By Ilaya Dova

November 13, 2023

Nurse Resume: Tips, Templates & Examples

The nurse plays a vital role in providing care and support to patients during their most vulnerable times. A nurse's resume should demonstrate expertise, compassion, and the ability to provide high-quality healthcare. The blog is a valuable resource for crafting an exceptional nurse's resume.

nurse resume writing tips

The reverse chronological format is the best resume format for a nurse position. Selecting an appropriate resume format and organizing all the essential information effectively in writing a nursing resume is crucial. There must be 7 sections in a nursing resume, including contact information, objective, work experience, education, skills, certifications and licensure, and awards. Candidates must pay attention to all the details, fill in the sections carefully, and prepare a resume according to the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) indicators to tailor a nursing resume. Adjectives play a crucial role in nursing resumes as nursing buzzwords, and their strategic use holds significant importance in the hiring process.

Including all pertinent contact information facilitates communication between the employer and the candidate. The contact info section must encompass essential details to ensure seamless contact. A well-crafted nursing resume objective holds significance in creating the initial impression of the candidate for the employer. The work experience section is paramount as it showcases the candidate's expertise and professional background. Education and skills must be featured in the resume, demonstrating the relevant knowledge and abilities required for the job. Certifications, licensure, and awards serve as indicators that set a candidate apart from others, demonstrating their suitability and merit for the position.

What is the best resume format for a nurse position?

The reverse chronological format is the best resume format for a nurse position. The reverse chronological format's effectiveness lies in allowing employees to review information quickly and conveniently. The reverse chronological format is primarily designed to highlight work experience, emphasizing the significance of the candidate's most recent roles. Employment history and experiences are listed in reverse order, with the most recent ones appearing first. Educational or other sections are arranged in reverse, mirroring the structure of the work experience section. Recruiters effortlessly assess the candidate's professional nursing resume in seconds.

Listed below are 3 other resume formats for a nurse position.

  • Functional format: The functional format is utilized when transitioning to a new career when there is limited work experience or when a significant gap exists in the employment history. The skills relevant to the desired job are listed, allowing the recruiter to assess the candidate's suitability.
  • Combination format: The combination format combines elements of functional and reverse chronological formats. The skills of a nurse are listed initially, followed by work experience arranged chronologically in the format. The combination resume format is employed when substantial work experience spans various fields.
  • Targeted format: The targeted format involves customizing the professional nursing resume for the intended company or position. Searching for a company to understand its requirements and desired skills is vital before preparing the resume format. A tailored resume is created to align with the specific needs of the targeted position.

How to write a nursing resume

An appropriate resume format must be selected, and all the essential information must be organized effectively to write a nursing resume. The nursing resume must present the required skills and previous work experience in a clear and easily accessible manner for the employer. Attention to font choice, length, and overall resume appearance is paramount. Essential information must include contact information, nursing objective statements, work experience, education, skills, qualifications, certifications, and any relevant awards for a nursing resume. Listed below are the 7 sections that must be in a nursing resume.

Contact info

The initial section to include in a resume is the contact information. The vital information comprises the full name, phone number, email address, location, and, optionally, a LinkedIn profile. Including the city, street, and zip code when providing the location is essential. Extra care must be taken when inputting the phone number and email address. Any mistakes in these details prevent the recruiter from reaching out, resulting in the candidate missing out on job opportunities. Therefore, reviewing the contact information thoroughly is crucial to ensure no spelling errors. Including the LinkedIn profile link is advisable since some employers place significant importance on LinkedIn profiles and prefer communicating through the platform.

Contact Info

Full name: Anna Kelly

Address: Norway, Oslo, Storgata 15, 0123

Phone number: 912 51 678

Email: [email protected]

LinkedIn profile:

What is a good objective for a nursing resume?

