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How to Write a New Grad Nurse Resume that Gets You Hired

When you’ve just graduated, it’s important to have a great resume to get a nursing job. Use these resume examples and tips to create a nurse resume that works well.

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By Ho Lin 3 minute read

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New Grad Nursing Resume

New Grad Nursing Resume Example

New Grad Nursing Resume Example

Are you applying for a job as a registered nurse having just graduated from nursing school? You’ve no doubt acquired a lot of knowledge and skills. Now you need to translate that knowledge into a new grad nursing resume. Here’s how to create the best resume as you begin your nursing career.

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What to highlight in a New Grad Nursing Resume

Recruiters understand that recent graduates may not have a lot of work experience right out of the gate. Nursing graduates aren’t expected to have years of experience, but they are expected to have some experience and plenty of skills. Your resume writing process should incorporate your best skills and any relevant experience.

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New Grad Nursing Resume Structure

The structure of any resume will partially depend on the resume format that you use to present it. There are three main resume formats to choose from: the chronological resume highlights work experience, the functional resume highlights skills and the combination resume highlights both. Your new grad nursing resume will likely be a combination or functional resume, depending on how much relevant experience you have.

Contact information

This section is the resume header containing your contact information. List your full name, phone number, email address and any job networking profile links including your LinkedIn. If you hold a nursing title, you can put it next to your name like, “Hazel Storey, CNA”.

Resume summary or objective

This section is 2-3 sentences that highlights the most important skills and talents you want to show off to a hiring manager. A hiring manager will read the resume summary first, so be sure to feature your skills and qualifications here!

Skills

Your nursing skills will make a great impression on a new graduate resume when you lack clinical experience. Make sure that the skills you list on your resume match the required skills on the specific job posting. Here are a few skills you might want to include:

  • Patient care
  • Clinical rotations
  • Basic Life Support (BLS)
  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
  • Recording vital signs
  • Time management

Skills are extremely important in this resume template, so list your best hard skills and soft skills in this section of your resume.

Work history

Even if you just graduated, you can still complete the work experience section of your resume. Include your previous work history whether nursing related or not and list volunteer experience, academic work and internships. Although these may not have been paid jobs, they’re still considered relevant experience. List your experience in reverse chronological order, with the most recent experiences at the top.

Education

As you would expect, your education section will likely include your nursing school information. Relevant memberships and certifications in the healthcare field can also go in this section. If you have any relevant coursework that you want to list, add it below your college experience.

Do’s and Don’ts for a New Grad Nursing Resume

check sign Do's
  • Add any graduation honors to your resume. If you graduated cum laude, you can include it as a way to showcase your skills.
  • Read the job description before you write your resume. That way, you’ll be able to tailor your resume directly to what the hiring manager is looking for.
  • Check for nurse resume examples at ResumeHelp. These examples can help you determine what your resume should look like.
close sign Don'ts
  • Include your high school on your resume. If you went to nursing school, it’s assumed you either graduated high school or have a high school equivalent.
  • Add your GPA to your nursing resume unless requested. While graduation honors are definitely a great way to show off your knowledge, your GPA doesn’t typically help much.
  • Completely bypass the work history section. Just because you don’t have a traditional work history, your internships and volunteer work can be included.

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FAQ: New Grad Nursing Resume Examples

Have questions? We’re here to help.

It is a good idea to include a cover letter with every job application. A cover letter allows you to explain to a recruiter why you’re the right person for a specific job. It also allows you to talk about affiliations and experiences you may not have been able to put in your resume. If you want to write a cover letter for your application, use the cover letter builder on the ResumeHelp website to do so.

There are many ways for you to write a new grad nursing resume when you don’t have a lot of experience in the field. The best substitute is to include other types of relevant experience such as volunteer work and academic work. These types of experiences can help bolster your resume when you’ve just gotten out of school.

Every time you apply to a new job, you’re going to want to use resume keywords to write your resume First, scan the job posting for resume keywords, such as specific skills and requirements. Then, match these keywords with your own skills and experiences, and feature them in your resume and job application. Using this approach you can tailor your resume toward each individual job posting.

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WRITTEN BY Ho Lin

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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