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5 Medical Surgical Nurse Resume...

5 Medical Surgical Nurse Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

Your medical surgical nurse resume must highlight your clinical competencies. Include specifics like proficiency in administering medications and wound care. Show evidence of your ability to collaborate within a healthcare team. Detail experiences where your communication skills led to improved patient outcomes.

All resume examples in this guide

As a medical surgical nurse, articulating the breadth of your diverse clinical experience and specialized skills on a resume can be a daunting challenge. Our step-by-step guide is tailored to help you effectively showcase your expertise and achievements, ensuring your resume stands out to potential employers.

This expert guide on writing your medical surgical nurse resume provides you with leading recruitment insight, industry examples, and so much more. Here are some of the things we'll show you:
  • Which sections do you need to include in your resume to meet recruiters' requirements;
  • How to write your medical surgical nurse resume experience section - even if you have don't have little to no work experience;
  • Real-life professional examples to guide you how to write the most important medical surgical nurse resume sections;
  • Adding even more sections so your medical surgical nurse resume stands out with professionalism and your personality.

We've also selected some of the best (and most relevant) resume guides for the medical surgical nurse role you're applying for:

Medical Surgical Nurse resume format made simple

You don't need to go over the top when it comes to creativity in your Medical Surgical Nurse resume format .

What recruiters care about more is the legibility of your Medical Surgical Nurse resume, alongside the relevancy of your application to the role.

That's why we're presenting you with four simple steps that could help your professional presentation check all the right boxes:

  • The reverse-chronological resume format is the one for you, if you happen to have plenty of relevant (and recent) professional experience you'd like to showcase. This format follows a pretty succinct logic and puts the focus on your experience.
  • Keep your header simple with your contact details; a headline that details the role you're applying for or your current job; and a link to your portfolio.
  • Ensure your resume reaches an up-to-two-page limit, only if you happen to be applying for a more senior role or you have over a decade of relevant experience.
  • Save your Medical Surgical Nurse resume as a PDF to retain its structure and presentation.

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Listing your relevant degrees or certificates on your medical surgical nurse resume is a win-win situation. Not only does it hint at your technical capabilities in the industry, but an array of soft skills, like perseverance, adaptability, and motivation.

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Fundamental sections for your medical surgical nurse resume:

  • The header with your name (if your degree or certification is impressive, you can add the title as a follow up to your name), contact details, portfolio link, and headline
  • The summary or objective aligning your career and resume achievements with the role
  • The experience section to curate neatly organized bullets with your tangible at-work-success
  • Skills listed through various sections of your resume and within an exclusive sidebar
  • The education and certifications for more credibility and industry-wide expertise
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What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • Clinical skills in surgical patient care and various medical procedures
  • Proficiency in managing pre-operative and post-operative care
  • Experience with patient assessment and the ability to create and implement comprehensive care plans
  • Proficiency in utilizing electronic health records (EHR) and surgical technology
  • Strong communication and collaboration abilities to work effectively within interdisciplinary teams

Adding your relevant experience to your medical surgical nurse resume

If you're looking for a way to show recruiters that your expertise is credible, look no further than the resume experience section.

Your medical surgical nurse resume experience can be best curated in a structured, bulleted list detailing the particulars of your career:

  • Always integrate metrics of success - what did you actually achieve in the role?
  • Scan the medical surgical nurse advert for your dream role in search of keywords in the job requirements - feature those all through your past/current experience;
  • Dedicate a bullet (or two) to spotlight your technical capabilities and how you're able to use the particular software/technology in your day-to-day roles;
  • Write simple by including your responsibility, a job advert keyword or skill, and a tangible outcome of your success;
  • Use the experience section to also define the unique value of working with you in the form of soft skills, relevant feedback, and the company culture you best thrive in.

Industry leaders always ensure that their resume experience section offers an enticing glimpse at their expertise, while telling a career narrative. Explore these sample medical surgical nurse resumes on how to best create your resume experience section.