A good objective for a nursing resume is an impactful introduction, highlighting the skills of a nurse and what they bring to the applied company and specific position. A good objective in just 1 or 2 sentences is sufficient in the resume. A good objective holds significance in the resume as it establishes the initial impression of the employer. It is crucial for the recruiter to read the nursing resume objective and gain an understanding of the candidate's capabilities for the job. A brief nursing resume objective outlining the candidate's commitments and promises for the role creates a specific notion for the employer.

I am seeking a nursing position in the pediatric department where I effectively communicate with children, demonstrate patience, and leverage my extensive 7 years of experience caring for children.

Work Experience and Qualifications on Nursing Resume

The work experience section holds primary importance in a nursing resume. The reverse chronological format is typically utilized in nursing resumes to show the last work experience. The last work experience is listed first, followed by the preceding positions in the format. Job titles, employers, employment dates, and, in some cases, the location of each role must be included within the section. It is crucial to outline each job's specific roles and responsibilities. Emphasizing notable achievements within these positions is advantageous, as it provides the employer with a clear understanding of the candidate's capabilities and potential contributions to the role.

Qualifications related to each work experience are highly significant in the nursing resume. Highlighting relevant qualifications creates a professional image and showcases the candidate's level of professionalism and expertise suitable for the vacancy. The recruiter clarifies the candidate's suitability for the job by quickly reviewing these qualifications.

Work Experience

Job title: Registered Nurse

Employer: NM hospital

Date: March 2019 - January 2022

  • Scheduling and accurately administering patient medications according to prescribed timelines.
  • Supervising and providing comprehensive care for critically ill patients.
  • Building effective communication with pediatric patients and establishing a close rapport with their parents throughout treatment.
  • Conducting patient care training sessions for newly recruited nurses.

Nursing resume with no experience

New graduates lacking work experience must emphasize their education and relevant skills when preparing their resumes. Firstly, the candidate must highlight their suitability for the job and articulate their potential contributions to the position in the objective statement. Secondly, providing detailed information about licenses and certifications is crucial, as these hold significant importance in a recent graduate's resume. Care must be taken to list and describe these credentials accurately.

Thirdly, the education section must be presented in detail, ensuring that the education details relevant to the desired job are emphasized. Drawing attention to specific aspects of the education that align with the position's requirements captures the employer's attention. 

Fourthly, the resume must include a comprehensive account of clinical rotations, considered a pivotal component. A more detailed experience description enhances the chances of getting the job. Finally, some candidate possesses awards or language skills that are highly sought-after in the field. It is important to mention them as they positively impact the recruitment process.Nurse resume with no experience


Including the education section in the resume in chronological order is more appropriate. The highest degree attained must be listed first, followed by lower degrees. The most recent one must be presented first if multiple degrees of the same level have been achieved. It is essential to include the name of the institution where the education was received and the corresponding years of enrollment for each degree. Any honors or academic achievements obtained while pursuing that degree must be mentioned beneath it. It is worth noting that clinical rotations are included within the education section, as they represent a continuation of learning and practical experience.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

University of California, 2015-2019

Nurse resume skills

Skills mentioned in a nurse's resume indicate the candidate's suitability for the available nursing vacancy and shed light on their potential contributions to the role. It is essential to start by clearly defining these skills, encompassing hard, soft, and technical skills. However, it is advisable to highlight the skills of a nurse most relevant to the specific nursing position in the resume. The HR department is unaware of what the candidate has acquired from previous positions or what they have learned and applied during their studies without showcasing these skills. Therefore, including a comprehensive list of skills allows the employer to gauge the candidate's suitability for the job and assess their ability to perform well.

Hard skills for nursing

Hard skills for a nursing resume refer to the specific skills directly associated with nursing work and acquired through work experience and education. Hard skills are applied directly in healthcare and are closely tied to patient care in clinical environments. Listed below are the 10 hard skills for a nursing resume.

