As with all industries, your nursing resume is incredibly important when it comes to earning job opportunities that fit your goals and advance your career. Before crafting your resume, it’s a good idea to know how the hiring process often works at clinics and hospitals around the country.
When nursing jobs are listed, it’s not uncommon for an employer to receive hundreds of resumes for that opening. In some of these cases, resumes are screened and ranked electronically to deal with the large amount of applications, and these systems favor resumes that include critical skills and experiences. With that in mind, you’ll want to have the most complete resume possible so you don’t get removed from the process early in the reviewing stages.
Some of the items in this list may seem obvious to include on a resume, but pay attention to the small details for each item, as they may include things you haven’t thought to put on your resume.
Detailed Work Experience
The best place to start with any resume is with your job experience in your industry. As a nurse, you’ll want to be as detailed as possible when listing former jobs, their descriptions, and your daily duties or accomplishments.
Current industry advice will tell you to frame your duties as accomplishments with quantifiable and tangible results for each employer. Also, don’t waste space by listing duties that are too general, like “provided patient care.” Think about specific duties that showcase your skills and abilities as a nurse, like starting IVs, administering medication, and the type of patients you cared for.
Including the type of facility you worked in tells your potential employer a lot about your experience without using up too much space. This can be included in your job experience and descriptions or in your resume summary. Wherever you place it, make sure to list the exact designation of your facility. For example, if you worked at a Trauma Hospital then you should include the trauma designation (1, 2, 3, etc).
Number of Beds
Like the facility type, providing the number of beds you cared for tells your potential employer a lot about your experience using few words. Get specific here if you’ve worked in various units by including the number of beds per unit.
Avoid using unit names that won’t make sense to those who aren’t familiar with your facility. Instead, simply list the type of unit you worked in (MS, ER, ICU, NICU, etc) to make it as clear as possible.
The most important piece of information to include here is the degree you earned (ADN, ASN, BSN, MSN, etc.). Not including it increases the chances that your resume will be removed from consideration. Also, include additional information about your education, like:
- Name of school
- Dates attended
- City, State
If you’re early in your career, consider adding achievements, awards, activities, and your GPA (if it was really high). Scholastic achievements will add substance to your resume until you add more experience in your professional career. Also, if you’ve taken any continuing education courses in the last two years, you should include those as well.
Nursing License and Certification Details
Your nursing license information should also be included on your resume. Here are all of the important details you should include:
- License type
- Licensing state
- License expiration date
- License number
- If your license is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact
For certifications, you should list the following for every certification you hold:
- Certification name
- Certifying body
- Expiration date or date acquired if there is no official expiration date.
Nursing is an around-the-clock profession, so it’s best to list the shifts you’re willing to work on your resume. Even if you’re applying for a position with a specific shift, you never know if the employer has another opening that you may also be qualified for. List the lengths of shifts and times of day you are willing to work.
Professional Nursing Affiliations
There are thousands of professional affiliations for nurses, and your potential employer will likely want to know if you belong to any of them. If you’re part of a nursing association, include the following information:
- Affiliation name
- Date of admission
- Offices held
The healthcare industry is increasingly going electronic with all charting and health records. It’s important to include and all Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) experience you have.
Practical and clinical knowledge is extremely important as a nurse, so those skills are the most critical to include on a resume. However, many employers are also starting to look for soft skills or personal qualities on nursing resumes. Here’s a list, courtesy of the University of Arizona College of Nursing, of important soft skills you may want to include on your nursing resume:
If you include these soft skills or any others, you’ll also need to be prepared to share examples that showcase how these skills have translated to your career as a nurse.
A Staffing Agency Here to Help
Writing the perfect resume is a lot of work, so it helps to have the advice of friendly industry professionals along the way. As a traveling nurse for LRS Healthcare, you’ll have loads of assistance at your fingertips. Our dedicated recruiters work with their nurses to create an ideal resume for landing jobs and assignments at top hospitals around the country. If you’re ready for a career as a travel nurse, apply with LRS Healthcare today.