Work Experience
Lead Medical-Surgical Nurse
Mayo Clinic
  • Managed a 30-bed medical-surgical unit, supervising a team of RNs, LPNs, and CNAs, enhancing patient care and streamlining workflow efficiencies.
  • Developed and implemented a quality improvement program that reduced medication errors by 25% within the first year.
  • Collaborated with a multidisciplinary team to provide comprehensive patient education, which boosted patient satisfaction scores by 18%.
Work Experience
Registered Nurse - Medical-Surgical Unit
Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Pioneered the adoption of electronic health records for the surgical unit, increasing charting efficiency by 35%.
  • Conducted bi-weekly wound care clinics, servicing up to 20 patients per session, which improved healing rates and reduced hospital stay durations.
  • Facilitated patient flow by effectively managing post-operative care for an average of 15 patients daily, ensuring timely discharge and optimal bed usage.
Work Experience
Clinical Nurse II - MedSurg
Cleveland Clinic
  • Spearheaded a cross-functional team that developed and led a hospital-wide seminar on surgical patient safety, leading to a 20% reduction in post-surgical complications.
  • Expertly managed pre-operative patient assessments for approximately 500 patients annually, contributing to the enhancement of surgical outcomes.
  • Orchestrated the launch of a mentorship program for new nurses that improved staff retention by 15%.
Work Experience
Surgical Nursing Specialist
Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Provided comprehensive care for up to 10 post-operative patients per day in a fast-paced surgical unit, consistently achieving patient satisfaction rates above 90%.
  • Initiated a weekly interdisciplinary case conference, improving patient care plans and resulting in a 10% decrease in average hospitalization time.
  • Delivered in-service training on best practices in pain management, significantly reducing patient-reported pain levels across the unit.
Work Experience
Staff Nurse - Medical/Surgical Department
UCLA Medical Center
  • Conducted thorough patient assessments and administered medications for an average of 12 patients per shift in a med-surg unit.
  • Led a task force that reviewed and updated the unit's patient care protocols, which was instrumental in the hospital achieving Magnet recognition.
  • Mentored four student nurses per semester, providing hands-on education and supporting their successful transition into the workforce.
Work Experience
Orthopedic Med-Surg Nurse
Texas Health Resources
  • Championed a patient-centered care initiative that integrated family involvement in the care process, leading to a 15% improvement in family satisfaction scores.
  • Managed post-surgical care for patients undergoing orthopedic surgeries, with up to 98% of patients achieving their recovery milestones as per the care plan.
  • Implemented a unit-wide hand hygiene campaign that successfully raised compliance to 95% from 80%, significantly reducing infection rates.
Work Experience
Advanced Practice Nurse - Med-Surg
Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Acted as a patient advocate to ensure all surgical interventions were in alignment with individual care plans and ethical standards, impacting over 20 patients weekly.
  • Played a key role in a research project focusing on reducing hospital readmission rates, which were subsequently reduced by 18% over a two-year period.
  • Enhanced unit communication by implementing a daily huddle, leading to a 10% improvement in the unit’s operational efficiency.
Work Experience
Charge Nurse - Medical-Surgical Ward
Kaiser Permanente
  • Instrumental in the design and execution of a continuing education course on advanced surgical nursing techniques for over 50 nursing staff.
  • Performed complex wound dressing changes under sterile conditions, successfully preventing infection in high-risk patients and exceeding unit goals by 20%.
  • Developed patient discharge education materials that contributed to a 22% decrease in patient readmissions due to better at-home self-care.

    Quantifying impact on your resume

  • Include the number of patients you manage or care for on a daily or weekly basis to show your ability to handle a busy workload.
  • List the percentage by which you helped reduce patient readmission rates through your care and follow-up procedures, demonstrating your contribution to improved patient outcomes.
  • Mention the number of surgical procedures you've assisted with to highlight your experience and competence in the operating room.
  • Detail the amount of time you have saved through efficient care delivery or process improvements, showing your commitment to productivity.
  • Quantify your involvement in staff training or mentoring by the number of nurses you've trained, illustrating your leadership skills.
  • State the specific amounts of medication you routinely administer to display your attention to detail and responsibility level.
  • Indicate the number of multidisciplinary team meetings you participate in regularly to show your collaborative nature and communication skills.
  • Report any percentage increase in patient satisfaction scores linked to your patient care initiatives, proving your focus on patient experience.

