6. Experienced Nurse Resume
Why this resume works
- Depending on your years of nursing experience, you may wonder if you need to submit a CV or a resume.
- Some professions require CVs for senior-level officials, while other industries are fine with a resume no matter their seniority level. Check the job description to see what kind of information the employer requires, so you know what to write.
- Because you have to include more work experience, you may be wondering how to condense everything on your experienced nurse resume.
- Try to demonstrate the different specific responsibilities you've had throughout your career. What kinds of clinical techniques have you done? For example, have you assisted with ADLs, administered particular tests, or diagnosed specific types of diseases?
7. ICU Nurse Resume
Why this resume works
- Writing an ICU nurse resume can feel overwhelming: what are you supposed to include, and how are you supposed to format your information? There's a solution to avoid this kind of writer's block!
- To avoid the fear of the blank page, start by using a resume outline to give you a basic structure to follow and show you what your finished resume should look like.
- Even if you lack specific ICU experience, you can include any nursing experience. Many nursing skills are transferrable across industries.
- So, when you're writing the work experience bullet points, use general responsibilities like "provided effective care"), but be specific about how you helped your patients (and what resulted from your ministrations).
8. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Resume
Why this resume works
- Much like applying for an RN role, you should include your license right in your resume title (right after or below your last name). This effectively alerts the employer that you're qualified for the role (and thus, deserve an interview).
- In addition to your title, if you have any certifications or additional licenses, include them on your resume in a designated section.
- If you're struggling to know what to write on your CNA resume, it can help to look at CNA resume examples and local CNA job descriptions to determine what employers want to see and what metrics to include.
9. Travel Nurse Resume
Why this resume works
- Travel nurses are more in demand than ever, but that doesn't mean you can be lazy when writing your travel nurse resume. You need to stand out and demonstrate that you deserve an interview.
- To help stand out above the competition, clarify your work experience sections so employers know if you've had traveling nurse contracts or not.
- As you gain more work experience, be picky about what you include on your resume. Your goal should be to keep your resume to one page, so real estate is valuable!
- More likely than not, you don't need a resume objective or summary, nor do you need to list individual projects. Remember that you can go into more detail about achievements and skills in your nursing cover letter.
10. Charge Nurse Resume
Why this resume works
- When you're applying for a new job as a charge nurse, you must demonstrate an increasing level of responsibility throughout your nursing career. Any project or experience you've had in a leadership position should be included.
- For example, have you had the opportunity to manage or lead co-workers? Have you ever trained a nurse and oversaw scheduling? Be specific about how you've managed projects and people and what resulted from your leadership.
- Want to know a quick and easy way to write a charge nurse resume? Start by using a resume template to format your information, then fill in the blanks with specific details about your past experience and skills.
11. Chief Nursing Officer Resume
Why this resume works
- Your chief nursing officer resume should be written in reverse-chronological order, with your most recent experience listed at the top of your resume.
- This formatting showcases your career growth and leadership development by highlighting your most recent (and likely most relevant) job.
- CNOs must have management and finance experience, so focus on including hard skills in your resume skills section.
- We recommend you include six to 10 skills, with at least 70 percent hard skills such as BLS, QA/QC, federal compliance, and fiscal health analysis.
12. Telehealth Nurse Resume
Why this resume works
- Your telehealth nurse resume needs to make a positive first impression as quickly as possible, but how are you supposed to do that?
- Luckily, there are multiple resume tips you can incorporate to make your resume a cut above the rest, including choosing specific hard skills in your skills section and formatting your resume in reverse-chronological order.
- If you have a few years of experience under your belt, your education section will look different than an entry-level telehealth nurse resume.
- If you have a degree higher than a high school diploma, ignore your high school information since employers don't need it. If you have multiple nursing degrees, include all of them.
13. Nurse Consultant Resume
Why this resume works
- As a nurse consultant, you should showcase how you’ve built relationships and improved group collaboration and communication.
- Use business-related numbers like sales growth or revenue/profit increases to demonstrate your worth as an employee.
- Building a great nursing consultant resume is challenging, but it helps to keep focused on presenting your story as concisely as you can.
- Don't forget to add other sections to showcase your training and certifications.
