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How To Prepare Resume For Nursing Job

Formatting Tips For Your Nursing Resume

How to write a nursing resume

Resume formatting involves things like fonts, margins, sizing, etc. Resume formatting affects both the humans and the applicant tracking systems that read your resume.

As the study we cited above indicates, humans respond better to resumes with clean fonts and appealing white-space. Meanwhile, images and various uncommon formatting characteristics can confuse applicant tracking systems.

Follow these formatting tips to make sure your nursing resume is appealing to humans and software.

Writing Your Nursing Resume Objective Or Summary

Think of your nurse resume objective or summary as an elevator pitch. Crafting a good objective is all about precision and brevity.

When to use an objective

Whether you write a nursing resume objective or summary depends on your experience. If you dont have a lot of experience in nursing, then you should write an objective. Objective statements highlight training and goals for the future.

Dont make the mistake of over-emphasizing your relative inexperience.

Highlight what experience or training you have accumulated. For example, lead with any licensure or state designation youve earned to begin your objective. Then go into some of your skills that make you a good fit for the job.

When to use a summary

If you have experience in the field, we suggest that you use a resume summary.

Within the summary, make sure you include how many years youve been in the field with your designation or licensure and specific field expertise. Then outline your goal in applying.

Heres an example:

Hard-working and passionate Registered Nurse with over eight years of management/supervising experience and paramedic background looking to continue to grow and enhance my skills for the wellness of the facility. Currently completing mymasters in nursing with a specialty in Executive Leadership.

Nurse Resume Education Section

Just like the work experience section, education should be mentioned in reverse chronological order, with your recent education displayed first followed by the education before that as given in the example below:-

Given that your nursing resume shall not take up more than 2- pages, it is necessary to cramp education section with projects or other details.

Any specific achievements during your education years can be clubbed separately in the section ‘Awards & Achievements.

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Formatting Your Nursing Resume

Hiring managers normally receive a torrent of resumes from job seekers whenever theres an open position. If you prepare your nursing resume haphazardly, youll be doing yourself a disservice. Its important to make your resume readable, logical, and complete to increase your chances of success. It should showcase your skills and experience. In addition to this, your resume needs to be ATS-compliant and should employ the best format: either a reverse-chronological, functional, or hybrid.

Addressing Required Vs Preferred Qualifications

How to Write an Appropriate New Grad Nurse Resume ...

Addressing a potential employer’s specifications is the main objective in writing a nursing resume. But before writing, it’s important to identify required vs. preferred job qualifications.

Because this profession necessitates advanced academic and professional training in addition to licensure and clinical experience, job postings for nurses comprise extensive requirements, including required and preferred criteria. The former reflects qualifications a candidate must possess to warrant consideration, while the latter constitutes a wishlist of additional skills, experiences, and character traits that benefit the position but are not mandatory.

An effective resume details how an applicant fulfills required qualifications and as many of the preferred qualifications as possible without crowding the page and rendering the information inaccessible. Nurses can take advantage of a cover letter to elaborate and fill in additional qualifications with anecdotal evidence and quantifiable facts.

While some healthcare facilities outright reject applicants who do not possess all their required qualifications, most see the job listing as a guideline and not a checklist. Even if a nurse does not meet all the standards, they should still apply if they can impress during the interview.

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Nurse Resume: Key Skills

This section plays a vital role in a nursing career.

Nurses have all sorts of core skills and technical skills in their arsenal.

And it should reflect on their resume in a separate section called Key Skills and Technical Skills.

So to gain the competitive advantage and render maximum impact, look at the example below on how you can draft this section:-

Nurse Resume Writing: The Opening Section

1. A short, specific resume summary statement

Enthusiastic Registered Nurse with 3 years of experience in large, urban hospital environment. Background providing patient care across Trauma Emergency, Med-Surg, Pediatrics and Orthopedic departments. Talent in de-escalating conflict situations, providing a calm approach to soothe nerves and assure frightened patients.

2. A professional summary

3 years in management role, overseeing a team of 12 full-time staff is more impressive than managerial experience.

Senior Charge Nurse with specialization in Critical Care for patients of cardiology, trauma and oncology treatment centers. Over 20 years of experience leading nursing staff supporting cardio-pulmonary transplants, life-threatening neurological conditions and intensive cancer treatments. Recognized consistently by administration for exemplary performance, high level of skill and patient relations.

3. An objective statement

Experienced nurse seeking upward career opportunity managing a team as Director of Nursing Services.

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Add Hard Numbers To Your Experience Section

One of the most effective ways to show employers your capabilities and successes as a nurse is to add hard numbers to your work experience section.

