7 Resume Writing Tips For Nurses

Dan at bestresumeguru.com recently honored The Nursing Site Blog as one of The 14 Nursing Blogs Every Nursing Professional Needs to Read.
I invited him to give us some tips about resume writing for nurses….


According to the US Department of Labor, there is a demand for job growth for nurses. What does this mean? As much as employers seek to employ and keep their experienced nursing staff, nurses will benefit from better salaries and working conditions. You may be thinking that employers will be desperately seeking to hire you so you don’t have to worry about crafting a resume. You may be wrong if that’s your school of thought.

A good resume will get you hired for the best position and it can be a venue of negotiating for higher salaries. It’s always great to create the best resume that will attract the most desirable job offers in the market. The healthcare job market is constantly changing and nurses too should adapt a universal style that can be used in different work settings. Here are some resume writing tips for nurses to help you accomplish a universal style resume.

Choose the right type of resume for your position

Are you applying for a job within the nursing field? If yes, then you should write a chronological resume showing your previous employment and achievements. However, if you are applying for a vacancy in a different field, it would be ideal to come up with a skill based resume that features your most relevant experience, hobbies and employment.

Do not clog your resume with industry-specific initials

A lot of people will read your resume. Some may not be nurses while others may be nurses but working in a different specialty. For instance, MICU is not known to most people who are not in the nursing field. If you must use an acronym, spell it out. For instance, you may want to say Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). If you need to mention it later in your resume, then you can say MICU. If the person reading your resume does not understand it, they may not think of calling you for an interview.

Ensure your resume compliments the job description

Focus on specific accomplishments in your resume that match the specific job description and extract out the ones that are not applicable. Organize your list in such a way that the most relevant ones come at the top. This is what is likely going to catch the recruiter’s eye.

Highlight your accomplishments and unusual nursing experiences

Recruiters want to understand your level of experience so that they can know if you really are a good match for the job opening. However your experience shouldn’t read like a job description. Thus avoid listing all routine duties a staff nurse does. Rather focus on those experiences that were outstanding or extra-ordinary. Also when describing your nursing experience, give information on the type of facility you worked for. If you are an entry nurse, give details of your internship.

Your resume should be keyword friendly

Since agencies get so many resumes, they mainly rely on software that helps in searching for keywords of qualified candidates. By placing the right keyword, your resume can easily jump to the top of the others. Which keywords should you include? You need to first look at the job description to determine the phrases and terms that appear often. Use abbreviated and spelled version of each one of them. For example, if you are applying to a certified nursing assistant, you want to use both CNA and Certified Nursing assistant in your resume. If an employer searches for either of the words, you will have taken care of both.

Keep your LinkedIn profile updated

Take the accomplishments you have listed on your resume and add them to your LinkedIn account. If you feel like expanding them, you can go right ahead as you are not in any way limited. An employer is likely to look there to know more about your career and your qualification. Ensure you connect with professionals in your area of expertise.

If you have any non-nursing experience, ensure you include it in your resume

Unlike before when nurses where advised not to include any other experiences not related to nursing, a lot has changed nowadays, other work experiences show your diversity in experience; something essential in today’s work environment.

Now, Let’s take a look at a sample Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Resume

Eve Clark
22 Oak Court | Sometown, CT 05505 | (222) 222-2222 | eveclark@gmail.com


Personal summary

Service focused and highly professional nurse with exceptional patient care skills acquired through seven years of experience. Highly skilled in taking care of patients in different healthcare settings.

Professional experience

Heritage Rehabilitation Centre, Birmingham

Certified Nursing Assistant 2009 To Present

  • Offered nursing assistance to residents in long term care facility
  • Helped residents with daily living activities such as assisting with meals, bathing, dressing and personal hygiene

Garden Nursing Rehabilitation

  • Trainee nurse 2005-2007

Samaritan hospital

  • Medical receptionist 2003-2005


  • Everest University- Nursing Degree 2004-2006
  • Central Town University- Nurses Aide Program 2003
  • Convenant School; O Levels English (A) Maths (B) Physics (B) Geography (A)

Dan is the creator of bestresumeguru.com, a website dedicated to provide easy to follow resume examples and writing tips to help you stand out in the crowd. You can also find general career information such as job duty, descriptions, and salary over at Dan’s blog.

Thanks Dan!
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