- If you decide to include these sections, keep them brief and include only what’s relevant to the job you’re seeking.
14. Licensed Practical Nurse Resume
Why this resume works
- No LPN has the same responsibilities within every industry. Connect your strengths by highlighting your technical abilities according to the nursing job description on your licensed practical nurse resume.
- If your current specialization is different from the job description, don’t stress! You should still be specific about your experience, but focus on transferable skills that go hand-in-hand with other fields.
- For example, do you specialize in long-term care, nephrology, or developmental disabilities? Include how you applied those abilities throughout your LPN resume.
- An impressive education, both what you know and what you’ve taught, is a strong indicator of expertise as an LPN.
- Of course, you need to include where you got your nursing degree, but don’t stop there! Adding a certifications or licenses section can show off your training and catch a hiring manager’s eye quickly.
Formatting Your Nursing Resume
Hiring managers typically receive a torrent of resumes whenever there's an open position, so if you prepare your nursing resume haphazardly, you are more likely to get the boot than the job. To avoid that sad scenario, you need to make your nursing resume readable, logical, and pleasing to the eye. It should showcase your skills and experience while being ATS-compliant, and it should show off a bit of your personality, too.
It make sound like an impossible task, but before your get overwhelmed, start by taking it one step at a time. First, choose your formatting style: reverse-chronological, functional, or hybrid.
Reverse-chronological, functional, and combination/hybrid format
A well-structured resume is essential for your job search. Even if your resume has perfect content, if your resume isn't easy to skim at a glance, it's unlikely you'll be called for an interview. Your content matters, but so does how you present that content. Therefore, proper resume formatting is a salient feature you don't want to get wrong.
There are three popular formatting options for designing your resume in 2022: reverse-chronological, functional, and hybrid.
- Focuses more on your skills
- Ideal for a recent graduate or an entry-level candidate
- The most common format
- Lists relevant experiences and skills in reverse-chronological order
- The best for making it past the ATS
Hybrid or combination format
- Combines functional and reverse-chronological features
- Highlights both your skills and experience
- Ideal if you have a handful of experience or are re-entering the workforce
The best bet for a nursing resume would be the reverse-chronological format. This helps the recruiter see your upward career progression. If you started as an intern in a given health organization, and then moved up the career ladder to become a full-fledged nurse, your potential employer will be able to track your progression and assess your qualifications faster.
It's important to include the relevant contact header information in the right order. If you're a nurse, your contact header should have the following:
- Your name—Employers won't automatically know you, so you need to include your first and last name.
- Phone number—Use your personal cellphone number instead of a work phone in case a potential employer calls when you're not on the job.
- Email address—Include a professional email address, preferably combining your first and last name.
- City & state—This is optional but recommended so employers know if you're local.
- LinkedIn—Some employers require your LinkedIn profile, but even if it's not mandatory, it's helpful for employers to see your career progression.
The contact header should be, you guessed it, at the top of the page. Good font choices are Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri, all at 12 point size. When it comes to color, remain conservative with black and white. Some resume templates can format your resume to strikingly display your contact information, just like this header:
Will your nursing resume beat the ATS?
Optimizing your resume for the Application Tracking System (ATS) increases your chances of being called for an interview. The ATS is a tool that many companies use to quickly scan resumes and weed out applicants without relying on someone to read through them first.
Most resumes aren't designed to beat ATS, and end up being filtered out before they ever reach the recruiter. However, if you know how to properly format your resume, you'll pass the ATS scan and make your way to a person. Here's 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.
- Beyond just font type, font size also matters. Preferably, your body font size should be 10-12 points, while your headers can be bigger.
- Margins also matter, since the ATS automatically assumes your margins are the standard size of one-inch all around. Any bigger or smaller, and the ATS might mis-read your resume.
- Keywords are the main focus of the ATS, so make sure your skill keywords and header names match what's in the job description.
- The ATS is not sensitive to the number of pages, but one page is the standard across professions.