For example, when writing your resume, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many patients did you take care of in your unit?
  • How many hours did you work per rotation?
  • How many nurses did you work with, or train?

Numbers give the hiring manager a clear picture of your skills and abilities because they add context to the accomplishments on your resume.

Heres an example of a bullet point without numbers:

No hard numbers

  • Supervised unit of a large psychiatric facility

Here is the same statement with numbers and context added:

With hard numbers

  • Supervised up to 10 staff in the 200-bed adolescent unit of a large psychiatric facility, specializing in eating disorders

Registered Nurse Resume Sample

How To Make a Resume For Nurses | Nursing Job Application

Use this template

Why this resume works

  • A resume objective is by no means required on your registered nurse resume. If you are ever faced with the choice of including a resume objective or including more relevant work experience and you want to fit your resume on one page, always go with more work experience.
  • If you’ve had the opportunity to do work outside of a clinical setting in your career, be sure to include it. This kind of experience can really help you stand out in the crowd of job applicants.
  • For example, have you worked on a community outreach program? Did you have the chance to do public speaking? Did you lead an initiative to standardize or organize documentation practices?

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Create An Identifiable Name For Your Resume File

When saving your resume file, it should include your name and date of submission. This way, employers can easily search for your resume in their files whenever they need it. Examples of proper identifiable resume file name are the following:

Smith, JW 05-25-2014 Smith, John _resume 05-25-2014 Smith, J 5-25-14

Take note that the surname goes first followed by other important details like initials or the first name and the date of the application. Employers usually remember the applicants surname if they appear promising for the job so it is best to start your resumes file name with your last name.

What Is A Cover Letter

A cover letter is a document that details your qualifications for a particular role. It’s an opportunity for you to expand upon your experience and the skills outlined in your resume. A cover letter also allows you to express your interest in the position and the reason why you want to work for the company in the first place. Also, a cover letter allows you to showcase your personality. Oftentimes, a cover letter is the first impression hiring managers will get of you, so your cover letter must be not only professional but also memorable.

It’s important to note that when you create a cover letter, as with a resume, you should be creating one directed toward a particular job posting, company and industry. For a nursing job in particular, you should have your cover letter geared toward the healthcare sector and only discuss your experiences as it relates to the nursing field.

Related:7 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter

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What Is A Resume

The resume-reading robot is actually a program known as Applicant Tracking Software .

It is highly technical and individualized, but not nearly as smart as a human. It does what it has been programmed to do.

An employer may enter in specific keywords for the ATS to scan for. They may choose to enter knockout questions to quickly eliminate unqualified candidates. Such as, Do you have an active Washington State Nursing License?

They could even choose to include disqualifying statements to automatically screen candidates out. For example, if an ATS is programmed to screen out all resumes lacking a Bachelors Degree, anyone with an Associates Degree will automatically be rejected. If you have both, consider listing only your BSN.

Recruiters may also configure the ATS to deliver only resumes that include exact keywords.

Include An Education Section

How to Write a Nurse Resume + Example

An education section will be especially valuable if you have limited work experience or if you are transferring to a new industry. You can include information such as:

  • Relevant coursework

  • Grade point average

  • Participation in clubs or organizations

  • Leadership positions held

  • Awards, achievements or certifications

When writing your education section, you should include the name of the institution, dates of attendance and your degree or area of study. If you are applying to mid or higher-level positions, you might remove all but the name of your school and dates of attendance to make room for more relevant professional experience on your resume.

If you have certifications or licenses that are relevant to the job description, you can include them in this section as well. To save space, you can leave off any credentials that are not directly related to the requirements of this job.

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Follow With A Paragraph About Your Background In The Nursing Industry

After your introductory paragraph, start the body of your cover letter with a paragraph about your background in the nursing industry. This means listing any relevant qualifications as it pertains to this role. Some things you can include are your particular skills or achievements that make you a qualified candidate for the position you’re applying for. You should also mention any impacts you’ve made in previous roles and how they can be carried into the position you’re applying for now.

What Do Nurses Do

Registered nurses are typically involved in providing and coordinating patient care, while also playing an important role in educating patients and the public about diverse health conditions. They work in a wide variety of health care settings, including hospitals, physicians offices, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities, as well as outpatient clinics and schools.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , the median annual wage for registered nurses was $75,330 in May 2020. The lowest 10% earned less than $53,410, and the highest 10% more than $116,230.

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Tips To Rock Your Nurse Practitioner Interview

The interview process for nurse practitioners can be a little bit different than the process of interviewing as a nurse. So if this is a new experience for you, or if you just need a little bit of a refresher maybe youre moving into a new NP role, keep reading so I can teach you my best tricks and tips of the trade.

