Whether you’ve worked in the nursing field for a long time or you’re new to the profession, you’ve likely heard about the nursing shortage.
As such, it’s easy to assume it would be a breeze to land a nursing job anywhere you’d like.
But then you begin searching for a job, submitting your nursing resume time and again, and getting no callbacks.
What’s going on?
In spite of statistics that indicate a nursing shortage and a forecast of increased job openings, the reality is that the nursing field remains an extremely competitive job market.
One single document can help you stand out from other candidates, though.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- The most important sections for a nursing resume.
- Tips on creating a great nursing resume.
- The five best nursing resume writing services for any career level.
- Two of our favorite nursing resume samples (Registered Nurse and Chief Nursing Officer).
Let's get started!
You know there are sections you place on every resume.
A nursing resume will need to contain those same sections.
The difference is in what you focus on as you fill in your resume.
We’ll go through the sections one by one.
1. Contact Information:
Name: Have your name in a larger and bolded font to make it stand out from everything else on the resume.
Address: For your privacy, you might choose to provide only your city and state rather than your street address.
Phone number: Remember that, in this technological era, a recruiter or hiring manager might text you rather than make a phone call, so indicate whether your phone can receive texts or if it’s a home phone without texting capabilities.
Email address: Ensure that your email address is professional. If possible, it should be your name. Some recruiters advise that you don’t place your birth year anywhere on your resume, including in your email address, due to the possibility of age discrimination in the workplace.
LinkedIn profile: With over 500 million members, LinkedIn is a great site for professional networking. If you have a LinkedIn profile, go ahead and include it here.
2. Professional Summary/Career Objective:
Immediately after your contact info is where you will place either your professional summary or career objective.
We recommend the professional summary for a nursing resume. You can choose to write a brief paragraph or create a bullet list outlining an impressive glimpse into your skills and experience. Also, tailor your summary of qualifications for the specific position to which you are applying.
It should include the following:
- Years of work experience as a nurse
- Why you are an effective and efficient caregiver
- Core responsibilities you have undertaken
- Ways your skills and experience benefit medical patients
- How you professionally work with others in the industry
3. Skills Summary/Areas of Excellence:
Although some resume formats place the skills section last, a nursing resume would benefit having this section earlier. Especially with the popular usage of ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) in the medical profession, you’ll want to place specific and relevant skills early on in your nursing resume.
Add keywords from the job posting.
Highlight soft skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, time management, and adaptability.
4. Professional Experience:
For a nursing resume, you will list your clinical experience, ideally in reverse chronological order.
- List all the places where you’ve worked as a registered nurse.
- If you have more than 20-25 years of experience, it is recommended that you list only the most recent 15 years of professional work experience.
- Add a description of your specific duties in each nursing role. (The details will vary, depending on whether your experience was in an intensive care unit versus in an oncology department, for instance.)
- Provide quantifiable data as proof to back up statements you made in your professional summary.
We recommend that you list your nursing credentials and educational information in the following order:
- Highest degree earned
Include all degrees, starting with the highest degree you have earned. (Do not include your high school information.)
If above 3.5, add your overall GPA.
If currently enrolled in higher education, state that you are a degree candidate and indicate what year your degree will be completed.
- Licensure credentials
There are scores of nursing credentials, and this is often make-or-break information to an ATS, so make sure you add all relevant licensing.
- State designations
Different states have different requirements enabling a nurse to practice in that state, so make sure you add necessary state designations to your resume.
- National certification
Certification is often maintained through continuing education. There are some main credentialing organizations that provide certification, such as the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
- Other certifications (optional):
Here, you can outline additional skills or professional development that improved or furthered your education and experience in the field of nursing and health care.
6. Awards and Professional Affiliations (optional section):
If you have received awards or reached outstanding nursing achievements, place them in this section of your resume.
It can provide a hiring manager with evidence of your professionalism, expertise, and efforts to interact with other professionals
- Recognition from the facility where you worked.
- Awards received on a national or local level
- Professional memberships in nursing/healthcare organizations
7. Volunteer Work (optional section):
If you have volunteered, note this as it indicates a passion for your work and a desire to provide nursing and healthcare services beyond the scope of paid job opportunities.
Now that we’ve discussed what sections you’ll want to add to a nursing resume, here are three tips to help your application stand out.
Especially in the healthcare and nursing industry, hiring managers want a list of your specific abilities and skills.
- Do you have conversational skills that help put anxious patients at ease?
- Are you able to calmly and patiently interact with each individual in your care?
These soft skills are vital, and they augment your more technical skills.
List accomplishments as well as responsibilities
Don’t just list the tasks you perform on a daily basis.
Consider what practices can set you apart from the other candidates.
- What are you proud of as far as your clinical accomplishments?
- What do patients in your care regularly comment on?
Highlight these using action verbs and statements written in a compelling active voice.
Quantify the details of your resume
On a nursing resume, always try to add quantifiable data in your experience.
- How many patients did I visit during a single shift, on average?
- How many nurses did I oversee or train in my last position?
- What unique duties did I perform, and how frequently?
- Did you provide a certain percentage of outpatient or ambulatory care?