Writing Your Nursing Resume
Putting together an effective nursing resume may seem overwhelming and not worth your effort. However, putting in the extra effort now will pay off when you get an interview. And remember, you're not doing this alone. We're dedicated to helping you write an amazing resume by providing advice on common frustrating decisions like this:
- When an objective is most useful on your nursing resume
- When a summary can be the preferred choice
- How to list your most relevant nursing work history
- Adding volunteer work and academic endeavors when work history is light
Do you need an objective or summary on your nursing resume?
When crafting your nursing resume, you have the option to use career objectives and summaries.
When to include a career objective in your resume:
- You can use an objective when changing or modifying your career.
- For instance, if you plan to change from a surgical assistant registered nurse to an emergency room registered nurse, you'd use an objective to highlight that you're pursuing a new subfield within nursing.
- Use a career objective if you're looking for an entry-level job and lack experience.
When a summary is right for your resume:
- Use a summary to highlight your most valuable experience and skills. These are ideal when you have vast experience in nursing.
- For example, if you've worked in a health setting for 10 or more years, you can include a summary.
- A summary is effective for connecting varied work experiences.
When not to use objectives or summaries:
Skip the objective or summary if you're not planning to customize it to each position you apply for. Otherwise, it's generic filler that takes up too much white space.
- Unclear objective example: "Looking for a nursing job to apply my skills and knowledge."
- This lacks specificity and reads "I just need a job to pay the bills." While that may be true, employers want to know you're passionate about your work and will improve your workplace.
- Vague summary example: "I am a highly-experienced registered nurse looking for a position in this hospital."
- This lacks depth and work history details that should hallmark a summary. It's void of substantial expertise, specializations, and skill specifics.
When objectives or summaries are worth including:
- Excellent objective example: "As a registered nurse with a passion for senior citizens, I aim to leverage my 8 years of client-facing geriatric experience to improve the health of every patient in a compassionate way at Kaiser Permanente."
- This objective highlights the years of experience and the candidate's field of expertise while also naming the potential employer.
- Excellent summary example: "Self-driven registered nurse with a myriad of emergency and general experience totaling 10+ years in the specialized care fields of gynecology, renal, direct-patient, and primary care. Proven 7-year record of consistently diffusing high-stress, sensitive situations with niched expertise and compassion."
- This summary highlights their years of experience, the key areas they've worked in, and their specialities within those fields.
Nursing work experience?
Don't forget to indicate relevant experience in your resume. While we wouldn't recommend including every job you've had since you were 16, you can get away with adding work experience from different fields if you're an entry-level candidate.
However, if you're applying for a senior position, you'll need to include at least three nursing positions on your resume, especially if you're applying for a managerial or specialty position. For instance, a director of care management requires nine years of experience, four of which must be managerial.
Conversely, a registered nurse position may require one year of direct patient care. The responsibilities, in this case, are not very demanding. If you lack experience overall, you can include any academic projects and volunteer work that is relevant to the nursing job description.
Writing your job experience bullet points for your nursing resume
Three examples of poor job experience bullet points for nurses:
- I have eight years of experience in nursing
- Generally, you should avoid using "I," and you should include specifics, not just generic statements of experience.
- I joined the hospital in May
- This bullet includes "I" and lacks job specifics and quantifiable metrics.
- I have provided compassionate care for all of my patients.
- Although it may sound nice on the surface, it doesn't answer exactly what the patient did and the results of their work.
Three examples of good job experience bullet points for nurses:
- Provided a wide range of services to a caseload of 50+ patients
- This uses an action verb combined with quantifiable metrics.
- Spearheaded 4 new primary care training initiatives to over 60+ nurse recruits
- Again, this uses an action verb but furthermore, it describes exactly what the candidate provided (primary care training).
- Oversaw the safety of patients in the healthcare facility by formulating risk mitigation measures in the unit
- Specific, pertinent job duties show employers your skills and can also help you pass the ATS; two thumbs up for this one!
Quantify your impact as a nurse
When preparing your resume, remember that no employer wants to waste time reading vague statements about your performance. Instead, they want to see supporting details. So, whenever you can, you should quantify your impact and achievements.
For instance, if you say you "served many patients daily," a potential employer might wonder about the exact number because 'many' is a relative term.
Examples of how to quantify metrics:
Suppose the nursing job description asks for a training specialist who can train other nurses. In that case, you can indicate the number of training sessions you conducted per day in your previous employment.
