Crafting a compelling Nurse resume can be a challenging task, especially when you struggle with quantifying your achievements.
Nursing resumes are unique in that they must showcase a combination of clinical expertise, empathy, and strong communication skills, all while adhering to the specific requirements of the healthcare industry.
These resumes should highlight specialized training, certifications, and relevant experience to demonstrate the candidate's ability to provide exceptional patient care.
Learning how to write yours well is crucial, and this comprehensive resume writing guide can help. In this article, you'll discover an actual ready-to-use example from a successful resume, a step-by-step guide for each important section, and invaluable tips for tailoring your resume to the job description while ensuring ATS-friendly formatting.
Nurse resume examples
Explore 16 additional nursing-related resume samples and tips on how to build your own resume.
Nurse assistant resume example
A nurse assistant plays a vital role in the healthcare setting, providing basic care and support to patients under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. They are responsible for tasks such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and monitoring vital signs. On a nurse assistant resume, it's essential to demonstrate hands-on experience in these areas and showcase any specialized training, such as completion of a state-approved nurse assistant training program or obtaining a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) credential.
Moreover, nurse assistants are expected to work closely with the nursing staff and other healthcare professionals, ensuring seamless communication and collaboration. Their resumes should reflect their ability to follow established protocols, maintain patient privacy, and contribute to a safe and supportive environment for patients and their families.
New grad nurse resume example
As a new graduate nurse entering the healthcare field, you are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during your nursing education to provide safe and effective patient care. Your resume should showcase your clinical rotations, hands-on experiences in various healthcare settings, and any specialized training, such as Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification. Emphasize your ability to work with interdisciplinary teams, adapt to different clinical environments, and contribute to a positive patient experience.
New graduate nurses must also demonstrate their commitment to ongoing learning and professional growth. Your resume should highlight your enthusiasm for staying current with best practices, your eagerness to learn from experienced nursing staff, and your ability to contribute to a culture of continuous improvement in the workplace.
Medical surgical nurse resume example
A medical-surgical nurse specializes in providing care for adult patients with a wide range of medical and surgical conditions. As a medical-surgical nurse, your resume should showcase your expertise in managing complex patient cases, coordinating with interdisciplinary teams, and implementing evidence-based nursing interventions. Highlight your experience in various clinical settings, such as acute care hospitals or rehabilitation centers, and demonstrate your ability to adapt to diverse patient populations.
Additionally, medical-surgical nurses must possess strong critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills. Your resume should emphasize your ability to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate patient care, as well as your commitment to staying current with advancements in medical-surgical nursing practice.
ER nurse resume example
Emergency Room (ER) nurses are healthcare professionals who specialize in providing urgent and critical care to patients in fast-paced, high-stress environments. Your ER nurse resume should demonstrate your expertise in assessing, triaging, and stabilizing patients with diverse medical conditions, from minor injuries to life-threatening emergencies. Emphasize your ability to make quick, sound clinical decisions and work effectively under pressure, while maintaining a high level of patient care.
Furthermore, ER nurses must possess excellent teamwork and communication skills, as they collaborate with a variety of healthcare providers, including physicians, paramedics, and other nursing staff. Your resume should showcase your ability to seamlessly coordinate and prioritize patient care in a rapidly changing environment.
NICU nurse resume example
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses are specialized healthcare professionals who provide critical care to newborn infants with medical complications, prematurity, or congenital issues. Your NICU nurse resume should showcase your expertise in caring for high-risk neonates, implementing developmentally appropriate interventions, and collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to optimize patient outcomes. Emphasize your ability to assess and monitor newborns, administer medications, and provide specialized support, such as ventilator management or neonatal resuscitation.
Moreover, NICU nurses must possess strong communication and empathy skills, as they work closely with families experiencing significant stress and emotional challenges. Your resume should highlight your ability to provide compassionate care, educate families, and advocate for the needs of your patients in a sensitive and supportive manner.
