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How to Write an Ideal Registered Nurse Resume

November 13, 2023

When applying for a job in nursing, the first thing that you should think of is the contents of your resume. Look at your job title, education section, skills section, work history, or even the resume format - do they need to be updated? Is your resume missing any hard skills like reading vital signs and critical thinking? Or perhaps soft skills such as empathy, compassion, or interpersonal skills that are relevant to the position you're applying for? Have you included a professional summary of your top skills as a nurse professional, like if you're a family nurse practitioner?

In this article, we will talk about how to write an ideal registered nurse resume. This includes a standout resume template that anyone can modify according to their liking, some resume examples that you can tailor for your specific job, a comprehensive resume summary that includes your skills and talents concisely, and an overall layout that's guaranteed to impress potential employers. Find out how to curate the best registered nurse resume so that you can secure your dream job in healthcare.

Writing a Good Resume for a Registered Nurse (RN) Job

Creating an impactful resume for an RN job requires careful planning and attention to detail. Typically, you begin with a concise yet comprehensive introduction that highlights your qualifications and professional experience, emphasizing your nursing education, the licensure exams you passed, and your certifications.

You can also opt to provide specific details about your professional work history, including the healthcare facilities you have worked at (such as the ER or the ICU) as well as any specialized areas of nursing in which you have expertise. Additionally, if you're submitting a soft copy, you can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile.

In addition to a list of clinical skills like basic life support (BLS) or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), showcase your interpersonal skills like patient care, engaging in cooperative teamwork, or wide knowledge in critical care by including examples of dedication and acts of kindness.

You should also note that a well-structured introductory section - with error-free, near-perfect English - will surely capture the attention of hiring managers and inspire them to read further into your resume, increasing your chances of landing an interview for that coveted registered nurse position. This principle also goes for any member of the nursing staff as well.

Sample Resume Templates for Registered Nurses

A well-planned, concise, and comprehensive resume is sure to grab the attention of your healthcare employer. However, some nurses don't pay a lot of attention to formatting, style, and the overall appeal of their resume, which should be the opposite. Below is a resume template specially made for nurses.

Examples of good nurse resumes

What to Write on a Winning Resume for a Registered Nurse Job

If you're worried about whether to follow the chronological order or the level of your achievement, then here are some guidelines you can use when making your own resume. In the case of nurses, whose job involves many physical and technical duties and responsibilities, but little writing (except for patient charts), these are some helpful recommendations to write a winning resume for a registered nurse job.

1) Tailor Fit Descriptions and Qualifications

The goal of a resume when applying as a registered nurse is to make a positive impression on healthcare employers and recruiters. Make sure to put your legal name and contact information such as your phone number and email address to show the employers your accessibility and openness for an initial interview for the role.

Another thing that you should remember in creating a great resume for a registered nurse job is tailoring it for each of your job applications. To do that effectively, candidates must take note of the wording, and the exact keywords used more often in the job description and use them in the most relevant sections of their resume, which are usually at the top.

2) Impressive Credentials

Showcase your nursing skills and accomplishments as clearly and directly as possible, like putting advanced cardiac life support or various IV procedures as part of your specific skill set.

Make sure to include your nursing education starting with the highest degree earned and going down from there (e.g. master's degree, bachelor's degree, and high school) to include your general education (if relevant) and certifications or training in the field. Nursing registration info is also important to add in a visible spot.

Include nursing achievements such as awards and recognitions. These should be indicated in the work experience section under the correct employment role. Additionally, you can mention other achievements in the form of examples of moments when you went above and beyond for a patient, delivering exceptional care to a senior resident (in long-term care settings), streamlined a process or two, or lowered costs.

3) Duration, Dedication, and Involvement

Don’t hesitate to describe your work experience by giving specific examples like “experience providing nursing care to challenging patients” or “experience treating life-threatening illnesses and injuries.” in your resume for a registered nurse job. These statements will give recruiters a clear idea of what kind of work a nurse has done and what they could bring to the table.

