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ICU Nurse Resume Examples to Inspire Your Job Search

There are few roles as demanding as that of an ICU nurse. Your resume should show that you are reliable and capable. Do you know how to write an ICU nurse resume?

Ho Lin Profile
By Ho Lin 3 minute read

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ICU Nurse Resume Example

ICU Nurse resume example document.

ICU Nurse Resume Examples

The role of an intensive care unit (ICU) charge nurse can be incredibly rewarding and competitive. If you want to land a role in this profession, you will need a robust resume that shows hiring managers you have the skills and capabilities to deal with the demands of a critical care unit.

What Should I Highlight in an ICU Nurse Resume?

When you write your professional resume for an ICU nurse application, you will need to balance your formal qualifications and personal qualities. While every ICU nurse can work on a general ward, not every nurse has what it takes to function in the high-speed, high-stress environment of an ICU unit. As such, the best resume for this role is one that represents your specific nurse skills alongside soft skills like conflict resolution, stress management, critical thinking, and quick decision-making.

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The Structure of an ICU Nurse Resume

Whether you have many years of experience or you are a recent graduate, every ICU nurse resume will include the same basic information.

Contact information

The resume header should contain your full name and contact information. You can also include professional social media like your LinkedIn profile if you wish to.

Resume summary/objective

Under the header, you should include either a resume summary or resume objective statement. A resume summary statement should be a sum-up of the skills and achievements that make you right for the role, while a resume objective is a statement of career goals and intentions. A resume summary is best for those with many years of experience while an objective statement is better for recent graduates.


The resume skills section should contain all of the soft and hard skills that are relevant to the job description. Examples of relevant ICU nurse skills include:

  • Advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS)
  • Patient care
  • Checking vital signs
  • Interventions
  • Catheters (insertion, changing, removal)
  • Intubation
  • Pediatric care
  • Creating a plan of care
  • Advanced life support (ALS)
  • Basic life support (BLS)
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Compassionate care
  • Drips (insertion, removal)
  • Patient assessment
  • Sedation
  • Intensive care unit management

Work history

Your work experience section should be presented in reverse-chronological format with your current or most recent role first. Include up to ten years of experience and give details of your main achievements and duties in each role. Include the name of the medical center you worked at, as well as the nurse position you held.


The education section of your resume should include all relevant academic achievements. For example, if you have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or you have undertaken specialist courses, this is where to list them.

Of course, the format you choose will change the order of these sections. There are three basic resume formats: chronological, functional, and combination. A chronological resume prioritizes work experience and has the work history section at the top of the page, while the functional resume format prioritizes skills. A functional format places the skills section at the top of the page, under the resume summary or objective statement. Finally, a combination format balances work experience and skills to give a broader view of a job seeker’s abilities, connecting relevant skills and work history.

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Do’s and Don’ts for an ICU Nurse Resume


  • Focus on examples of good patient care

As an ICU nurse, your main consideration will be the care, comfort, and safety of ill patients. Give examples of times when you have taken successful steps to improve patient conditions to ensure your resume is effective.

  • Use a clear resume template

Readability and clarity are important if you are to rank well in applicant tracking systems (ATS). Consider using the ResumeHelp resume builder and one of its free resume templates to ensure your resume reaches recruiters.

  • Use ICU nurse resume samples

Read relevant resume examples to get inspiration for your own ICU charge nurse resume. Knowledge of the ‘gold standard’ for resumes in your field is a great way to identify where you can improve your own.


  • Use passive language

Passivity is far more likely to put hiring managers off than you might think. Rather than using long sentences with phrases like “Was responsible for,” use bullet points and action verbs like “Organized” or “Developed” to make a strong impression.

  • Include patient details 

While discussing patient care examples can be helpful, remember to exclude all specific details of a patients’ condition and person, as this is protected data. For example, you can state that you “suggested changes to patient treatment regime that resulted in an immediate improvement in vital signs,” but don’t give their name or state what their illness or injury was.

  • Include complex design elements

An ICU nurse resume should be simple, professional, and legible. Don’t overcomplicate or obscure your resume with unnecessary design elements.

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FAQ: ICU Nurse Resume Examples

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Yes, you should always provide a nurse cover letter with your critical care nurse (CCRN) resume. Your cover letter provides a unique opportunity to address the hiring manager directly and discuss your goals and achievements in detail. Consider relevant cover letter examples for inspiration.

If you lack work experience, for example as a recent graduate, focus on your academic achievements and hard skills. This can mean giving examples from your student placements in healthcare roles or highlighting tests and classes where you excelled. You should also opt to have a resume objective statement rather than a resume summary.

If you need to adjust your registered nurse resume to suit another role, you should consider the job description that you want to apply for. Extract the transferable skills that you gained while working in intensive care and frame them in a way that suits the job title you want to apply for.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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