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The Ultimate Nurse Resume Writing Guide for 2022

The Ultimate Nurse Resume Writing Guide for 2022

Nurse Resume Writing

Your nurse resume is your first introduction to your future employer. You can think of your nursing resume as your first impression. And if you’re reading this article, then you’re probably exploring your options in a career in nursing! Congratulations, because the nursing field is both rewarding emotionally and financially. For example, did you know that travel nurses can make upwards of $76,430?!

Two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, we are looking closer at the nursing industry. Ultimately, we’re only scratching the surface of learning how important nurses are to a functioning healthcare system.

There are constant changes happening in healthcare so it’s important to have an up-to-date nursing resume. Whether you’re applying for a job as a NICU nurse, an ER nurse or a nursing assistant, there are some differences between a more generic resume and a nurse resume. In this article, we share what information should go into your nursing resume in 2022.

If you’d like a more in-depth look at how to write the best resume for nurses, please download our free resume writing guide for medical professionals. This writing guide is packed with useful information about cover letter writing and job interview tips. Our resume writing guide even includes a list of resume action verbs that you can incorporate into your nursing resume.

At Good Luck Templates, we specialize in getting medical professionals like nurses hired in their dream jobs. We are proud to have the best nursing resume template for ambitious RNs.

And without further ado, let’s get into the nurse resume.

First, Use These General Resume Tips

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel with your nurse resume. Follow these timeless tips for good resume writing:

  1. Focus on writing clearly and concisely
  2. Create a clean resume format
  3. Include relevant contact information
  4. Use specific language to add depth to your experience
  5. Stick to one-page if you’re in the beginning stages of your career
  6. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

Completely groundbreaking you must be thinking sarcastically. Yes, these are resume basics, but are often overlooked. When your resume follows these resume tips, you greatly increase your chances of landing an interview.

Here is the information that should go on your resume, regardless of your job.

Your Name

Don’t be shy when applying for job. When you are writing your application, you are essentially marketing yourself to your potential employer. Therefore, your name should be the biggest, boldest text on your nursing resume. Here is how the name section looks like on one of our nurse resume templates.

Nurse resume template

As you can see, we like to use big, bold text in the header of our resume because your name is the most important part of your resume. If the hiring manger remembers your name, then you can be sure that you will be called in for a job interview.

Contact Information

If the hiring manager likes your application, then they will need to get in touch with you, right? Your contact information section doesn’t have to be long, but should include the following information:

  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Location (doesn’t have to be your home address) ie City, State
  • Any pertinent social media accounts like LinkedIn.

We usually like to include this contact information under or close to your name.

Professional Summary (also called an Objective Section)

Some people argue that the professional summary section is unnecessary, but we disagree. In fact, we believe that the professional summary section is in second importance only to your name and contact information. When written correctly, your professional summary gives the reader a clear idea if you are the right person for the job.

The objective section is a quick 2-3 sentence that summarizes who you are, your professional background and why you are the perfect person for the job. Boom. The hiring manager might not even need to read your work history to decide to contact you for an interview.

When writing a nursing resume it may be helpful to include a few details like these into your objective section:

  • Number of years of experience in a specialty (ie, emergency care, NICU, etc)
  • Keywords (common keywords found in nursing job descriptions – excellent patient care, acute care, family care) 
  • Facility designations or info about facilities 
  • Supervisory experience + number of subordinates
  • Special certifications or awards
  • Language abilities

Work History

After the professional summary section, we ask most applicants to list their work history in reverse-chronological order.

This work history format focuses on career history and lists jobs in reverse chronological order. This means that the most recent position is at the top of the page, while the least recent position is towards the bottom. We recommend the reverse-chronological work history format for the majority of medical professionals. It is best suited for:

  • Nurses applying for a similar role
  • Nurses with fewer than 5 roles within the past 5-7 years
  • New nursing graduates
  • Travel nurses with <10 completed assignments
  • Nurses with experience in only 1-2 specialties

Now, let’s get into how to write a nurse resume more specifically because it does require some unique sections.

