Nursing Resume Guide: 15 Best Tips

A Nursing Resume plays a very important role in the hiring process if you are looking forward to having a career in the nursing field. In today’s world, the nursing industry is booming as even in pandemics we saw there was so much need for healthcare professionals and the nursing job is one of them.

Many of you may think to pursue your career as a nurse but have no idea how to get started. Don’t worry this blog got you covered in today’s blog we will be talking about some tips to build your nursing resume, what will be the format, and talk about some nursing cover letter tips.

So stick around to know more.

What Is A Nursing Resume?

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Just like every other resume, the work of a nursing resume is to highlight your qualifications, skills & experience. Your resume is the first impression of you that the employer gets so make sure it’s apt as per the job description otherwise it will land up in their spam folder.

Also one should also keep their Cvs ready if you are applying for nursing jobs as some employers may ask you to provide a CV rather than a resume.

Let’s get to know the difference between a CV (Curriculum vitae) and a resume. A cv is a more detailed version of a nursing resume, it talks about your detailed experience, achievements, award, academic history, professional experiences, and so on.

It’s longer than the cv and is not just one page. That’s why it’s important to keep both Cvs & resume with you. Many people use these words synonymously but there is a difference in both of them.

If we talk about a resume it’s nothing but a very “to the point” version of your cv. The resume summarizes your experience, skills & education. There is no need to write too much information in a resume in detail just write what’s important and will be suitable for the job.

Many people just send in one resume wherever they apply which is not really a good thing. You need to customize your resume according to the job description of a company. Use the appropriate keyword mentioned in the description as your application goes through applicant tracking software, so if you don’t have an apt resume according to the job you may not get selected.

The ATS software helps the employer to select the best candidates for the job.

Before we proceed further into the steps of writing a nursing resume let’s just quickly understand the difference between a normal nursing resume and a registered nurse resume.

After the completion of your nursing school if you are looking for a job in the field your resume will be different than that of a professional registered nurse resume. Employers know that you are a fresher, so you need to explain how was your clinical experience, and what did you learn, write about different technologies you used, and so on.

We will be discussing resume formats so even if you are a professional graduate nurse of entry-level or holds an experience of many years it would be helpful to you, also will cover what nursing skills are essential.

Things To Keep In Mind While Writing Strong Nursing Resumes

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  1. No matter what job posting you apply make sure you customize your nursing resume according to it. Keep the job description in front of you and highlight the relevant nursing skills and qualifications required for the job in the resume. So that your employer knows that you are a suitable candidate whose resume matches the requirements of their company.
  2. It’s important to keep your resume short don’t write every detail in a very long way it would simply get ignored by the employer. Market yourself through your nursing resume carefully you don’t have much time to catch their attention. If they find your resume to be cliche they won’t even read it.
  3. Pick the keywords from the job description and mention them in your resume don’t copy-paste, use it wisely.
  4. Research about the facility you want to work for, this will not only help in your resume but also in interviews. As your employer will know that this candidate is not just applying for the sake of just applying anywhere for the job but are aware of the facility as well and is interested.
  5. Check your resume carefully, proofread and edit it as required. There should be no grammatical or spelling errors in the resume. Write your resume as an achiever, don’t write it like a doer.
  6. Mentioning your achievements and success will create a good impact on the reader.
  7. Write your work experience, where did you work previously, and in which facility and unit. Using numbers to quantify your work would be great.
  8. Write about your hard skills, for those of you who don’t know what hard skills mean it is technical skills that are required to complete your day-to-day task like eg management, Microsoft office, Seo, content writing, coding, and so on.
  9. Also mention your volunteer work if any, in the healthcare industry they look for this experience.
  10. Your education and qualifications are an important part of your resume so mention them as well.
  11. While you send your resume to the company make sure to send it through a professional email address. Don’t use your fake accounts or funky names for professional purposes.
  12. Use action verbs in your resume and avoid using words like created, wrote, helped, managed, listen, and so on. Use words like founded, formulated, designed, developed, organized, and so on.
  13. Format your resume document properly it shouldn’t look messy or cause any problems for an employer to read it or for the ATS machine.
  14. Mention technical skills that you have as being in the nursing field you may be required to know some technology, patient care, data, or knowledge about using medical facilities. Whatever skills you have make sure to highlight them in your nursing resume.
  15. If you know more languages you can also add that as a skill. Also, you don’t have to write any views or opinions in the nursing resume as it’s solely for professional purposes just write what’s relevant and matters for getting a job. Rest you don’t need to write an opinion about anything.

