The last semester of nursing school is undeniably intense. You have a lot on your plate, from clinicals to licensing to finishing up any assignments you have. Now, it’s time to add yet another task to your list! You have to start thinking about post-graduation employment. You’ve worked hard in school, you have the skills.
The key to your success is communicating those skills in your entry-level student resume. Keep reading to get help with that as we break down the anatomy of the perfect nursing resume for new nurses.
The Objective or Professional Summary
This will be the opening portion of your resume. Your goals here should be as follows:
- Introducing yourself.
- Sharing your key qualifications.
- Briefly detailing what you bring to the team.
- Providing a brief summation of your goals
Here’s an example:
Registered nurse and recent graduate with more than 1000 hours of clinical experience. Seeking a full-time position in the Emergency Room or Critical Care Unit at a hospital in the DFW metro area. Familiar with ER protocols and working in high-pressure situations.
Skills and Certification
Since you don’t have a significant amount of work experience, draw focus to your capabilities first. Create a bulleted list of your best skills that you are most likely to use on a daily basis in your new job. You may also consider any specialized abilities that might make you particularly valuable to the hospital, clinic, or office to which you are applying. Your list might look something like this:
- Blood Draws
- Bedside Monitoring
- Respiratory System Assessment
- Cardiac Monitoring
- Neurological System Assessment
You’ll also wish to place a list of your licenses and certifications near the top of your resume. This will ensure that the person reviewing your qualifications knows that you have everything you need to begin working. It is okay to include any licenses or certifications that are pending, as long as you will be obtaining them in the reasonable future.
At this point, you have gained your most important skills and experience as a student. Because of this, you should consider placing your educational history after your list of skills. On the other hand, if you do have relevant medical experience in your employment history, list that first, then your education.
Wherever you list your educational history, list your most recent school first. Presumably, this will be your nursing program. Be sure to include the following:
- Name of The School
- Graduation Date
- Any Special Designations or Honors
You may not have a deep employment history, but you have worked hard to gain hundreds if not thousands of hours of clinical experience. This has given you relevant, real-world experience in hospital settings, helping real patients. That’s why your student nursing resume should include a special section for clinical experience.
Keep things simple here. List the name of the hospital, department, and the term in which you completed that clinical. Try something like the following:
Obstetrics St. Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, MO Spring 2020
Psychiatry Westside Medical Center, Provo, UT Fall 2020
You should always be honest about your work history. However, you can be forthcoming while also carefully curating the information you provide about your experience. As listed in each job, and the duties you performed, focus on the tasks that helped you to develop skills that will be relevant in your work as a nurse. These include:
- Customer Service
- Time Management
- Dealing With Conflict
- Handling Crises
- Computer Skills
- Remembering And Following Strict Protocols
Of course, if you have any sort of healthcare experience, you should emphasize that.
Should you include your entire employment history? That depends. If you are in your early twenties and have been employed for only a few years, list any job you have had. If you are older and have significant work experience, you can eliminate unrelated jobs from high school or college.
Final Thoughts: Remember The Extras
Nothing is more important than the content of your resume. Hopefully, you have started in the right direction, thanks to the tips above. Now, take a look at the following tips that will take a passable resume and make it truly noteworthy:
- Use the job listing to determine which skills to emphasize.
- Unless otherwise specified, offer your resume in PDF format to retain formatting.
- Make your resume readable by using plenty of white space, bold print, headings, bulleted lists, and font that is easy on the eyes.
- Don’t forget to include a personalized cover letter.
Follow these tips, and you will have a resume that reflects the quality and attention to detail you will bring to any nursing position.