Registered nurse resume example
Registered nurses (RNs) play a crucial role in the healthcare system, providing comprehensive care to patients in various clinical settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and outpatient clinics. Your RN resume should demonstrate your expertise in assessing patient needs, developing and implementing care plans, and collaborating with interdisciplinary healthcare teams to optimize patient outcomes. Emphasize your ability to administer medications, monitor patient progress, and provide education and support to patients and their families.
Furthermore, registered nurses must possess strong communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Your resume should showcase your ability to adapt to diverse patient populations, navigate complex healthcare environments, and maintain a patient-centered approach to care.
Critical care nurse resume example
Critical care nurses are highly skilled healthcare professionals who specialize in providing care to critically ill or injured patients in intensive care units (ICUs) and other high-acuity settings. Your critical care nurse resume should demonstrate your expertise in managing complex patient cases, implementing evidence-based nursing interventions, and collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to optimize patient outcomes. Emphasize your ability to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate care for patients with life-threatening medical conditions, while maintaining a high level of patient safety.
Moreover, critical care nurses must possess exceptional critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Your resume should showcase your ability to adapt to rapidly changing patient conditions, make sound clinical decisions, and effectively collaborate with healthcare providers in high-pressure situations.
Travel nurse resume example
Travel nurses are registered nurses who take on temporary assignments in various healthcare facilities across the country, often filling in for staffing shortages or seasonal fluctuations in patient volume. Your travel nurse resume should demonstrate your ability to adapt quickly to new clinical environments, work effectively with diverse interdisciplinary teams, and provide high-quality patient care across a wide range of specialties. Emphasize your experience in multiple healthcare settings, geographical locations, and nursing specialties, showcasing your flexibility and versatility.
Moreover, travel nurses must possess excellent communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. Your resume should highlight your ability to navigate the unique challenges of travel nursing, such as working with different Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems, learning new protocols, and building rapport with patients and colleagues in a short period.
Pediatric nurse resume example
Pediatric nurses are specialized healthcare professionals who provide care to infants, children, and adolescents across a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and schools. Your pediatric nurse resume should showcase your expertise in assessing, diagnosing, and treating pediatric patients, as well as your ability to work effectively with their families. Emphasize your experience in providing age-appropriate and developmentally sensitive care, including administering immunizations, managing acute and chronic illnesses, and promoting health and wellness.
Moreover, pediatric nurses must possess exceptional communication, empathy, and interpersonal skills. Your resume should highlight your ability to build trust and rapport with young patients and their families, support them through challenging medical situations, and educate them on preventive care and health management.
Nurse manager resume example
Nurse managers are experienced nursing professionals who assume leadership roles in healthcare settings, overseeing nursing staff and managing patient care services. Your nurse manager resume should demonstrate your expertise in nursing practice, as well as your ability to lead, motivate, and support a team of nursing professionals. Emphasize your experience in managing clinical operations, developing and implementing policies and procedures, and ensuring compliance with regulatory and accreditation standards.
Moreover, nurse managers must possess strong communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Your resume should highlight your ability to effectively collaborate with interdisciplinary teams, manage budgets and resources, and drive continuous quality improvement initiatives in patient care.
Nurse educator resume example
Nurse educators are experienced nursing professionals who play a vital role in preparing the next generation of nurses by teaching, mentoring, and guiding them in academic and clinical settings. Your nurse educator resume should demonstrate your expertise in nursing practice, curriculum development, and instructional design. Emphasize your experience in teaching and evaluating nursing students, developing lesson plans, and coordinating clinical experiences in various healthcare settings.
Moreover, nurse educators must possess excellent communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills. Your resume should highlight your ability to engage and inspire students, facilitate learning through various teaching methodologies, and collaborate with faculty and clinical partners to promote student success and professional growth.