Before you go into your interview, maybe the day or two before, there are a couple of things that you should be doing in advance.

NOTE: If you havent landed that interview yet, its time to brush up that résumé of yours!

Will Your Nursing Resume Beat The Ats


Optimize your resume for the Application Tracking System increases your chances of being called for an interview. Most resumes that are not designed to beat ATS are filtered and never reach the recruiter. Heres what you should know about the role of fonts, font size, margins, header names, logical order, skills, and page length, as far as ATS-friendly resumes are concerned.

  • ATS-friendly fonts make it easy for a computer to read your resume. Some of the most commonly used ATS-friendly fonts include Times New Roman, Calibri, and Arial. Preferably, they should have a font size of 10-12 points.
  • Using ATS-friendly fonts and font size goes a long way in increasing the chances of getting shortlisted and eventually being called for an interview.
  • Using the right margin makes ATS locate your resume. Ideally, margins should be 1-inch all around.
  • Using the relevant skills and header names as specified in job requirements can help ATS locate your resume.
  • ATS is not sensitive to the number of pages, but one page is considered best.

Our resume builder incorporates all these elements to increase the chances your application will get past the filter.

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How To Spot An Ats

If youve ever visited a job posting and seen an APPLY NOW button, youve encountered the elusive resume-reading bot. ATS requires candidates to enter data on the front end.

Maybe youve gone through the steps to create a login, complete the application and upload your resume. Perhaps you didnt realize at the time that you were entering your information into an applicant tracking system.

Raise your hand if you never heard back from an employer after applying online? Raise your other hand if you received an automated response, thanking you for your interest and never heard back!

Now, keep in mind that it can be difficult to stand out when you are applying for a job online, especially when there is an ATS involved. As you consider your overall job search strategy, try to think of other ways that can increase your chances of getting a job. Dont be afraid to ask your network connections for referrals and recommendations, or let friends and family know what type of position you are looking for, and where. While your resume is absolutely important, it isnt the only tool that can lead to you getting a job.

Icu Nurse Resumes: Bucketing

For all the points in your work experience, it is beneficial to club similar points under one bucket to make a recruiter’s job easy.

Without any bucketing, it will become a pile of information challenging to scan and make sense of.

Let us see RN resume examples:

Incorrect Way

The image above makes it very difficult for the recruiter to gauge any insight or scan any important information.

At best, what the recruiter would do is move on to the next resume!

Correct Way

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Resume Layout And Formatting: First Impressions

The visual appearance of your nurse resume is what employers will notice first about your job application. That makes it the first impression they will have about you. A messy, cluttered resume format, or a poorly organized CV layout that lacks clearly defined sections may hurt your chances of being considered for an amazing professional nurse opportunity.

Eight Nursing Resume Templates

Nursing Resume Sample &  Writing Guide

Woot! If youve made it this far you should have an excellent understanding of how to write a great nursing resume. We know its a lot of information right now and we hope that youll use the information to advance your career.

For a little more help, try using our free resume templates. And when youve landed your next interview, check out the next part in this series, The Complete Guide to Nursing Job Interviews.

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Proofread Your Nursing Resume

Writing and completing the details for your nursing resume is half the job. The other half is to make sure its reviewed and edited correctly. Here are some tips:

32. Check and re-check what you have written. Make doubly sure that your telephone number, e-mail address, and other contact details are correct. Just imagine if they wanted to call you for an interview and you typed 5 instead of 6. Proofreading the material is the ultimate step that must be considered before a resume can be regarded as complete.

33. Let the resume sit for a day or two and look at it again with a fresh perspective. Spellcheckers sometimes dont pick up all the typos and errors . You can miss these errors because your mind recalls what you have just written and scanned over the content from memory without actually seeing. Also, reread the job listing to make sure you have addressed all the requirements, and you may even have new insights about the content after a break.

34. Ask another person to read through the resume. To make sure everything is clear and to find any remaining typing and grammatical errors. A nurse friend who knows you well might also come up with important skills and experiences you didnt think of.

35. Regularly update your resume. Make sure to regularly update your resume as being a professional includes countless experiences that need to be put on your paper like seminars attended and new skills that youve obtained.

Nursing Resume: Licence Numbers

There is a fair argument around mentioning your license on the resumes for registered nurse.

But as we found, this information is already available as public records, and there is no breach of privacy happening while you mention it.

In fact, mentioning the license number might make the recruiter’s job very easy and may act as a distinguishing element for you.

These five details are necessary while stating License details:-

  • Name on the license
  • License Expiration Date
  • License Type
  • You can use a separate section on your nursing resume to highlight the important details.

    Also, you may state your license number just below your personal details in the same section:

    You may also include it within your nursing resume summary.

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