washington Nurses Association (WNA), member
2018 - Present The American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS), member
Optional Resume Sections
Finally, if you still have space on your resume, you can add optional sections such as languages, hobbies and interests, internships, awards and achievements, and so forth. If you have less than ten years of experience nursing, keep your resume to a single page. If you have more experience than that, limit your resume to two pages. Only add optional resume sections if it will not push your resume to another page.
However, if one of these optional sections is highly relevant to your target role (i.e. being a bilingual nurse), you should consider making room for it. For example:
Spanish - Very Good
In this case, it’s obvious that you also speak English as your native language, since your resume is written in English. But, if you had room to spare, you could include English, Spanish, and any other languages that you speak on your resume.
Tips For Writing a Powerful Nursing Resume
Finally, here are a few tips to help you create a nursing resume that stands out from the crowd:
Tailor Your Resume
Although it can be tempting to use a generic resume to apply to jobs, you actually have a much better chance of scoring an interview if you take the time to tailor your resume to each nursing position that you apply for. Read the job posting carefully and identify key words and phrases that describe exactly what the employer is looking for in a nurse. Then, use that same language in your resume to describe your qualifications.
This will help your resume pass automated applicant tracking system (ATS) scans, which means that your resume will then land in the hands of an actual person. Plus, you’ll show employers that you are taking the job application process seriously.
Quantify Your Nursing Achievements
Whenever possible, include numbers to quantify your nursing achievements. This can be anything from the number of patients that you cared for to the compassion score you earned to the number of times that you were commended by a manager. Framing your accomplishments with hard data makes them much more impressive to potential employers and legitimizes your skills far better than making general statements.
When writing your nursing resume, be sure to include all of your most pertinent details, including your licenses and certifications, work experience, skills, and education. Tailor your resume to each job posting and quantify your accomplishments with numbers and data to boost your chances of scoring an interview.