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Licensed practical nurses have a critical role in attending to patients in settings such as hospitals and nursing homes. LPNs assist doctors and registered nurses and interact personally with patients, performing tasks such as administering medication, taking vital signs, helping patients to bathe and dress and even conducting IV therapy. LPN job openings can receive hundreds of applications, so knowing how to write a strong resume for an LPN role will help you to get ahead of the competition and land the job you want.
This resume writing guide will show you:
As an LPN, there are a variety of different career paths you can take. You can work as an LPN in a number of different settings, including:
Because LPNs work in such close proximity to patients day to day, hiring managers look for a mix of soft skills and hard skills. Depending on the LPN position in question, hiring managers may be looking for different types of professional experiences and find different certifications to be helpful for the job. In any case, they will want to see a well-written professional resume.
The skills section of your resume is where you can really stand out as a licensed practical nurse. Taking blood pressure or working with catheters requires specialized knowledge you will have learned in your nursing program. You may also have technical skills that apply to fields other than nursing, such as using Microsoft programs like Excel. Emphasize skills you have worked with and perfected in previous jobs if possible.
Even if you don’t have very much work experience or work history, you can use your previous experiences to display how you would be the best fit for the LPN job you are applying for. You can use your internships, volunteering and academic experiences to display your ability to excel as an LPN. Things like organizing and maintaining files for an internship can translate to maintaining patient information and treatment plans.
Be sure to include any relevant recognitions or awards you have gotten in your field (e.g., an ANA Distinguished Practice in Nursing award).
The most important certification to have as an LPN is the NCLEX, or National Council Licensure Examination certification. You will need this certification before you can work as a licensed practical nurse. You may also have additional certifications for specialties such as IV therapy, wound care, long-term care, CPR or healthcare quality. Having specialty certifications can benefit you during your job search in a number of ways, including the following:
Resume format is crucial when putting together an amazing resume. The best resume for an LPN is often the reverse-chronological resume format. This format will show your most recent job first, followed by the previous one, and so on. This type of format is easy to read and highlights your work experience, skills and achievements. A functional resume is a good choice if you don’t have much professional experience, as it focuses on your skills and qualifications learned through training.Build my resume
A cover letter will boost your chances of landing an interview. It can also help you fill in any gaps in your work history or explain any other out-of-the-ordinary factors in your resume.
A good summary or objective can help to highlight your interpersonal skills and catch the eye of a busy hiring manager. Resume sample: An LPN summary might look like this: Caring and detail-oriented licensed practical nurse with four years of experience in a hospital setting delivering high-quality health care. Dedicated to improving the quality of patient care by working as a team with fellow staff. Demonstrated abilities in emergency and intensive care.
In the education section of your resume, feature any specialized certifications or training you’ve taken, as these can enhance your competitiveness as an LPN.
Use numbers to communicate your value to the hiring manager (e.g., “Treated patients in 100-room hospice care setting”).
Use bullet points and concise phrases instead of lengthy paragraphs. Three to five bullet points per job in your work history is a common number.
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To get a job as a licensed practical nurse, you will need to complete an accredited nursing program. Typically these programs take about one year to complete and are offered at community colleges, technical schools or hospitals. The prerequisite to entering an LPN program is a high school diploma or GED.
Yes, it is always a good idea to update your resume for every job posting. There are many different types of jobs you can work as an LPN, and altering your resume to more closely match the job description will boost your chances of getting an interview. For example, if you are applying for a job at a pediatric or geriatric facility, you can revise your resume to better display any work you may have done with children or elderly people. This way, when a busy hiring manager is scanning your resume, they will be able to quickly see that your experience or skills match the available job.
The duties and responsibilities you list on your job descriptions on your resume will depend on the scope of your previous jobs. Some duties and responsibilities you may have had as an LPN may be assisting patients with day-to-day activities, monitoring a patient’s condition, taking vital signs, administering medications, providing support for interventions, supervising certified nursing assistants and sterilizing medical equipment.
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