Showcase your skills, experience, certifications, honors, volunteering and more with nursing resume examples specifically created to attract industry jobs.
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Here is an outstanding resume example you can follow to create your own compelling resume. You can build a resume in minutes using this example along with our ResumeHelp Resume Builder.
It takes a special combination of knowledge, compassion, confidence and calmness to function as a nurse. Whether you are an experienced nurse looking for a new position, a recent nursing graduate or changing careers to nursing, a strong resume can get you noticed by hiring managers, recruiters and employers. ResumeHelp provides you with all the nursing resume examples and career resources you need to get your job search off to a great start.
On this page, you will find:
The key to getting your resume noticed is to highlight your strengths to potential employers to show why you’re the best candidate for the job. It’s a good idea to read the job description carefully to understand what employers are looking for in a qualified job candidate.
Consider these pointers when writing your nursing resume:
Understanding who will be reviewing your resume for qualification. Once you get past an applicant tracking system (more on this below), the hiring manager is your next reader. Keep in mind, the employer must sift through dozens or even hundreds of resumes for a job opening. They may spend only seconds viewing your resume so make your words count. Be sure your resume includes the career-related information for which the employer is looking.
The best way to make a list of the requirements featured in the job description and check off the list to match your resume. Nursing hiring managers value resumes that demonstrate straightforward, detailed technical skills and experience, but also show evidence of success with patients. Nursing is a rare scientific field that also values your passion for helping and healing people along with your incredibly important technical credentials.
A hiring manager never even gets to see your resume if it doesn’t make it past ATS. An ATS is automated resume-scanning software that many large and medium-sized employers currently use in their application process. With hundreds or even thousands of applicants for a select few spots, an ATS is almost a necessity for employers to manage their workload.
The right format and keywords are essential to getting your resume seen by an actual human. The ATS is programmed by employers to search for specific keywords in resumes and reduce the huge pool of potential applicants. To get your resume past an ATS, two things matter most: how you format your resume and what keywords you use.
To understand how an ATS works, imagine a system tracking specific words. The keywords are programmed in and each candidate’s resume is scanned for those words, with a match ratio or percentage listed at the end and a certain threshold set.
For example, all candidates might need to match 80% of keywords to move on to the next level, or candidates are ranked by the # of keyword matches. So you can see why it’s so important to feature keywords employers are seeking in your resume. The easiest way to do this is to break down the actual job posting, and note the particular skills, experiences and job requirements the employer lists. These will serve as your keywords.
You need to deliver a powerful yet easy-to-read message that hiring managers and recruiters quickly digest, in the language of your nursing field. Show your respect for their time by presenting a resume that’s clean, free from errors and easy to quickly scan in a traditional format. Use bullet points where applicable to make your qualifications and accomplishments stand out to a reader who may only have a short time to scan your resume.
The employer is no doubt looking for your nursing credentials so be sure they stand out. Candidates may list their credentials in various places on a nursing resume. You can list the credentials as part of a resume summary or objective, in the work experience section and in your education section. See below for more tips on each section.
Credentials may include your degrees MSN, BSN, etc., licensure credentials RN, LPN/LVN and state designations Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner. Nursing licenses have numbers that need to be included, too. Employers often use those numbers for verification. If you have many certifications, awards and honors, create a separate section below your education section.
The preferred order of listing credentials is:
For each certification you list, include the following:
While a nursing resume follows traditional resume guidelines, the difference is that nursing is a technical job with a huge human component. Nursing hiring managers value resumes that demonstrate straightforward, detailed technical skills and experience but also show evidence of success with patients. Be sure your experience matches the job requirements so you can show that you can perform the job tasks effectively and efficiently.
Nursing may be considered a scientific field but it’s a necessity to show your passion for helping and healing people in your resume. You want the employer to know that you have empathy, compassion and communication skills in addition to being emotionally strong, confident and optimistic. Teamwork is another important skill as it shows your ability to work well with others.
There are three standard resume formats you can use to create a professional nursing resume:
The chronological format (also known as a reverse-chronological resume) places emphasis on your work experience so it’s ideal if you have many years of relevant work experience in the nursing field. This is the most common resume format, where your work experience is listed with your latest or current job first, and moves down to your oldest experience.
The functional resume format is ideal if you have less work experience, have recently graduated from nursing school or are changing careers. This format places emphasis on your best and most relevant skills over work history, so it clearly shows your best qualifications for the job. Functional resumes are organized by skills or pieces of experience, rather than dates and a linear progression.
Also known as the hybrid format, the combination resume format combines both the chronological and functional resumes. It provides equal emphasis on relevant skills and work history so it’s ideal for any job candidate with a few years of work experience and a good skill set.
Here are some other helpful resume formatting tips to think about when creating your resume:
When you’re crafting your perfect nursing resume, there are typical resume elements that you want to include to highlight your qualifications as best as possible. Whether you select a chronological, functional or combination resume format, you’ll include these sections:
Your header includes your full name, phone number, location (city and state) and email address. You can also include your links to your social media or job networking profiles including LinkedIn.
Below the header you will feature an abbreviated introduction into why an employer should hire you. This powerful paragraph is called a resume summary or resume objective. While both are two to three sentences and will summarize your career, each is used by different types of job candidates.
A resume summary gives an overall view of your work experience and best skills. A resume summary is ideal for job seekers with two or more years of experience in the nursing industry.
Resume summary example:
Skilled RN with more than eight years of experience in the fast-paced emergency room setting, equipped to improve hospital patient wellbeing in critical care. Assists health care team of three doctors and three nurses in triage, diagnosing ailments and administering treatments. Repeatedly recognized for quality of service in Patient Satisfaction Surveys.