Quantification provides a clearer and impressive scope of your experience to the hiring manager.
If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to read our detailed reviews below, here are the names of the 5 best nursing resume writing services:
- Find My Profession (that's us!)
- Nurse Resume Writing Service
- Confident Career Moves
- iHire Nursing
- Nurse Prose
Find My Profession
Find My Profession is not just a top-notch nursing resume service. We are a global company headquartered in the US on a mission to master effective, ATS compatible resumes that convert into offers.
A major perk of Find My Profession is that we are not a one-person shop.
Collectively, our team of elite resume writers has experience in 85+ unique industries/professions. This allows us to assign you a professional writer (in the United States) based on your unique background and experience.
We are also not a resume factory. We will never use “ghostwriters”. You will have your resume writer’s name, email, and phone number for direct communication.
With 100+ 5-star reviews and a 60-day interview guarantee that speaks for itself, you can sleep easy knowing that your satisfaction is our #1 priority.
Pros: Find My Profession commits to working with each client until they are completely satisfied. Don’t worry about having a limited number of edits, or a set amount of time with your writer.
Cons: Find My Profession does not exclusively write nursing resumes. Also, with a focus on more senior positions, our entry-level resume service may be a bit pricey for recent graduates.
Turnaround: 3-5 business days. Can expedite to 2 business days.
Cost: $395 - $795
Contact: (831) 888-0967 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't take our word for it, check out some of our 5-star reviews.
Nurse Resume Writing Service
Nurse Resume Writing Service is operated by Rosa Elizabeth Vargas, a credentialed career expert with over 15 years of experience in the field.
She also has a background in nursing, which gives her relevant experience she can utilize to assist in crafting a nursing resume.
Nurse Resume Writing Service combines visual impact, focus, specificity, and keywords to ensure powerful results in the job hunt.
Pros: With a near 100% success rate, this elite resume writing firm focuses on writing nursing resumes at all levels of skill and experience. This resume service has received 24 resume writing honors between 2013 and 2017, as well as other awards and recognitions.
Cons: This company’s website is text-heavy. You might find it difficult to navigate through all the information to find what you are looking for.
Turnaround: 5-10 business days
Cost: $385 - $1195
Contact: (321) 704-7209
Confident Career Moves
Confident Career Moves is a resume writing service focused on nursing and pharmacy.
The owner and writer, Denise R. Hemphill, has a Doctorate in Pharmacy. This enables her to understand the medical world better than most resume writers.
Confident Career Moves also offers career coaching aimed to help you land your next big role in the pharma sales industry.
Pros: Confident Career Moves is a pharmaceutical sales resume service with plenty of experience in the medical sales resume service industry as well. Denise has five different resume writing and career coaching certifications, all of which enable her to take your career to the next level.
Cons: Confident Career Moves has a relatively long turnaround time for a medical resume writing service. This could be an issue if your dream job was recently posted and you need to apply as soon as possible. They also do not have prices on their website, so you would need to wait to hear back from them for a quote.
Turnaround: 7-10 business days
Phone: (800) 857-1366 / (832) 680-1019
iHire Nursing is a job search website that also offers healthcare resume writing services.
They also offer resume formatting.
Their goal is to facilitate you as you take the next step in your professional career goals.
Pros: This company offers to work with you until you are 100% satisfied with your nursing resume. As a company focused on the healthcare industry, their professional resume writers are knowledgeable of optimizing your resume for the nursing industry.
Cons: This resume writing service has you fill out a questionnaire rather than offer a one-on-one phone consultation. You might not have the opportunity to address specific concerns or preferences.
Turnaround: 5-7 business days
Cost: $345 - $495
Contact: (877) 316-3118
Nurse Prose was created by Mary Wagoner, who has been writing resumes since 1992, and specializes in nursing and healthcare resumes.
Each writer for this company has a unique area of nursing expertise and understands the trends, keywords, and concepts of the medical field.
Pros: Nurse Prose does not use a template or predetermined format. They write all resumes from scratch to maximize impact and increase the potential for an interview. They also offer packages that include a cover letter, thank you letter, interview tips, and more.
Cons: It is not stated how many certified resume writers are employed with Nurse Prose other than the company’s founder.
Turnaround: 3 business days (rush service also available)
Cost: $199 - $299
Contact: (800) 546-4541
Below is a Registered Nurse (RN) resume sample provided by Find My Profession.
Below is a Chief Nursing Officer resume sample provided by Find My Profession.
You might feel a little overwhelmed, but you can also be confident!
After all, in spite of the competitive healthcare field, there are plenty of great job opportunities available.
Another option open to experienced nursing professionals is taking on a remote position.
In the internet era, more healthcare companies are actively seeking candidates for remote (a.k.a. work-from-home) positions.
If you have experience in areas such as health coding or certification and are comfortable using computer programs, you might seek out a remote healthcare position.
Simply search “remote nursing jobs” online and you might find something right up your alley.
Whether you follow the necessary steps to create your own resume or choose to get help writing your nursing resume, the healthcare industry needs your caring, dedicated personality.
So, keep up the good work!