Nurses can work in outpatient centers, ambulatory healthcare services, residential care communities, nursing homes, and hospitals. But before you get a position in any of these places, you need a registered nurse resume that shows the hiring manager you’re the best person for the job.
Most nursing jobs are well-paying, but if you want to get one of these opportunities, you need to have a professional resume. The only challenge is that writing a resume is a skill that most people struggle with. If you’re one of those people, we’re here to help you.
This article will give tips to help you write a resume that gets you your next nursing position. Here are some of the topics we’ll cover:
- How to add your nursing experience to your resume.
- Tips to help you structure your resume correctly.
- The most essential nursing skills for your resume.
- The right format and layout for your resume.
Registered Nurse Resume Example
Additional Information on Salaries and Job Market For Nurses
According to the U.S Bureau of Statistics, the employment of registered nurses is projected to grow six percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
The industries with the highest levels of employment for Registered Nurses include:
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
- Offices of Physicians
- Home Health Care Services
- Outpatient Care Centers
- Nursing Care Facilities(Skilled Nursing Facilities)
The average salary for a registered nurse is $82,000. The typical range is between $59,000 and $106,000, depending on your level of education, skills, and experience.
How to Make a Strong Resume for Nursing
Nursing is a fulfilling career, and most practitioners in this field are satisfied with their jobs . However, you need an effective nursing resume before you get a position that takes you to the next level in your career.
Writing a resume that separates you from the other candidates and gets the recruiter’s attention is not always an easy task. One tip that can help you is tailoring each resume to match the job requirements.
Usually, the job description will help you determine what the recruiter is looking for. Use it to your advantage and add the keywords and action verbs that will optimize your resume. Hiring managers don’t have much time to read through long resumes, so keep it short and summarize your qualifications on one page.
The resume format, layout, and structure are also crucial. Here are more details on them.
Best Resume Format
There are three formats to choose from, depending on your qualifications.
- Reverse-chronological format – This format is suitable for candidates who have experience and have worked in nursing for some years. It prioritizes your experience, and recruiters love it because it’s easy to scan on the applicant tracking software.
- Functional resume format – This format is suitable for recently graduated candidates and career changers who don’t have much experience. It focuses on your skills.
- Hybrid/combination resume – This format is not so common, but you can use it if you have the perfect blend of skills and experience. It combines the best features of the two other formats.
The layout and design of your resume should be simple to read and understand. Use fonts like Arial, Calibri, Verdana, Georgia, and Times New Roman, which are easy to read and have a font size of 10-12pt.
The structure of your registered nurse resume should have the following sections:
- The header section
- Resume summary/objective
- Work experience
- Education section
- Skill section
- An additional section (Computer skills and certifications, languages, volunteer work, awards/honors, and interests)
The Header Section And Contact Information
The first section of your resume should have your contact information and personal details. This information must be accurate because it’s the one the recruiter will use to contact you. Here are some of the details you should have in this section:
- Your full name
- Job title
- Phone number
- Professional email address
- A link to your LinkedIn profile.
Detail Your Professional Background in the Experience Section
Nursing jobs are different and may not have the same requirements. However, most hiring managers take some time on this section of your resume to see what you’ve previously done. Use our resume examples to get some ideas on what you should add to this section.
Structure your work history properly to make it easy for the recruiter to read. Highlight two to three previous jobs and describe your primary job duties. Add the name of the workplace, your job title, and the employment dates at each workplace.
List three to five job duties but don’t leave it at that. Competition for jobs in the nursing field is stiff, and your goal should always be to stand out. Quantify your achievements at the workplace with figures and facts that show the recruiter the value you’ll bring to the new position.
If you’re writing a nursing student resume, you may not have much experience. Detail your internships and volunteer work and highlight the transferable skills that will be useful in the nursing position.
Example for an Entry-Level RN Resume
Example for Experienced Registered Nurses
Add Your Educational Qualifications
Your educational qualifications are vital when you’re applying for a nursing job. Most positions will require a college degree, so ensure that you add it to your resume. If you have a Master’s degree, even better. Start with it, then add your other academic qualifications.
The details you should have under this section include the name of the diploma/degree, the name of the school, and the year of graduation. The job description will help you determine what the recruiter is looking for, and you can tailor this section to match these requirements.
