The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Student Resume Examples in 2019

Applying for your first nursing job is be nerve-racking and difficult! You’ve been working hard to develop nursing skills and knowledge and now you are ready to apply for a job using the degree you worked so hard for. The problem is that after so much hard work, you don’t feel like you have much to offer when putting together your resume. Here is some practical advice that will help you to put forth the best resume to get that interview!

A great nursing student resume template is just the start

Too many applicants simply find a generic resume template and fill in the blanks. This type of mindless work won’t help separate your resume from other applicants. Finding a great template without meaningful content in the resume won’t impress a hiring manager either. The templates provided here coupled with the nursing student resume guide will give your resume the style you want with substance you need. It can be difficult to know what details to add to your resume and even more so how to make your resume stand out from other nursing students. This guide will give you the broad perspective you need to understand every element of a resume as well as small details that will help your resume stand out. Whether you realize it or not. There are a variety of techniques that can be utilized to stand out from other nursing students, getting you that job interview!

Try one of our FREE nursing student resume templates:

What's the average experience on resumes VS job description for a Nursing Student

2yrs11mo
avg. experience on resumes
vs.
1yr3mo
avg. experience on job offers

What keywords and skills should your Nursing Studentresume include?

How do you decide what skills to include on your Nursing Student resume? Don’t just list everything you can think of, there’s an art to choosing the most effective skills and presenting them correctly. These are the 4 steps to follow when adding skills to your Nursing Student resume

5 important steps to follow when adding skills to your nursing student resume

  • Begin by carefully reading the job description and writing down all of the skills it mentions.
  • Write down all of your own skills, these could be hard skills like knowing a language or soft skills like working well in groups.
  • See which skills match up (they don’t necessarily have to be exact matches)
  • Think about how you can SHOW that you have these skills by giving examples instead of simply saying that you have them.
  • Refrain from using intensifiers. Intensifiers are words like very and really. These words are not appropriate for a resume and come across as immature, unprofessional, and desperate sounding. Plain statements are powerful sounding on their own. Example: A very collaborative nurse with really good communication skills. Compared to: A collaborative nurse who is a seasoned communicator. Word choice is more important that using intensifiers.
When it comes to sales, there are specific skills that make for a great salesperson - these have to do mainly with communicating with customers and transforming leads into high-value customers.

Best skills for a Nursing Student resume

The top 5 skills for Nursing Student resumes based on 1,000+ real examples

  • Critical thinking
    Arguably the most difficult skill to learn and assess is critical thinking. Nursing students struggle to piece all their knowledge together in a way that allows them to provide effective and efficient care to all their patients through a long entire shift.

    Critical thinking is ultimately what makes a nurse a nurse. Without critical thinking, nurses would simply be task doers. Because critical thinking is a difficult yet vital task to nursing, any way you can show it must be placed in your resume.
  • Teamwork
    The healthcare system is complex. Nurses are forced to work with other nurses, patients, family members, physicians, care assistants, social workers, students, and many other disciplines. If you can work well with others, you will be a liability, not an asset. Therefore, letting the hiring manager know that you’re a team player by giving specific examples is highly valuable.
  • Positive attitude
    The healthcare environment is stressful and demanding. Change seems constant. Individuals with a poor attitude can really bring down a team and create a tumultuous environment to work in. Manager often find people with a poor attitude working against them and hard to get rid of because nobody else wants to hire them. On the contrary, a positive attitude can do wonders to improve staff morale.
  • Work ethic
    Nurses are present to serve patients by helping them with anything from a complex procedure to getting them a glass of water. Being willing to work hard day in and day out is not for the faint of heart. Finding ways to go beyond expectations for patients and colleagues alike is valuable and hard to find. List these experiences in your nursing student resume to get a hiring manager's attention.
  • Nursing skills
    The ability of a nursing student to pick up on a skill quickly shows aptitude well beyond average. When it comes to nursing skills, if you can become the expert that everyone goes to, you are an asset to the unit and coveted amongst nurse managers. Highlight the ability to learn and adapt quickly in your nursing student resume.

Top 5 Skills On Resumes vs Job Offers

SkillIn resumesIn job offers
microsoft office16.30%3.80%
home health10.87%7.90%
certified nursing assistant8.48%26.70%
medical terminology6.74%7.10%
patient care6.09%74.00%

 Source: enhancv.com

Show them you’re a nurse who impacts patients!

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are being rated now more than ever and the experience of patients is directly tied to reimbursement rates. Simply put, the patient experience matters to healthcare organizations. Nurses are at the front line of the patient experience so be sure to highlight how you’ve made the patient experience a fantastic one. This can also be a great area to mention other customer service or support experience.

All nursing students are not the same - show them you’re unique!

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to patients. This means that it takes all kinds of nurses to care for a wide variety of patients any healthcare organization should expect to see.

Rather than making yourself seem like a generalist, mention specific skills that you bring to the role that others won’t likely have. What are you known for? What are your strengths? What are you naturally better at than your classmates or in your friend group? These are the types of things that you need to highlight specifically. Go beyond generalizations and add specifics.

Example (weak): Nursing student with strong leadership skills.

Example (strong): Nursing student who is passionate about leadership and is a member of A+ Nursing Leadership Organization.

The strong example here shows a few things. First, this candidate is passionate about leadership. Strong leadership would be assumed or implied. Next, this candidate took the initiative to invest their time and money to join a professional nursing leadership organization. This part reaffirms the first part of the statement (passion for leadership) and builds a case that this nursing student has proved the statement in a way by acting on his passion in a legitimate way.

Building a high-quality, well-written nursing student resume is not the standard but it is attainable. This guide will give you all the tips and tricks that you will need to put forth the best resume possible!

How to get a referral on LinkedIn for the nursing role you want

Relying on nothing but your resume can leave you with less than a 2% chance of getting an interview. As you can see, it’s important to give yourself the best shot possible at getting hired. This includes leveraging personal connections to get referred to a job.

So before you start applying for a new student nursing role, check your 1st and 2nd degree contacts in both LinkedIn and in any other relevant groups you may belong to. If you don’t have strong connections in the industry you’re looking to establish yourself in, start making them now!

Check out our guide on getting referrals for any job you’re applying for.
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