Staff nurse resume example
Staff nurses are registered nurses who provide direct patient care across a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, and home health agencies. Your staff nurse resume should demonstrate your expertise in assessing patient needs, implementing individualized care plans, and collaborating with interdisciplinary healthcare teams to optimize patient outcomes. Emphasize your ability to administer medications, monitor patient progress, and provide education and support to patients and their families.
Furthermore, staff nurses must possess strong communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Your resume should showcase your ability to work effectively in diverse patient populations, navigate complex healthcare environments, and maintain a patient-centered approach to care.
School nurse resume example
School nurses are specialized healthcare professionals who provide health services and support to students in educational settings. Your school nurse resume should demonstrate your expertise in assessing and managing the health needs of students, promoting wellness and prevention, and collaborating with school staff, families, and community resources to foster a healthy learning environment. Emphasize your experience in administering medications, managing chronic health conditions, and providing first aid and emergency care to students.
Moreover, school nurses must possess strong communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. Your resume should highlight your ability to build trust and rapport with students, educate families and school staff on health-related topics, and advocate for the well-being of students in the school community.
Charge nurse resume example
Charge nurses are experienced registered nurses who assume leadership responsibilities within a specific unit or department, overseeing patient care, managing nursing staff, and serving as a liaison between nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals. Your charge nurse resume should demonstrate your expertise in nursing practice, as well as your ability to lead and support a team of nursing professionals. Emphasize your experience in coordinating patient care, managing clinical operations, and ensuring compliance with facility policies and best practices.
Moreover, charge nurses must possess strong communication, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. Your resume should highlight your ability to effectively collaborate with interdisciplinary teams, address conflicts or concerns among staff, and prioritize patient needs in a fast-paced clinical environment.
Licensed practical nurse resume example
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), also known as Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) in some states, are healthcare professionals who provide basic nursing care under the supervision of registered nurses and physicians. Your LPN resume should demonstrate your expertise in assessing patient needs, implementing care plans, and performing routine nursing tasks. Emphasize your experience in administering medications, monitoring vital signs, and assisting with activities of daily living for patients across various healthcare settings.
Moreover, LPNs must possess strong communication, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills. Your resume should showcase your ability to work effectively with diverse patient populations, collaborate with interdisciplinary healthcare teams, and maintain a patient-centered approach to care.
How to make your Nurse resume
Now let's dive into formatting, designing, and writing your Nurse resume to make it stand out.
How to format your Nurse resume
- Columns: ATS can read any number of columns, but ensure your content is organized and easy to read.
- Margins: While ATS reads any margins, we recommend maintaining a size of 1 inch for optimal printing and readability ^.
- Spacing: ATS doesn't have issues with spacing, but choose appropriate spacing for a clean and legible document.
- Length: Although ATS doesn't restrict length, keep your resume concise and to-the-point ^.
- Format type: Opt for a reverse chronological resume format, with hybrid or functional formats being useful in specific situations ^.
Properly formatting your resume is key to making a lasting impression ^.
How to design your Nurse resume
While ATS may not parse icons, backgrounds, or photos, it won't have issues with your resume's text content. Adding visual elements can help you stand out. Consider the following design aspects:
- Font type and size: ATS isn't picky about fonts, but choose a legible and professional resume font.
- Colors: Incorporate color on your resume to draw attention to key sections without overwhelming the reader.
- Backgrounds: Subtle backgrounds can enhance your resume's appearance without affecting ATS readability.
- Icons: Use icons on your resume to highlight important details and create visual interest.
- Photo: Including a resume photo depends on cultural norms and industry preferences, so research before adding one.
How to write each section of your Nurse resume
In this section, we'll provide step-by-step guidance on crafting each part of your Nurse resume, complete with good and bad examples and a checklist of essential elements.
Step #1. Add your contact information and more in the Nurse resume header
The header is a crucial component of your Nurse resume, as it contains your contact information for potential employers. Follow this checklist to create an effective resume header:
- Your first name and last name: Clearly state your full name, avoiding nicknames ^.