Best Skills for Nursing Resumes
A resume is incomplete without listing the relevant skills. These are the unique abilities that help you perform your duties efficiently. Hiring managers look for specific skills and use the applicant tracking systems to filter out the resumes that don’t have these skills.
Use the job description to identify the skills you need on your resume. The right wording also plays a significant role in ensuring your resume gets past the ATS systems. Your resume should have a list of hard and soft skills in separate sections. Check out our resume templates which will help you structure this section.
Hard skills are job-specific skills that you have to learn at school or on the job. Soft skills don’t require time to learn. They are character traits that allow you to interact well with colleagues and patients.
If you don’t have much experience, this section helps showcase the skills that will help you perform the job diligently. Highlight your transferable skills from previous jobs and school .
- Medicaid regulations
- Patient case management
- Direct patient care
- Wound care specialist
- Pediatric advanced life support
- High-risk trauma situations
- Diagnostic testing
- Safe patient transfers
- Leadership skills
- Organizational skills
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Decision-making skills
Write an Engaging Professional Summary
A professional summary comes right after the header and introduces your qualifications to your potential employer. It’s a short paragraph with three to four sentences but must be impactful and engaging to encourage the recruiter to read the rest of the resume. Highlight your top accomplishments, experience, and skills that set you apart.
Registered Nurse Resume Objective
A resume/professional objective is suitable for recent graduates and career changers who don’t have much experience. It introduces your resume and details your professional goals and how they align with the company goals. This is also your chance to express your excitement to work at the company.
Additional Headings for Your Nurse Resume
Your resume should always have an additional section that includes your extra qualifications. These are the qualifications you don’t want the recruiter to miss as they quickly go through your resume. Let’s look at some of them.
Computer Skills and Certifications
There is no doubt that nurses need computer skills to perform some of their duties. They need to update patient records on the database and access patient information before attending to them. If you have these skills, add them under this section to ensure that the recruiter sees them quickly.
The right certifications on your resume will put you ahead of your competition. While you can add them to the education section, having them in a separate section is always better to make them more visible. Here are some certifications that will make your resume stand out.
- Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse
- Certified Childbirth Educator
Your interests can help set you apart from the other candidates. Do your research on the company you want to work at and ensure that your interests align with the company culture. Some potential employers want to know who you are outside work, and this section will give them some insight into this.
Most recruiters love a bilingual candidate, and in nursing, this is a major plus. This is because you’ll be interacting with patients from different cultures, and communicating with them with ease is essential. Use the official language reference when you’re listing the languages as follows:
- SIELE for Spanish
- TOEFL or IELTS for English
- DELF for French
Tips to Boost Your Resume for Registered Nurse
- Start your resume with an engaging resume summary/objective.
- Incorporate action verbs and keywords to optimize your resume.
- Proofread the resume to avoid grammatical and spelling mistakes.
- Customize your resume and tailor it to match the requirements.
- Choose the correct format and start with your best qualifications first.
- Use figures and facts that help to show the hiring manager the value you’ll bring to the company.
- The header should have accurate contact information that the recruiter will use to reach you.
- Most job seekers fail to use the job description, which is essential when writing your resume.
- Add the relevant hard and soft skills in separate sections on your resume.
- Use the work experience section to detail your job history and include your job responsibilities at each workplace.
- Start with your most recent educational qualification when you’re adding your education.
Complement Your Resume with a Cover Letter
Cover letters are essential when you’re submitting your job application. If you send your application without one, it will be incomplete, and you’ll miss out on an opportunity. This document gives the hiring manager more details about your qualifications. You can inject some personality as you talk about your accomplishments and experience to capture the recruiter’s attention. Check out our cover letter examples and use them to help you craft your own.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which top companies are hiring registered nurses?
According to Glassdoor, the companies hiring nurses include:
- HCA Healthcare
- Baylor Scott and White Health
- Kaiser Permanente
- Cross Country Nurses
- Banner Health
- Memorial Hermann Health System
What else can you do with a nursing degree?
- Legal nurse consultant
- Case management nurse
- Nurse researcher
- Medical claims analyst
- Health writer