Include other areas in your life that make you a great candidate for a nursing job such as volunteering experiences, community work, mentorships, active participation in nursing organizations, and the like.

4) Technical Details

Keep your resume updated with every training, certification, new job opportunity, or new achievement. That way it will be easier to tailor your resume for a registered nurse job to a new position that might interest you in the future. Additionally, keeping it updated is a good way to ensure nothing is missing.

Look out for spelling mistakes, typos, grammatical errors, and anything else that could tell recruiters that your attention to detail is not as sharp and meticulous as it should be. These things should be paid attention to as they serve as metrics of credibility, accountability, and proficiency.

Mind your layout - opt for a font size of 10-12 point as this strikes a balance between readability and space utilization. Meanwhile, clear fonts such as Helvetica or Arial are also recommended due to their legibility and professionalism. Graphics should be used sparingly and only if relevant to the applicant's experience or qualifications. Simple icons or logos can also be incorporated discreetly without overwhelming the overall design.

What Shouldn't Be Included in a Registered Nurse Resume?

In a registered nurse resume, it's imperative to maintain a professional and focused tone by omitting any piece of information that's irrelevant, such as age, race, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression, or religion. These shouldn't be on your resume as they don't contribute anything when it comes to assessing one's nursing skills and qualifications. Additionally, including controversial political affiliations or opinions can potentially alienate potential employers and undermine their confidence in an applicant's ability to provide unbiased patient care.

Similarly, it's advisable to exclude non-nursing work experience unless directly relevant to the role being applied for. Instead, the resume should highlight practical experience, clinical rotations, specialized training or certifications obtained, and any medical associations or organizations with which one may be affiliated with. Meanwhile, when it comes to volunteering experiences, choose only the ones that are valuable in demonstrating passion and commitment to serving others in a broader context, as too many unnecessary details regarding volunteer work can take away from showcasing nursing-related accomplishments.

8 FAQs About Resumes for Registered Nurse Jobs

As the demand for registered nurses continues to rise, nursing graduates see the need to create a compelling resume that showcases their skills in the healthcare industry. This introductory guide aims to answer some frequently asked questions about resumes for registered nurse jobs. We will explore essential elements such as formatting, content organization, and professional language usage.

By following this comprehensive guide, you will be equipped with what you need to know in order to tailor your resume effectively for registered nurse job applications.

FAQ 1: What should be the objective written on a registered nurse resume?

Keep in mind that this will depend on what position you're applying for. As objective statements are the best way to let recruiters know what your goals are and what you bring to the table, make sure that you relay this in a simple but powerful short paragraph as you include the type of position you are looking for, the parts of your skillset that suits your job best, and most importantly, what sets you apart from others in your field.

A good objective example for a registered nurse's resume could be:

"Seeking a Registered Nurse role that allows me to advance in my career and develop new skills, while I focus on providing quality health care to patients and supporting their families."

FAQ 2: What should I put in my cover letter for a registered nurse resume?

Just like your RN resume, your cover letter should be customized for each nursing job. Prevent it from sounding and looking generic by avoiding greetings like "To whom it may concern" or "Dear hiring manager." Replace them with the actual name of the hiring manager or alternatively, "Dear Company Name Team." The body of the letter should also include solid references to your expertise, relevant skills, a clear statement of why you're interested in the position, and a good closing paragraph encouraging the recruiter to get in touch with you.

FAQ 3: How can I write a professional nurse summary for a resume?

A perfect nursing summary should be purposeful, concise, and easy to read. To achieve this, make sure to include some of the keywords the recruiter is looking for. You can base it on the job description if you have a copy of it. Ensure that your summary is brief by making use of bullets to help your employer review the essential information faster. You could also write the summary in paragraph form, but this only works if you keep it concise and if it supplies the answers to what the HR manager is looking for in a candidate. But for longer summaries, bullet points generally work best.

FAQ 4: How do I put a registered nurse licence on a resume?