A resume objective is ideal for job seekers with less than two years of experience, career changers or recent graduates. The objective provides a brief career overview and includes your career goals.
Resume objective example:
Dedicated nursing student nearing completion of bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) promoting four years of health care experience during schooling. Monitors patient vitals and reports abnormalities and changes in status. Demonstrates consistent quality of care with firm understanding of medical chart management. Excited about the opportunity to take the next career step at a hospital or medical center.
Here you’ll present the skills that demonstrate your best qualities and performance as a nurse. Using bullet points, include a combination of 8-10 hard skills and soft skills. Here are some skills to consider on your nursing resume:
Example of nursing resume skills:
Checking and monitoring vital signs
CPR, Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
Starting peripheral IV lines
Electronic Medical Record (EHR)
Attention to detail
The experience section is usually the second section in a resume, unless you’re a recent graduate. This section may be titled: Work History, Work Experience or Professional Experience. This section is more than just listing your jobs and the tasks you performed. You need to highlight accomplishments and specific responsibilities that match the nurse job description of the nursing position that you are applying for. Use action verbs to describe what you did and quantify achievements using numbers or percentages. Bullet points will allow the hiring manager to quickly scan your work experience.
The standard elements for each work experience entry are:
Here are some key guidelines for work descriptions:
Here are some work experience bullets you may consider for your nursing resume:
Nurses require a college education and must prove their nursing credentials to prospective employers. For most job seekers, however, the education section will come last on a resume and will be very brief. It is also important to include licenses and certifications as well. You can include your GPA if it was particularly favorable (3.5 or over). Many people remove their GPA and even graduation date from their resume when it was a long time ago, such as more than 10 years. The most common way to list your education is with your degree or certification title first, followed by its acronym and then the institution name.
Examples of education on a nursing resume:
Bachelor of Science: Nursing
Adelphi University, Garden City NY
Examples of nursing licenses and certifications:
If you have awards, volunteer work or attended nursing conferences, you want to include those accomplishments in additional sections on your nursing resume. These attributes can help you stand out among the competition so you certainly want to highlight them.
ResumeHelp has plenty of other resources and guides for writing a solid nursing resume to accompany your cover letter and job application. Here are some additional examples of nurse resumes and other health care resumes.
New grad nursing resume example – As a new graduate, this example can help you quickly create an effective resume to secure employment as a nurse.
Nurse manager resume example – If you’re looking to combine your nursing expertise with leadership skills to manage a team of nurses, this example can help you stand out as a leader.
Example of nurse practitioner resume – Follow this nurse practitioner resume example to showcase your graduate degree in advanced practice nursing.
Certified nursing assistant resume example – This CNA resume sample will help you write a certified nursing assistant resume that effectively highlights your qualifications.
Caregiver resume example – This caregiver resume example will allow your impressive skill set to be noticed by hiring managers and recruiters.
Home health aide – Follow this resume example to show your qualifications to provide reliable in-home health care and companionship.
Along with your impressive nursing resume, it’s advised you submit a professional cover letter as well. That means, even if the job posting does not require a cover letter, you take the time to write a cover letter anyway. The cover letter is your opportunity to expand on the information presented in your resume. It’s not a replica of the information on your resume but instead a thoughtful summary of your career highlights. You can also explain a career change or any gaps in your work history.
Consider these guidelines to writing your nursing cover letter:
ResumeHelp has plenty more cover letter writing tips like these, in addition to helpful nursing cover letter examples that you can use to write a professional cover letter. In fact, our Cover Letter Builder will help you create an eye-catching cover letter in minutes.
Here are 10 key tips for creating a nurse resume that will get you noticed by hiring managers:
The duties of a nurse will depend on the type of nurse and which specialty and health care system the nurse will be working for. Duties may include:
A nursing resume will include the most relevant work experience, skills and accomplishments to show qualifications for the position. Resume sections will include:
The best resume format for nurses will depend on your nursing experience.
Chronological format: Best for experienced nurses, this allows you to focus on nursing jobs from the most recent to the oldest.
Functional format: Recent graduates, entry level or career change candidates will focus more on skills and accomplishments and less on actual work experience in this format.
Combination format: This format combines features from the chronological and the functional resume formats, with extensive skills and work experience sections.
Title this section in your resume as: Work History, Work Experience or Professional Experience. Fill this section with specific achievements and incorporate relevant keywords from the job description in a natural way. For each work entry, include job title, place of employment, dates of employment. List employment history in reverse chronological order, beginning with your most recent job at the top and working your way backwards through the years. Include 2-4 bullet points per job. Use action words that emphasize your level of performance, e.g., “led,” “managed,” “oversaw”. Use quantifiable achievements that tie in data, measurable results or specific numbers.
In addition to highlighting your best accomplishments as a nurse, you can also identify any specific nursing specialties on your resume. Take extra care to read the job description carefully to confirm it’s the nursing role for which you are looking.
At ResumeHelp, you can try our free resume templates in our Resume Builder and download them for free in text or PDF format. Our Resume Builder offers you expert suggestions and easy-to-fill questions regarding your nursing skills and your nursing work history. If your resume is not to your liking, simply choose a different template and the builder will use the same information you’ve already provided. If a job application requires a Microsoft Word resume template, our resume templates and CV templates can be downloaded in Word format.
When it comes to writing a resume, you don’t need to include every job that you ever held. Instead, stick to the work experience that is most relevant to the job that you are applying to. In the work experience section of your nursing resume, include up to 10 years of work experience and be sure to highlight the relevant skills necessary to meet job requirements and demonstrate that you can perform the job effectively.
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