- Your title: Include a targeted resume headline to convey your professional identity.
- Your phone number: Provide an up-to-date number for resume contact information.
- Your email address: Ensure it's professional and easy to read.
- Your location: Include your city and state, but avoid adding your full address on your resume.
- Relevant social media handles (optional): Add your LinkedIn on your resume if it's relevant and well-maintained.
Remember, an engaging resume introduction helps grab the attention of hiring managers.
Step #2. Create an impactful Nurse resume summary
An engaging summary is crucial for Nurse resumes, as it quickly showcases your value to potential employers. Consider the following elements for a powerful summary:
- Your title and years of experience: Clearly state your professional identity and experience level.
- The most relevant skills in your field: Highlight key nursing competencies that align with the position.
- Your top 1-2 professional achievements: Showcase your most impressive accomplishments to demonstrate your expertise.
A well-crafted summary benefits both ATS and recruiters by providing extra real estate for incorporating job description keywords and offering a reader-friendly snapshot of your professional profile. Name this section accordingly to ensure ATS recognition. To learn more about crafting the perfect summary, visit our resume summary guide.
Step #3. Create a results-oriented Nursing resume experience section
A well-crafted experience section with quantified achievements is essential for setting your Nurse resume apart from the competition. Keep these crucial elements in mind:
- Section name for ATS: Ensure proper recognition by ATS systems.
- Reverse chronological order: List your experience from most recent to least recent.
- Job title, company name, location, and description: Provide essential details about each role.
- Date of employment: Proper date formatting is crucial for ATS compatibility.
- Achievements and responsibilities: Focus on the optimal number of bullet points and jobs to include.
- Number of jobs: Consider the appropriate amount of jobs to list on your resume.
- Relevancy of the experience: Include relevant experience and exclude unrelated positions.
- Employment gaps: Learn how to address gaps in employment on your resume.
For a comprehensive guide to perfecting your work experience section, consult our in-depth resources on various aspects such as how far back your resume should go and handling job terminations on your resume.
- Assisted patients
- Gave medications
- Helped doctors
- Cleaned rooms
- Administered medications to over 30 patients daily, ensuring proper dosage and safety.
- Collaborated with interdisciplinary teams to develop and implement personalized care plans.
- Reduced patient falls by 25% through proactive risk assessments and timely interventions.
- Mentored 5 newly hired nurses, providing guidance and support during their onboarding process.
Step #4. Make a strong Nurse resume education section
A well-crafted education section is essential for showcasing your qualifications as a nursing professional. The following checklist outlines the most important elements to include in your education section:
- Degree Name
- University, college, or other institution
- Location (optional)
- Years attended
- If you have done relevant courseworks related to medical work and healthcare, include a link or title to it as a bullet point. How to address coursework on your resume: link to coursework on resume
- Write “in progress” in case your degree is incomplete.
- There are some cases when GPA on resume helps - especially if requested by the hiring manager.
Step #5. List your relevant Nurse resume skills
Effectively showcasing your nursing skills on your resume is crucial to stand out in the competitive healthcare field. Here's a checklist of important elements to include in your resume skills section:
- Name the section "Skills" or "Skills and Competencies" for better ATS recognition
- List hard skills that are relevant to nursing, such as specific medical procedures or certifications, to improve ATS scoring
- Include soft skills that demonstrate your ability to work well with patients and colleagues, which are important for both ATS and recruiters
- Match your skills to the job description to show that you have the qualifications and expertise the employer is looking for
Step #6. Add extra sections to your resume
To create a well-rounded Nurse resume, consider adding extra sections that highlight your qualifications and demonstrate a cultural fit with the organization. Here are some relevant sections for nursing professionals:
- Membership of professional associations: Showcase your involvement in nursing organizations to emphasize your commitment to the profession and staying updated on industry trends
- Publications: If you have authored or contributed to articles or research papers, include a publications section to display your expertise and thought leadership in the field
- Conferences: Mention conferences you've attended or presented at, to show your active engagement in professional development
- Volunteering: List volunteer experience in healthcare or community settings to demonstrate your dedication to helping others and making a positive impact
- Language skills: Proficiency in multiple languages can be a valuable asset when working with diverse patient populations. Include a language skills section to highlight your ability to communicate effectively with patients and their families
- Awards: Recognitions and accolades demonstrate your excellence in the nursing field and can set you apart from other candidates
Step #7. Finalize your Nurse resume
Before submitting your Nurse resume, ensure it's polished and ready for recruiters or hiring managers to review. Here are a few crucial steps to finalize your resume:
- Proofreading and editing: Double-check for any spelling, grammar, or formatting errors to present a professional and polished document
- Saving the file: Save your resume in a widely accepted format, such as PDF, which is perfectly readable by ATS systems
- Sending the email: Craft a professional email that includes your resume and any other required document.