Listing your nursing licence on your resume is essential for a successful nursing job hunt, but you need to do it the right way. Under your Licences and Certifications section, include the licence type, licencing organization, licence name and number, and expiration date. For certifications, however, you should start with the name, followed by the organization, expiration, and certification number, if applicable.

FAQ 5: How do I properly put travel nurse experience on a registered nurse resume?

Travel nursing experience is very valuable in a nursing resume, especially if you're looking for this type of work. Under your Experience section, include the dates when you worked on your latest assignment, the number of people you cared for, and the patient-nurse ratio of the assignment, and indicate that you have references available who can speak on your behalf. Additionally, make sure to indicate your current availability dates for your next assignment.

FAQ 6: Should I add COVID-19 experience to my registered nursing resume?

The COVID-19 pandemic helped many healthcare workers develop new skills. Nurses had the chance to improve their time management and workload management abilities, as well as learn to remain focused through longer and understaffed shifts.

In terms of clinical skills, many nurses learned to care for intensive care patients who were receiving treatment on a COVID-19 unit or were on ventilators and adapted to new safety protocols. All of these experiences can be listed on your nursing resume under the Experience section. You can use bullet points to list the skills, new abilities and duties you had during the toughest years of the pandemic.

FAQ 7: How must a charge nurse be described on a resume?

All recruiters and hiring managers in healthcare know what a charge nurse does. However, if you've ever been in this position, there's nothing wrong with listing your duties and responsibilities for them to review. You can indicate that charge nurses are in charge of providing certain guidance to the staff guidance, supporting them in challenging situations and implementing strategies to maintain the quality of care. On top of that, charge nurses have to carry out regular nursing tasks, which can be listed as usual.

FAQ 8: How to write a resume for a registered nurse with no experience?

Many nursing graduates are looking for an entry-level full-time job. Maybe you're looking for nursing jobs in the GTA, for nursing jobs in Ottawa, or just anywhere else in Ontario. Whatever the case may be, we understand that you may not have tons of experience or none at all. In that case, you need to write your resume in a way that your skills and your career objective speak for you.

Another point you should focus on is any internship or practicum you may have done - these should be included in your Experience section like regular jobs. You can also choose to focus on your education, practical and soft skills you learned, academic recommendations from mentors, and your goals and objectives instead.

Use your tailored resume in applying for your ideal job at Caring Support.

Is Your Resume Too Generic? Here's an Alternative for Registered Nurse Jobs

In the last few years, the hiring process has been completely transformed to become more online-based, which has also changed the way the entire labour market functions. This transformation progressed even more due to the pandemic. Today, recruiters rely on smart platforms to find and recruit candidates, being able to do their hiring and recruiting tasks more effectively and efficiently. Likewise, candidates should use platforms like ours with our Resume Builder, to write the best resumes that will catch the eye of recruiters.

Another recommendation for candidates who want to make the most of this shift in the recruitment culture and continue developing their careers is to understand that traditional resumes are changing and evolving. Embracing other alternatives like profiles and video resumes offers multiple benefits for them as well. They allow candidates to showcase their skills, qualifications, experience, and even their personality to employers so they can make a bigger impression and score a highly desired first interview.

Furthermore, job seekers can rely on Caring Support’s Candidate Profiles, for instance, which are a great alternative to plain old resumes for a registered nurse job because they only have to fill them out once, no matter the number of jobs they want to apply to. So, instead of writing and rewriting resumes for every application, this simple process saves nurses time and effort in their job hunt.

The following video explains how to fill out a Caring Support profile. The best part about it is that candidates not only get to add relevant information like years of experience, availability, languages, education, and more - they also get to upload their traditional resume in PDF format for those traditional employers that prefer it that way, plus a video resume where they can talk about their career, why they are passionate about it and what their biggest accomplishments are, all with their own words.

What Resume Types Does the Healthcare Industry Prefer?

