10 Tips for Creating a Great Nursing Resume

Nursing Resume – Overview

A resume is a critical tool for making a good impression on potential employers and, in some contexts, university admission committees, though not typically the sole factor in their evaluation. A well-written resume focuses on your skills and abilities professionally and engagingly.

It is vital for every registered nurse (RN) to have an updated resume at all times. Even if you are an RN and not looking for new employment, it is easier to catch an opportunity when it arises.

10 Best Tips for Creating a Great Nursing Resume

Nursing Resume

Best Tips for Creating a Nursing Resume

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a quick look at the top tips for creating a great nursing resume:

1 – Be Specific and Accurate

As a nurse, you should create your resume for the educational program or job posting that you are applying for. If the program or job requires certain specific skills certification, then make sure to highlight those in the resume.

Your resume should clarify to the admissions committee or recruiter that the skills listed apply directly to the position or educational program’s eligibility criteria or requirements.

2 – Keep it Succinct

The type of person/audience to whom you will submit your resume will determine its length. The average job recruiter spends about 7 to 10 seconds on an initial resume review, according to various industry studies. In such situations, you must put the required information compact but straightforwardly.

If your resume is several pages long, the recruiter or admissions committee will likely move on to the next one. However, when applying to an educational program, the reviewer will spend more time reading through your resume and considering your admission application. In such situations, the length does not matter as long as the relevant qualifications are listed clearly.

3 – Proofread Multiple Times

It is essential to focus on when creating a great nursing resume. Make sure there are no spelling or simple grammatical errors and that the formatting is uniform throughout the resume. If possible, have someone read through your resume, such as a peer or mentor, to check for any mistakes that may have gone unnoticed.

4 – List Your Computer Skills

Healthcare everywhere is going digital. With this in mind, showcasing your experience and usefulness with technology is important—Highlight proficiency with Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems; EMR (Electronic Medical Records) is a term less commonly used in contemporary healthcare settings, as EHR is the more comprehensive system. Emphasize familiarity with the current ICD-10 coding system; ICD-9 is outdated and has been replaced by ICD-10 in healthcare settings.

5 – Highlight Unit Type and Facility

Facility type and unit information are distinct signs to potential employers and academic institutions that you have extensive experience. It is especially helpful when applying for a position in a program or facility you already have experience working in.

6 – Necessary Keywords

When creating a resume for a specific type of nursing job, remember that large hospitals and healthcare service providers use software to sort through the numerous applications they get from candidates like you. The software looks for specific keywords that are relevant to the job position.

To identify relevant keywords for your resume, analyze the job posting for specific skills, qualifications, and responsibilities mentioned, and ensure that you include these terms where applicable. Make sure to include these terms in your nursing resume.

7 – Include Education Details

Create a precise list of schools and colleges you have attended and details of years of attendance and graduation dates. If you are a recently certified nurse who has just completed your education but has no professional experience, you can include details of your clinical rotation instead.

8 – Add Volunteer Experience

Many registered nurses volunteer their time with social or healthcare organizations, though this is not a universal practice among all nurses. This is meant to showcase to potential employers or academic institutions that they care about improving their communities. This is one of the most important features for anyone working in the healthcare industry, especially those at the front line of healthcare and looking to continue their education.

9 – Be Accurate With Details

There are several different ways to format a nursing resume correctly. However, the main thing is being consistent with it. Make sure to put your name in prominent fonts at the top of the resume. You can use bold fonts and other typography features to highlight the points most relevant to your potential employer or academic institution.

10 – Show you are a top performer

When creating a great nursing resume, you must highlight your accomplishments at previous work or academic institutions. Accomplishments can include experience handling patients with challenging, life-threatening injuries or illnesses and treatment-based chronic conditions. If you have received an award while working as a nurse, add this detail to your resume.


The best tips for creating an excellent nursing resume include accuracy, highlighting accomplishments, and focusing on consistency when describing details. While brevity is important, experienced professionals, including nurses, may have resumes extending to two pages to adequately cover their qualifications, experiences, and achievements. Add keywords most relevant to the job position or admission process to enhance your selection chances.

See Also

Texas Board of Nursing

How to Get Into the Nursing School

Nursing School Interview Questions

Nursing Malpractice Insurance

Nursing Travel Agencies

Legal Nurse Consultant Certification

How to Become an IVF Nurse

Loans for Nurses

Current Version
September 30, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 18, 2024
Updated By
Tim Bevelacqua, MN, RN

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