Format Of Registered Nurse Resume

Registered nurses are those who have the apt license to work in the healthcare system. They are graduates from the required nursing university and have given the license exam in which they had excelled so now they are considered to be registered. Let’s have a look at the order of writing a resume

1. Header Of Your Resume

Write your name at the top of the resume with a little big font & bold it if necessary. Your professional email address should be mentioned below it so that if the hiring managers think you are a suitable candidate they email you or contact you. Also, write your most-used phone number on the resume.

2. Resume Summary / Introduction

As the name suggests “summary” which means to sum up your whole career in a few sentences. Write about your professional career what you do, skills that you have, experience & so on. You can use numbers to quantify your expertise like for eg: I have over 2 years of healthcare experience in an ABC healthcare setting.

It’s important that your nurse resume objective reflect on your resume. Mentioning soft skills is also important along with your other skills as they play a very important role in healthcare. Soft skills like empathy, patience, compassion, work ethic, and so on. Make sure to write that you are a registered nurse. Keep summary concise in 5-6 sentences.

3. Experience Or Work history

It’s important to mention the relevant experience to be considered for the role. If you have a volunteer work history then you can mention that too. But as said in the above-listed tips always try to quantify your duties.

For eg supervised a team of 20 nurses. Basically in short you have to write what you did and what was the result of your action & what value you added to any facility. Write your resume in reverse chronological order, which means that first write where you work currently and then state the rest.

4. Skills

Don’t write any fake skills just mention what you really know. In the nursing industry, both technical and soft skills matter so you need to mention both. We will be talking about some relevant skills needed as a nurse in the further part of the blog.

5. Qualifications

You need to mention what education you have and are you a licensed nurse or not. You can also level up your career by taking some more training and doing courses or masters in the following field.

6. Licensing And Certifications

If you have any certifications of volunteering or any other nursing-related work certificate you can mention them over here along with your license details.

There are also many free resume builders available on the internet you can make use of them for templates & building a resume easily with no trouble.

If you are someone who is looking for a new job it’s important to know what all skills to add to a resume, also we further will also be talking about the cover letter which you had to submit with your job application and resume.

Basic Skills Required As A Registered Nurse Or A New Grad Nurse

1. Excellent Communication

Communication plays an important role not just in the healthcare industry but almost in every profession. You need to communicate and coordinate not just with doctors or nurses but also with patients. You need to talk to the patients identify their issues or problems if any and communicate with the doctor as well.

2. Leadership Skills

You should have leadership skills to encourage your other nurses as well sometimes you may be required to take some urgent actions then you should be able to show your leadership qualities there to lead your team of nurses.

Sometimes your colleagues may not feel good as nursing is a quite stressful job but you need to understand and motivate them. Talk to them effectively and coordinate with others smoothly.

3. Critical Thinking

If a situation or a problem arises in front of you as a nurse, it’s important that you evaluate it and know how to solve it based on the data and information present also your past experience can play an important part in solving the issue.

Critical thinking is where your expertise, knowledge & the facts in front of you comes to action. If you are someone who holds this skill it will be effective for the advancement of your career and at the same time will also improve patient care.

4. Empathy Or Mental strength

As a nurse, you got to communicate with people who are not in a physically good state which affects their mental health too so you can’t just talk to them negatively. In a nursing career empathy and active listening is a very important skill. You need to understand the condition of the front person and also during stressful situations there will be a need to be calm.

5. Patient Care & Safety Protocol

Accurate knowledge about medicines and medical protocols is necessary as you never know what situation you got to deal with. It’s necessary that you give the right medicines or follow the right protocol when the patient is in danger or ill.

6. Understanding Of Technology And Facilities

We all live in a digital world where importance to technology is given and it’s important to have practical knowledge about it. Also, various equipment and facilities are used for patients understanding how to use and when to use it is also equally important.

7. Physical Strength & Stamina

By this, we mean being a nurse you got to deal with many hectic work schedules every day and it’s important for you to manage them well. Being physically fit is also a requirement as at times you may be required to shift a patient from one place to another.

8. Vital Signs

The most important skill is to know how to measure vital signs. For those of you who ain’t aware of this term, it means you should know how to check body temperature, pulse rate, respiration, and so on. You should have the required knowledge about the measurement of vital signs to know what’s good and what’s bad.