In a general sense, the most preferred healthcare resume formats are either reverse-chronological or combination. With the reverse-chronological format, you get to show your employers a detailed work history, as well as your primary duties in each job. These things can highlight your career growth and investment in the field of healthcare as time goes by. Then we have the combination format, which would work if you’re making a shift in roles or departments, and you would need to show your previous healthcare experience to the HR manager, even if it doesn’t fit the position exactly.

As for alternative resumes, a lot has to be considered. Generally, the nature of a slideshow or video resume makes it a little harder to extract relevant information quickly, as key details may be missed or overlooked. Additionally, these formats can give job seekers an unfair advantage by allowing them to display their charisma or presentation skills rather than focusing solely on their qualifications.

At the moment, healthcare institutions prioritize objective criteria such as education, certifications, and previous work experience when making important hiring decisions; therefore, abstract visuals would slightly affect from this process. There are also privacy concerns that surround video resumes, in particular, as confidential patient information may inadvertently be displayed or disclosed. Overall, the healthcare industry relies on traditional resumes that present essential information in a clear and concise manner while maintaining confidentiality and professionalism, but anything can happen in the industry.

Will Alternative Resumes Rise to Prominence in the Future?

As the job market continues to evolve and become more competitive, there's a growing trend towards alternative resumes in other industries like fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and F&B, which can showcase the unique skills and experiences of job applicants.

In the future, these innovative formats may indeed rise to prominence as employers seek candidates who can demonstrate creativity, adaptability, and out-of-the-box thinking. Alternative resumes can include video introductions, multimedia portfolios, and project-based presentations that effectively highlight an individual's abilities beyond traditional paper resumes.

While the healthcare industry leans more on role-specific skills and less on creativity, it could soon follow suit with advancements in technology and the increasing use of AI in recruitment processes. Alternative resumes have the potential to stand out from the sea of conventional applications amidst a changing work landscape where non-traditional career paths and remote work opportunities are becoming more prevalent.

Consequently, it's crucial for job seekers, especially to stay ahead of the curve by embracing alternative resume formats that allow them to make a lasting impression on potential employers.

What's the Best Type of Alternative Resume for a Registered Nurse

When it comes to finding the best type of alternative resume for a registered nurse, several options can be explored.

The most viable approach is a functional resume, which focuses on the skills and experience relevant to the nursing profession rather than a traditional chronological format. This type of resume allows nurses to highlight their expertise in different areas such as patient care, medication administration, or team collaboration.

Another alternative option could be creating an infographic resume presenting crucial information graphically, allowing potential employers to quickly grasp essential details about education, certifications, and work experience. It could also be done through a slideshow presentation or a video compilation complete with background music, edited clips, pictures and videos that show knowledge and experience, and text to accompany everything.

Regardless of the chosen format, registered nurses must see to it that their resumes are clear, concise, and free from grammatical errors. Most importantly, their resumes should be tailored specifically to the job they're applying for in order to effectively stand out in today's competitive job market in healthcare.

Find Your Dream Nursing Job Today with Caring Support

Be it a traditional or alternative resume, registered nurses can submit their resumes through Caring Support. Our platform offers them a unique opportunity to showcase their diverse skills and experiences, beyond what's typically expected in regular hiring and recruitment procedures. In today's rapidly changing healthcare industry, nurses are often required to adapt to new technologies, medical advancements, and interdisciplinary teamwork. Caring Support allows nurses to highlight any additional certifications or specialized training they have completed to stay at the forefront of their field.

Moreover, registered nurses can also include details about their involvement in research projects, leadership roles within healthcare organizations, and advocacy efforts they have undertaken in a creative and outstanding way. By submitting an alternative resume, nurses can present a more comprehensive picture of their abilities and the best other candidates. This increases the likelihood of finding unique job opportunities that align with their specific interests and professional development goals in the field of healthcare.

Your dreams of securing a job as a nurse are just within your reach. Create your Caring Support account today.

About The Author
Kate Piamonte
Content Writer

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