Step #8. Create a Nurse cover letter to show your extra effort
A well-crafted cover letter can complement your Nurse resume and demonstrate your genuine interest in the position. Use your cover letter to expand on your qualifications and explain how you can contribute to the organization.
In your cover letter, include the following elements:
- Contact information that corresponds with the resume
- Professional greeting
- Highlight achievements in the first paragraph to grab the reader's attention
- Cover letter body, detailing your relevant work experience, skills, and why you'd be a good fit for the position
- A call to action, inviting the reader to contact you for an interview or further discussion
Your Nurse cover letter should be tailored to each specific job application, demonstrating your understanding of the organization's needs and how your qualifications align with their requirements.
Additional Nurse resume tips and tricks
In the next lines we will outline the top hard skills and soft skills that are essential for a successful Nurse resume. These skills are highly valued by employers and can help set you apart from other candidates in the competitive nursing job market.
Action verbs are crucial for a Nurse resume as they help to convey your professional experience and accomplishments more effectively. These strong, descriptive words demonstrate your ability to take decisive actions and showcase your nursing expertise. Using action verbs on your resume can make your experiences stand out and create a more engaging narrative for potential employers. In the nursing field, common verb groups and types often involve patient care, coordination, management, and communication tasks.
Certifications on resumes are important as they showcase your specialized skills and qualifications, which can give you an edge over other candidates. They also demonstrate your commitment to ongoing professional development and can be critical in meeting job requirements.
When adding certifications to your resume, include the following information:
- Certification name
- Name of issuer
- Year of obtainment
- Location (if applicable)
- Date of expiration (if applicable)
- Expected date of obtainment (if applicable)
It is appropriate to add certifications in a separate section, usually titled "Certifications" or "Licenses and Certifications," or within your "Education" or "Skills" sections. Include only those certifications that are relevant to the position you are applying for, to maintain focus and clarity on your resume.
Frequently asked questions about nurse resumes
How long should I make my nurse resume?
Aim for a one-page resume, but if you have extensive experience or multiple certifications, a two-page resume is acceptable. Keep it concise and focused on relevant information.
What is the best format for a nurse resume?
The reverse-chronological format is the best choice for a Nurse resume. This format highlights your work experience and education, showcasing your most recent achievements first.
Which nurse skills are most important to add to your resume?
Include both hard skills (technical competencies) and soft skills (interpersonal abilities) that are relevant to the nursing position. Common skills include patient care, medication administration, and teamwork.
What are some examples of certifications to include in a nurse resume?
Examples of certifications include Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN). Only include those relevant to the position you're applying for.
How can I make my nurse resume stand out?
Customize your resume for each job application, tailoring your skills and experiences to match the job description. Use strong action verbs, quantify your achievements, and include a professional summary that highlights your unique qualifications.
Do I need to include a cover letter with my nurse resume?
Yes, including a cover letter with your Nurse resume is highly recommended. A well-written cover letter provides an opportunity to showcase your personality, demonstrate your interest in the position, and expand on your resume's content.