These are some of the basic skills for all level nurses further we will be discussing skills according to your role and position.

Nursing Skills You Can Add According To The Level & Position You Are On

1. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Licensed Practical nurses are those nurses who work under registered nurses, they are ones who take care of injured, sick, and ill people.

Important Skills For LPN

  1. Empathy: To understand, listen and talk effectively with patients and their family
  2. Nursing skills: knows how to assess the performance of patients, do basic procedures, and assist the doctors if needed.
  3. Teamwork and communication: when you work in a healthcare setting it’s important that you know how to work in a team and communicate effectively.
  4. Observational skills: Observing prior signs and symptoms of patients can help in saving a life.
  5. Work Ethics & Confidentiality
  6. Technology

2. Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner has the appropriate education along with advanced training so they have expertise in certain areas depending on their interests. They have a master’s degree as well and also a certificate in what they specialize in.

  1. Problem solving and communication
  2. MS office & Technological skills
  3. Research & Time management
  4. Primary care
  5. Observational skills & Stamina
  6. Must be good at Clinical Judgment

2. Registered Nurse RN Resume

As the name suggests “registered” are licensed, nursing professionals. LPN nurses work under them.

  1. Critical thinking
  2. Empathy and compassion
  3. Basic life support
  4. Teamwork & Communication
  5. Technology
  6. Emergency nursing

What Is A Cover Letter?

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A cover letter is submitted along with your job application and nursing resume. It gives you a chance to elaborate more on your experience and how it’s relevant to the company you’re applying for. You also got to write why you would be a suitable candidate for the company and how you are going to add value to the role you applied for.

Cover letters act as a first impression of you so make sure you write them properly and don’t make them too lengthy simple or concise. Because recruiters have no time to go through such a long letter it will probably end up in spam. Highlight your skills and past experiences which are most relevant to the position you are applying for. Also before writing a cover letter research a little about the company so it will not only help you in writing but also in the interview.

Nursing Cover Letter Tips

  1. Write your name and address on your cover letter, so the hiring managers know
  2. Mention the best phone number of yours which is active and provide an email id to contact you. A professional email id is essential.
  3. Mention the date when you will send the cover letter. So the order would go like your name, address, phone number, email address, and date.
  4. Next, mention the name and address of the company if you have it. If not then you can also refer to the job posting or website from where you applied, only when you don’t know the name of the person you are addressing and their address
  5. Hiring managers don’t have time to read lengthy cover letters so make them simple and concise.
  6. After writing all the necessary call to action like email, phone number, your name, and so on. Start with writing a formal greeting it can be a “hello” or “dear”.
  7. Then start writing your cover letter in the opening paragraph write about what position you are applying for and mention the reason why you applied and what interests you to do a job in that specific company.
  8. The second paragraph will be all about what you do, your background in the nursing field, and what relevant experiences you hold in the field which is relevant to the job you are applying for
  9. You can also mention your qualifications, do not copy-paste your whole nursing resume in the cover letter.
  10. Write down the experiences that matter to the position and will help you get the job. Also, you can mention your key achievements in that specific job or volunteering work.
  11. Don’t just write technical skills also mention soft skills. Don’t exaggerate anything in the cover letter or nursing resume.
  12. Write what you really know you don’t have to write any kind of false information to get the job.
  13. Along with your relevant experiences also relate it with how your skills & experience will benefit their company, and how you can add value to their work.
  14. Look at the job description carefully about what the job requirements are so that it can help you in writing an effective cover letter.
  15. Conclude your cover letter with why you would be a perfect candidate and give a call to action below.
  16. You can write things like “looking forward to hearing from you” or something like that.
  17. Show a little enthusiasm that you are really interested in the position and that you would love to hear from them again.
  18. After concluding, end your letter with words like “Regards” or “sincerely”.
  19. After completing the writing part read your cover letter twice and rectify your errors. As grammatical and spelling mistakes don’t look good.
  20. Run your cover letter once through grammar software as well so that you know where to edit it.
  21. Many websites also provide templates of cover letters and nursing resumes you can use that to make them look cleaner and professional.
  22. Always use a professional tone while nursing resume and cover letter writing.

Final Note

With this we come to an end of this blog, I hope you got a better understanding of what to do and what not to do while writing a resume and cover letter. Read the tips and get that job you always wanted! Thanks for reading.

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