Action verbs for your medical surgical nurse resume

The Enhancv team went through thousands of medical surgical nurse resumes that have helped people get hired at their dream companies. Here are some of the best power words used by these top applicants:
Read The Guide

No experience, no problem: writing your medical surgical nurse resume

You're quite set on the medical surgical nurse role of your dreams and think your application may add further value to your potential employers. Yet, you have no work experience . Here's how you can curate your resume to substitute your lack of experience:

  • Don't list every single role you've had so far, but focus on ones that would align with the job you're applying for
  • Include any valid experience in the field - whether it's at research or intern level
  • Highlight the soft skills you'd bring about - those personality traits that have an added value to your application
  • Focus on your education and certifications, if they make sense for the role.
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If the certificate you've obtained is especially vital for the industry or company, include it as part of your name within the resume headline.

The heart and soul of your medical surgical nurse resume: hard skills and soft skills

If you read between the lines of the medical surgical nurse role you're applying for, you'll discover that all requirements are linked with candidates' hard skills and soft skills.

What do those skills have to do with your application?

Hard or technical skills are the ones that hint at your aptitude with particular technologies. They are easy to quantify via your professional experience or various certifications.

Meanwhile, your soft skills are more difficult to assess as they are personality traits, you've gained thanks to working in different environments/teams/organizations.

Your medical surgical nurse resume skills section is the perfect opportunity to shine a light on both types of skills by:

  • Dedicating a technical skills section to list up to six technologies you're apt at.
  • Focusing a strengths section on your achievements, thanks to using particular people skills or technologies.
  • Including a healthy balance of hard and soft skills in the skills section to answer key job requirements.
  • Creating a language skills section with your proficiency level - to hint at an abundance of soft skills you've obtained, thanks to your dedication to learning a particular language.

Within the next section of this guide, stay tuned for some of the most trending hard skills and soft skills across the industry.

Top skills for your medical surgical nurse resume:

Patient assessment

Administration of medication

Wound care and dressing changes

Implementation of patient care plans

Vital signs monitoring

Surgical procedures assistance

Intravenous therapy management

Use of medical equipment (e.g., monitors, pumps)

Electronic health records documentation

Infection control and aseptic procedures


Communication skills


Problem-solving skills

Attention to detail

Stress management


Teamwork and collaboration

Time management

Critical thinking

Cultural competency

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Always remember that your medical surgical nurse certifications can be quantified across different resume sections, like your experience, summary, or objective. For example, you could include concise details within the expertise bullets of how the specific certificate has improved your on-the-job performance.

Certifications and education: in-demand sections for your medical surgical nurse resume

Your academic background in the form of certifications on your resume and your higher degree education is important to your application.

The certifications and education sections pinpoint a variety of hard and soft skills you possess, as well as your dedication to the industry.

Add relevant certificates to your medical surgical nurse resume by:

  • Add special achievements or recognitions you've received during your education or certification, only if they're really noteworthy and/or applicable to the role
  • Be concise - don't list every and any certificate you've obtained through your career, but instead, select the ones that would be most impressive to the role
  • Include the name of the certificate or degree, institution, graduation dates, and certificate license numbers (if possible)
  • Organize your education in reverse chronological format, starting with the latest degree you have that's most applicable for the role

Think of the education and certification sections as the further credibility your medical surgical nurse resume needs to pinpoint your success.

Now, if you're stuck on these resume sections, we've curated a list of the most popular technical certificates across the industry.