  • Medication administration
  • Patient assessment
  • Wound care
  • Informing patients
  • Urgent care
  • Documentation
  • Diagnostic testing
  • CPR and BLS
  • Patient Safety
  • Infection control

Soft skills for nursing

Soft skills encompass personal attributes that are crucial for nursing professionals. Soft skills are essential for connecting with and caring for patients. Deficiencies in soft skills directly impact the quality of work, making a candidate less effective for a nursing position. Listed below are the 10 soft skills for nursing.

  • Communication
  • Compassion
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Pursuit of learning
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Integrity
  • Stress management

Technical skills for nursing resume

Technical skills are a subset of hard skills, specifically focusing on the technical aspects of nursing practice. Technical skills are directly applicable to the work environment of nurses, encompassing various technical proficiencies necessary for the role. Listed below are the 5 technical skills for a nursing resume. 

  • Electronic health records
  • Familiarity with specialized equipment
  • Expertise in a specific procedure
  • Vital signs monitoring
  • General patient records

Certifications / How to list nursing license on resume

Certificates are notable markers that distinguish candidates during the recruitment process and provide insights into their knowledge and skills. Naturally, the most sought-after certifications are given consideration. Such an assessment enables employers to gauge the candidate's level of professionalism effectively. It is advisable to list them individually, starting from the most recently acquired and proceeding to the oldest when incorporating certifications into a resume.

The resume must include the certification's name, number, issuing organization, and date. All the necessary information about the certifications becomes readily visible, facilitating informed decision-making by presenting these details comprehensively.

Listed below are 7 specific certifications that hold significant importance for nursing positions.

  • Basic Life Support (BLS): BLS certification verifies a nurse's proficiency in essential life support skills during emergencies, including fundamental rescue techniques.
  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS): ACLS certification showcases the nurse's abilities in emergency interventions and preventive measures for cardiovascular and cardiac arrest scenarios.
  • Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse: CMSRN certification is essential for nurses aspiring to excel in medical-surgical settings, ensuring their proficiency and expertise.
  • Certified Wound Treatment Associate (WTA-C): WTA-C certification is crucial for specializing in wound care, enabling nurses to perform comprehensive care and treatment for cuts and abrasions.
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS): PALS certification validates the nurse's skills in providing advanced life support specifically tailored for children and infants, making it vital for those working or seeking to work in pediatric settings.
  • Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC): TNCC certification is a requirement for nurses aiming to work in trauma environments such as operating rooms and emergency departments, equipping them with specialized knowledge and skills.
  • Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN): CEN certification is necessary for nurses working in emergency departments, ensuring their competence in patient care during critical and urgent situations.

One of the critical details to include is the mention of their license, as it signifies the level of professionalism in a nurse's resume. Indicating the license type, such as a Registered License or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse License, is essential when incorporating the license information into the nursing resume. The license number and the state it was issued must be provided. The license's expiration date must be added to the nursing resume.


Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

Date of Certification: May 2021


Incorporating awards into a candidate's resume is crucial as it indicates their determination and proficiency in any given role. Including awards sets the candidate apart from others in the applicant pool. It is advisable to have awards in the resume that align with the specific job vacancy as it enhances the likelihood of the candidate being selected for the position. Providing its title, the issuing entity (whether an individual or an institution), and the date of issuance is significant when listing an award in a resume.

Awards are mentioned in a dedicated section specifically for awards or under the relevant category to which the awards pertain. Awards include scholarships, community awards, professional accolades, inclusion in the dean's list or honor roll, fellowships or grants, and more. Quantifying the award and providing detailed information about its significance and impact on the resume is beneficial.


Patient Satisfaction Award, 2019

RT Medical Center

What should be included in a nursing resume?

Listed below are the 7 sections that must be included in a nursing resume.

