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5 Registered Nurse (RN) Resume Examples For 2021

Author: Stephen Greet, Co-founder
Published on: January 19, 2021

Without Registered Nurses (RN), healthcare as we know it would cease to exist. They are the glue that keeps hospitals together and are truly on the front lines in service of their patients.

It's also a field in very high demand. In addition to the rush of hiring during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 12% growth in demand for RNs through 2028.

Healthcare is tricky enough on its own. So a lot of nurses struggle with writing a resume that puts their best foot forward.

We're here to help. After analyzing thousands of RN resumes samples, we're sharing best practices along with great resume examples that we've seen succeed in the real world in 2021.

It doesn't matter if this is your first job out of nursing school or you're a seasoned vet, these resumes are a great place to get started before writing/ updating one of your own.

Registered Nurse (RN) Resume

Registered Nurse (RN) resume example

Why this resume works

  • There is a lot of debate about whether to include a resume objective on your RN resume. It's the two sentences that sit beside or below your name. Our recommendation after reviewing the performance of thousands of resumes is to only consider including one if any of the following are true: 1) You're undergoing a career change, 2) You just finished nursing school and this is your first RN job, or 3) You're going to customize it for each job you apply to.
  • RN licenses are state-specific, so be sure you include what state(s) you're certified in. Two other relatively common requirements for RN positions (though certainly not all positions) are Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS). Explicitly mention those in your resume if you have them.

New Grad RN Resume

New Grad RN resume example

Why this resume works

  • A lot of new grad RNs have expressed uncertainty around whether to include a hobbies and interests (or "Activities", like here) section on their resume. If the activities are related to healthcare or show you in a better light and you need some help filling out your resume to 1 page, then feel free to include one.
  • Color is one way to show some personality on your resume while still seeming professional. This resume does a great job of balancing those two concerns.
  • A lot of tiny mistakes can add up to leave a poor impression. The most common silly mistake we see is inconsistent use of punctuation. Either end all of your bullet points in a period or none of them. Don't mix and match.

Med Surge RN Resume

Med Surge RN resume example

Why this resume works

  • This resume example includes a handful of skills in the resume skills section, which is recommended. You don't want to create a huge laundry list that's unreadable but you also want pass automated Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) which is looking for specific keywords. Try to keep it between 5-10 skills.
  • RNs can work in a ton of different areas in medicine. If you're applying to a specific job (like "Med/ Surg Nurse") and you have experience in that area, then a great way to stand out is to match your job title to that of the job description.
  • White space is a commonly overlooked factor in resume design. This resume does a good job of giving everything a little room to breathe (and thus making it much easier to read).

ICU RN Resume

Use this template

Download ICU RN Resume (PDF)

ICU RN resume example

Why this resume works

  • When talking about your past work experience, you want to demonstrate that you really had an impact. This resume does a good job of that by starting each bullet point with a strong action word ("Established", "Evaluated", "Communicated", etc).
  • Another way to demonstrate impact that this resume utilizes is by quantifying impact- that is, tying the outcome of your work to a number. By tying reduction in duplicated work to a number (13%), the proof of impact is clear.
  • At the end of the day, nursing is a job about people. So if you can show that you're comfortable with the human aspects of the job (patient care, plans of care, family interactions, etc) then speak to that experience.

Experienced RN Resume

Experienced RN resume example

Why this resume works

  • As you get more and more experience as an RN, try your best to show that you took on more and more responsibility. This resume does a good job of that. 
  • We reviewed the performance of thousands of RN resumes, and the evidence is clear: 1-page resumes land 28% more interviews than multi-page resumes. Do your best to condense your experience into a single page. Two quick things you can do to fit more content are to reduce font size and reduce page margins.
  • RNs with experience have exactly that: experiences. So if you've had jobs in widely different areas of healthcare (like in this resume, which went home health to hospice) then don't be afraid to lean into this and show that you thrive in different environments.

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