The nursing resume usually consists of these sections
- Licensure and Certifications
- Technical Skills
- Optional sections may include:
- Honors and Awards
- Professional Memberships
- Volunteer Experiences
FUN FACT: Occasionally, employers may ask nursing candidates to provide their NCLEX-RN scores during an interview or on a job application. While this is rare, candidates can contact their local state board of nursing to access results. However, with the introduction of the Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) in 1994, most states went to a “Pass” or “Fail” result and no longer provide actual scores.
This is a general statement about the directive of the graduate. These have evolved over the years from a brief-phrase stating the graduate’s intent to something similar to an abbreviated cover letter.
Some objective statements may be as long as a short paragraph. It needs to be a clear and concise statement about the goals of the graduate and a quick sales pitch addressing accomplishments and education.
Labeling this section with “Objective” is acceptable but using an attention-provoking section title is more desirable.
Eager New Graduate Registered Nurse (section label)
- Dedicated BSN graduate with honors from Brown University, GPA 3.5.
- Licensed registered nurse holding ACLS and BLS certifications and over 600 hours of clinical experience.
- Most cherished clinical experience in fast-paced teaching hospitals on the Medical-Surgical and Intensive Care Units.
- Excels in multitasking and communication and technically proficient in electronic medical records including Epic and Cerner.
- Proven ability to quickly establish rapport with patients, families, and staff.
- Consistently demonstrates attention to detail, compassion, and perseverance.
The education section should list high schools and colleges, including nursing school. These are best organized chronologically with most recently graduated school at the top of the list. Please include the name of the school, degree earned, and year of graduation. Adding geographic location and areas of study is also acceptable.
For any other nursing programs, such as Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), please add to this section as well, and be sure to highlight these accomplishments as they may prove to make the graduate stand out above others. Bolding, italics, or underlining may be a good method of doing so.
- Brown University, Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN), 2016
- Pruitt Nursing Aide School, Nurses Aide Diploma (CNA), 2015
- Charleston Community College, Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), 2014
- Phoenix High School, High School Diploma, 2012
The new graduate without healthcare experience may list clinical experiences and any work experience during or prior to graduation. Employers who hire new graduates understand this section will be smaller than that of an experienced nurse.
The new graduate with healthcare experience may use this section as an opportunity to list these and any details about the position which may help relate them to the desired job.
Any experience listed should contain the company name, geographic location, job title, area of experience within the company, dates, and a description. The description should be short and concise, however, if the graduate needs to fill space on the page, creating multiple lines of experience descriptors may be wise.
University Hospital Seattle, WA March to August 2015
- Registered Nursing Student-Medical Intensive Care Unit
- Care of septic, alcohol and drug withdrawal, cardiac, and CVA patient populations during clinical rotation
- Participated in Mock Code Blue and received ACLS/BLS certification
- Created good rapport and working relationships with patients, families, and staff
Cook Medical Center Seattle, WA January to March 2015
- Registered Nursing Student-Neuro Intensive Care Unit
- Care of CVA, aneurysm, traumatic brain injury, and alcohol and drug withdrawal patient populations during clinical rotation
- Developed appropriate and effective rhythms for the workday
- Able to critically think through and prepare for worst-case scenarios
Licensure and Certifications
In this section, the graduate should list the state in which he or she is newly licensed as a registered nurse as well as CPR certifications earned during the nursing program, or otherwise. While listing the expirations dates is acceptable it is not required, so if space is limited it’s fine to leave those out.
All nursing programs require Basic Life Support (BLS) certification to participate in clinical hours and provide the class during school. Some programs may offer or require Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification towards the end of the nursing program when clinicals may be in critical care areas, such as the intensive care unit, labor and delivery, or operating rooms.
If hired into a critical care position, the ACLS certification is a job requirement and many employers will provide the class during the internship. However, to appear as a more desirable candidate, the graduate may become certified in ACLS prior to being hired. Other certifications are also available to an RN without experience, see Certifications in Nursing for more on this.
Licensure and Certifications
- Washington State Nursing Licensure expires October 2017
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Certification, expires October 2017
- Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification, expires October 2017
This section is intended for electronic medical records (EMR) programs used during clinical hours, other computer software experience, and any medical equipment with which the graduate has had exposure.
Epic and Cerner experience, proficient in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and Alaris IV pumps
Some optional sections include Honors and Awards, Achievements, Languages, Professional Memberships, and Volunteer Experiences, if applicable.