  • Contact Information: The contact information section is the most important part of a nurse's resume. It is crucial to provide all details accurately. Therefore, recruiters easily reach out to the candidate.
  • Objective: The nursing resume objective allows candidates to highlight their skills and articulate their contributions to the specific vacancy. The section serves as a quick reference for employers to assess suitability.
  • Work Experience: The work experience is crucial to record, starting from the most recent. It allows employers to gauge the candidate's experience level and make a fair evaluation.
  • Education: The education section is significant as it showcases where and what subjects the candidate studied. It demonstrates the candidate's knowledge and competence to fulfill the vacancy's requirements.
  • Skills: The candidate's hard, soft, and technical skills must be mentioned in the resume. The comprehensive inclusion provides a complete overview of the candidate's skill set.
  • Certifications/Licensure: The certifications are essential for specific vacancies, and in some cases, job opportunities require these certifications. Therefore, it is crucial to acquire the necessary certificates and licenses and include them in the resume.
  • Awards: The awards section carries importance as it recognizes the candidate's dedicated efforts in their career and education. Receiving an award speaks to both their skills and personal qualities.

What not to include in a nurse's resume

Listed below are the 5 sections not included in a nurse's resume.

  • Personal Information: Including personal details, such as birthdays and marital status, are unnecessary in a resume. It is sufficient to provide basic contact information.
  • Irrelevant Work Experience: Prioritizing relevant work experience in a candidate's resume when applying for a nurse vacancy is advisable. Including work experience unrelated to nursing is not necessary.
  • Hobbies: Omiting hobbies that are unrelated to nursing as they take up valuable space in the resume.
  • Salary: Indicating salary expectations on a resume impacts the employer's perception of the candidate. It is best to discuss salary expectations separately rather than stating them on the resume.
  • References: Including a list of references is redundant information and must be avoided in a resume. References are provided if specifically requested.

How to Tailor a nursing resume

Candidates must pay attention to all the details, fill in the sections carefully, and prepare a resume according to the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) indicators to tailor a nursing resume. Recruiters utilize ATS systems to check resumes electronically. It eliminates the need for hiring managers to review each resume manually. The ATS scans for keywords and filters out resumes that meet the highest standards and are correctly formatted before forwarding them to the hiring manager. Failing to meet ATS standards during the screening process results in the resume being overlooked, thus missing out on potential job opportunities. It is, therefore, crucial to meticulously adhere to these standards when preparing a resume.

Listed below are the 6 tips to tailor a nursing resume.

  • Add relevant keywords: The keywords utilized in the resume that align with the job posting and overall vacancy facilitate the ATS screening process and demonstrate the relevance of the outline to the position.
  • List work experience detailed: The candidate enables the hiring manager to quickly review the resume, increasing the chances of securing the job by listing the work experience in a well-organized manner and providing comprehensive details.
  • Highlight accomplishments: The accomplishments are crucial and showcase the superiority over other candidates and the dedication and competence one has exhibited in the work. These noteworthy achievements must be explicitly outlined in the nursing resume.
  • Include nursing education and certifications: The significance of nursing education is always valued by employers. Providing comprehensive details regarding the educational background is essential, as it enhances the chances of being selected for the position, especially with relevant experience.
  • Add volunteer experience: The volunteer experience is vital in healthcare and directly relates to patient care. Human resources departments consistently emphasize such experiences. Therefore, it is essential to include them in the resume.
  • Proofread resume: The resume must be thoroughly proofread after completing the nursing resume to ensure no spelling or logical errors.

Adjectives to describe a nurse on a resume

Adjectives play a crucial role in nursing resumes as nursing buzzwords, and their strategic use holds significant importance in the hiring process. Adjectives capture potential employers' attention and highlight the unique qualities that set candidates apart from others in their resumes. Therefore, it is advisable to incorporate a diverse range of distinctive adjectives. The resume becomes more professional and engaging, increasing its overall appeal.

Listed below are the 11 adjectives to describe a nurse on a resume.