Nursing Credentials Section

According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (AACN) the preferred order is: Highest degree earned, Licensure, National Certification. 

If you have passed the NLEX, include your RN license (and your license number.) If you have have not yet taken or passed the NCLEX, write ‘Eligible for NCLEX test for RN’ and include your test date. Include any other related licenses or certifications as follows:

  • Educational degrees include doctoral degrees (PhD, DrPH, DNS, EdD, DNP), master’s degrees (MSN, MS, MA), bachelor’s degrees (BS, BSN, BA), and associate degrees (AD, ADN).
  • Licensure credentials include RN, LPN,CNA, and APRN.
  • National certification, which is occasionally voluntary for nurses and obligatory for advanced practice nurses, is awarded through accredited certifying bodies such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), includes RNBC (Registered Nurse-Board Certified) and FNP-BC (Family Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified).

You may also choose to include the following award and honors though, it is voluntary:

  • Outstanding achievements in nursing such as FAAN (Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing).
  • Other certifications that recognize additional skills such as the EMT-Basic/EMT, awarded by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician.

Clinical Experience

This is the biggest area that nursing students leave out. Always include the number of hours your spent in the clinical rotation.

List your primary duties in a bulleted list format with no more than 4 points. Emphasize specific duties. Do not be vague.

Here are some specifics that you can think about including:

  • Illnesses, injuries or traumas do you care for? 
  • Cases do you work on? 
  • Medications do you administer and how? 
  • Therapies you perform? 
  • Equipment do you use? 
  • How have you improved processes? 
  • No. 1 achievement in each position?
  • Which achievements have the most impressive numbers?

Skills and Areas of Expertise Section

In a nursing resume, don’t list your hard skills last. With the increasing popularity fo the ATS, this common mistake can cost you an interview. This is because nursing jobs require very specific skills.

Therefore, we recommend that you list your skills within the top 1/3 of your resume. Also make sure that your hard skills are directly targeted to the job description. Here’s an example of how not to list your hard skills based on this nursing job description:

Registered Nurse – RN – Emergency Room – ER needed in OR and surrounding areas for a contract opportunity at a well respected hospital system. Spanish speaker preferred, ability to set your own schedule with the nation’s leading staffing company.

Registered Nurse – RN – Emergency room – ER – Requirements:

8/10/12 Hour day, eves and nights available

2 years of ER experience within the last 2 years

Knows how to start IVs very important

Current CPR / BLS, ACLS, TNCC and PALS certifications

Current Registered Nurse Licensure in the state of OR

-Started peripheral IV and provided compassionate care to ER patients by communicating in their native Spanish– Provided compassionate care in the ER

Let’s take a look at the above example. In good demonstration of skills, the writer incorporated important keywords from the job description, ie – start IVs, and Spanish speaker – into their skills bullet points. On the other hand, in the poor demonstration, the skills are generic and give no depth to the hard skills that the candidate might have.

Hard VS Soft Skills

Keep in mind to always use specifics when discussing your skills whether they are hard skills or soft skills. If you’re unsure of the difference between hard and soft skills, please take a look at our handy Hard Skills VS Soft Skills infographic. You can see more helpful job hunting information like this on our Pinterest page.

Pin this image on Pinterest!

Key Takeaways

  1. Follow general resume writing best practices:
  • Focus on writing clearly and concisely
  • Create a clean resume format
  • Include relevant contact information
  • Use specific language to add depth to your experience
  • Stick to one-page if you’re in the beginning stages of your career
  • Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

If you’d like a in-depth look at the hiring process, please download our free resume writing guide for medical professionals

And if you need extra help with getting your resume started, please see our resume templates for registered nurses. Our resume templates are easy to edit in Word Docs, Apple Pages, or Google Docs and include a cover letter and references page with helpful writing tips throughout. 

Good Luck! 

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