- Number of clinical training sessions per day
- Trained 75% of new hires on pre and postoperative care >20 days per month
Some of the health facilities labor under tremendous pressure. The number of patients you serve per day can help potential employers gauge whether you will cope well under pressure. So, it's lucrative to include the number of patients you served per a specific amount of time.
- Number of patients served in a day
- Worked in a setting with a 6:1 patient-nurse ratio, receiving 400+ visitors per day
Top skills for your nursing resume
It's helpful to understand the differences between hard and soft skills to list in your resume skills section. Keep the number of skills you list in between six and 10 to avoid overwhelming the reader.
Hard skills are those tools you use to do the job, aka technical abilities that require training.
Examples of hard skills:
- ERM systems
- Medical documentation
- Infant and child care
- Emergency care
- Ambulatory care
- CPR certified
On the other hand, soft skills are abilities that are harder to quantify and are more personality-based.
Examples of soft skills:
- Positive attitude
Get noticed! Look for keywords within a job description:
- Many companies use ATS to scan resumes for keywords from the job description, so it's in your best interest to include the right keywords.
- Include keywords in both your nursing cover letter and resume.
- Choosing keywords from the job description helps you customize your resume and thus, makes you more appealing to the hiring manager.
- Employing the right keywords makes your resume relevant and noticeable, giving you an edge over the competition.
Nursing education and certifications
When preparing your nursing resume, include all the elements that will increase your chances of getting the job. You need to indicate the following:
- Your education level
- Any certifications or licenses
- Your experience in other nursing environments
- Your years of experience as a nurse
On the topic of licenses, you need to share your area of specialization. Specialists include registered nurses (RNs), certified registered nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. Including your area(s) of expertise helps potential employers determine whether you're the right candidate for the job.
Besides, including this information is easy to do and shouldn't take up much space! Simply place certifications and licenses in a short section toward the bottom of your resume:
Should you add projects, interests, or hobbies to your nursing resume?
Most of the time, you don't need to include projects or interests/hobbies on your resume. However, you may be able to add them depending on your level of experience and the type of role you're seeking.
If you're an experienced nurse, you've likely gained tangible experience that's more important than undergraduate projects you've completed. Instead, you should highlight your key areas of experience and show your new employer how you'll impact their business.
In the same vein, you may not need to indicate your hobbies or interests unless it's encouraged. However, you can gain an advantage over the competition if you have strong qualifications and hobbies that match the company culture.
To help you determine whether or not to include hobbies, visit the company's website and read the "About Us" section to gauge whether they have a unique cultural fit.
If you're an entry-level candidate or a recent graduate, listing hobbies and projects can help you fill space and showcase your personality. However, it's always good to review the job description to ensure these additions are relevant. Either way, keep the project and hobbies lists short and at the bottom of your resume.
Examples of hobbies/interests:
- Volunteering for community health services
- Learning new languages
Examples of projects:
- Organized and led breast cancer awareness campaign for two consecutive semesters
- Researched mental and psychiatric issues for semester-long experiment
Adjust your nursing resume for every job application
Remember to customize your resume when applying for a new job. Even if you're only applying for specific roles, like LPN jobs, that doesn't mean every job description for that title requires the same qualifications. There's usually something unique to each position. Thus, for every application, make sure you tailor the following sections:
- Work experience bullets
- (These can stay mostly the same, but you should adjust responsibilities and keywords slightly.)
To recap, each job description comes with different skill requisites. Furthermore, remember to note keywords you can use within the body of your resume and cover letter.
Your nursing resume must be error-free
As a nurse, you need to show the hiring manager that you're observant and have an eye for detail. Remember, you'll be working with patients and should demonstrate accuracy and precision. To ensure a flawless resume, run your document through a resume checker and have your colleagues proofread it. Don't let typos cost you a job!
Confidently Land Your Next Nursing Gig
Many job seekers languish in the job market, especially considering the number of nursing graduates produced by universities each year and the fierce competition. So, you must be creative and savvy to survive the market. Happily, you've already taken the first steps by reading this guide, so congratulations!
We know you've worked hard to get this far, and we wish you all the best as you write a power-packed nursing resume and get ready for interviews in 2022!