Have a look, below:

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The top 5 certifications for your medical surgical nurse resume:

  1. Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) - Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB)
  2. Certified in Care Coordination and Transition Management (CCCTM) - Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB)
  3. Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC) in Medical-Surgical Nursing - American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  4. Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) - Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC)
  5. Orthopaedic Nurse Certified (ONC) - Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board (ONCB)
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Showcase any ongoing or recent educational efforts to stay updated in your field.

Your medical surgical nurse resume top one third: choosing between a resume summary or an objective

The top third of your resume is crucial, as recruiters might focus only on this section rather than reading the entire document. Therefore, it's important to carefully decide whether to include a resume summary or an objective.

  • The resume summary encapsulates your most significant experiences, key achievements, and skills in the field. Ideal for candidates with substantial relevant experience, the summary previews what recruiters will find in the rest of your resume.
  • The resume objective outlines your professional aspirations. It describes your career goals for the coming years and how you envision your role evolving in the prospective company. The resume objective is suitable if you have less professional experience and wish to emphasize various soft skills such as motivation, vision, and planning.

Explore some of the best examples of resume summaries and objectives from real-life professional resumes in the industry.

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Resume summaries for a medical surgical nurse job

  • With over 10 years of experience in high-pressure surgical units, I bring a wealth of knowledge in pre- and post-operative patient care, adeptly managing complex cases with a proven track record of decreasing patient recovery time by 15%. My expertise in advanced cardiac life support, alongside a compassionate approach to patient advocacy, ensures optimal patient outcomes.
  • Transitioning from a fast-paced emergency room environment, I offer 8 years of nursing experience with a distinct understanding of critical patient care. My strong ability to swiftly adapt to new protocols and surgical procedures will be invaluable in facilitating smooth surgical operations and enhancing patient care safety standards.
  • As a science educator with a master's degree in Biology, my pivot to medical-surgical nursing is motivated by a profound commitment to direct patient care. My analytical skills, honed through years of data-driven teaching, will be a strong asset in implementing evidence-based nursing practices and contributing to interdisciplinary healthcare teams.
  • With an impressive background as a certified athletic trainer and an acute interest in anatomy and patient rehabilitative care, I am excited to apply my 5 years of experience in sports medicine to the field of medical-surgical nursing. My adeptness in injury assessment and treatment plans will translate well into managing post-surgical recovery protocols.
  • Eager to launch a nursing career in medical-surgical care, I aim to apply my recent nursing degree and hands-on clinical experience to deliver high-quality patient care. With a strong foundation in evidence-based practices, patient-centered communication, and a dedication to lifelong learning, I am committed to achieving excellence in patient outcomes.
  • As a recent nursing program graduate with a passion for surgical nursing, I am determined to leverage my clinical rotations in various surgical departments to enhance patient recovery journeys. My objective is to absorb all possible knowledge, techniques, and best practices to become an invaluable contributor to a high-caliber medical-surgical team.

Bonus sections for your medical surgical nurse resume

Looking to show more personality on your medical surgical nurse resume? Then consider including a couple of extra sections.

They'd benefit your application by highlighting your most prominent:

Key takeaways

  • The layout of your resume should take into consideration your professional background while integrating vital sections and design elements;
  • Highlight your most pertinent achievements for the role all through different sections;
  • Be very specific when selecting your certifications, hard skills, and soft skills to showcase the best of your talents;
  • Include within the top one-third of your medical surgical nurse resume a header and summary to help recruiters understand your experience and allocate your contact details. A skills box is optional, but it will help you align your expertise with the role;
  • Detail the full extent of your professional experience with specific bullets that focus on tasks, actions, and outcomes.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He has written more than 500 resume guides and deep-dive articles on how to create your resume and cover letter, that inspire job applicants to make a resume to be proud of. His work has been featured in Forbes, Zendesk, HubSpot, and Business Insider, and cited by top universities and educational institutions, like Thunderbird School of Management, Rochester University, University of Miami, and Udemy. Volen applies his deep knowledge and practical experience to write about career changes, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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