  • Responsive
  • Adaptable
  • Compassionate
  • Professional
  • Experienced
  • Organized
  • Caring
  • Patient-oriented
  • Dedicated
  • Nurturing
  • Motivated

Resume template/example

Resume template/example

Key takeaways:

  1. Sample nurse resumes provide a comprehensive summary that encompasses the entire nurse resume, prioritizing it for a quick and informative understanding of the candidate's resume.
  2. A sample of nurse resumes presents a chronological list of all workplaces, ensuring ease of identifying where the candidate most recently worked.
  3. The nurse resume template provides detailed job descriptions for each workplace, highlighting the tasks undertaken by the candidate in the nurse position.
  4. The nurse resume emphasizes education relevant to the nurse vacancy, ensuring the recruiter that education in the field has been acquired by candidates when making hiring decisions.
  5. The nurse resume example indicates that more emphasis must be placed on hard skills because they directly relate to the tasks performed by the nurse


  1. Include all nursing-related certifications on the resume because they demonstrate how professional candidates are in this field.
  2. Place keywords related to the job vacancy on the resume because the ATS system does not forward the resume to the recruiter if it doesn't detect the keywords.
  3. Choose a simple yet attractive template with a clear visual layout when preparing the resume.

        Registered Nurse Resume

        Registered Nurse Resume

        PRO TIPS:

        1. List the most required and essential skills as a registered resume.
        2. Prepare a resume that perfectly matches the descriptions required for the position and customize it to fit that vacancy.
        3. Write a captivating summary that encompasses everything in the resume and demonstrates how professional candidates are.

            Hospice Nurse ResumeHospice Nurse

            PRO TIPS:

            1. Highlight the ability to provide care and attention to severely ill patients in the resume's job descriptions or skills section.
            2. Note the communication skills within a team and specific abilities in providing patient care in collaboration with the team.
            3. Emphasize the overall experience as a hospice nurse and highlight what you have accomplished during the years you've worked in the field in the summary part.

              Psychiatric Nurse Resume

              Psychiatric Nurse Resume

              PRO TIPS:

              1. Include experience in psychiatric assessment to identify patients' mental conditions on the resume.
              2. Highlight the essential skill of building strong therapeutic relationships with patients.
              3. Emphasize the primary responsibilities and achievements as a psychiatric nurse in previous positions within the job descriptions.

                LPN Resume Examples

                LPN Resume Examples

                PRO TIPS:

                1. Note extensive experience in medication administration as a Licensed Practical Nurse on the resume.
                2. List the most crucial Licensed Practical Nurse hard skills individually in the skills section.
                3. Include all the details of obtained certificates under the "Certifications" heading on the resume.

                  Nursing Assistant Resume Examples

                  Nursing Assistant Resume Examples

                  PRO TIPS:

                  1. Highlight the experience in providing the daily needs of patients as a nursing assistant in the job descriptions.
                  2. Emphasize the essential hard and soft skills specifically required for a nursing assistant.
                  3. Use action verbs as much as possible in the resume.

                    Cardiac Nurse Resume

                    Cardiac Nurse Resume

                    PRO TIPS:

                    1. Include the experience managing cardiac medications as a cardiac nurse on the resume.
                    2. Note the most important hard skills for a cardiac nurse in the skills section.
                    3. Highlight factors that generalize the cardiac nurse resumes and emphasize specific experiences in the summary section.

                    Dialysis Nurse Resume

                    Dialysis Nurse Resume

                    PRO TIPS:

                    1. Include experiences related to ensuring dialysis results in job descriptions, such as experiences with hemodialysis procedures.
                    2. Specify skills related to the specialized care of dialysis patients in the skills section.
                    3. Highlight important certifications related to dialysis nurses to distinguish candidates from others in the hiring process.

                      Surgical Nurse Resume

                      Surgical Nurse Resume

                      PRO TIPS:

                      1. Specify the role and experiences in successfully completing surgical procedures on the resume.
                      2. Emphasize the hard skills of a surgical nurse, especially in comparison to their soft skills.
                      3. Write the work experiences chronologically and with detailed job descriptions showing the last work experience.

                        Emergency Department Nurse Resume

                        Emergency Department Nurse Resume

                        PRO TIPS:

                        1. Note the skills related to the rapid assessment of a patient's condition.
                        2. Use action verbs needed for an Emergency Department nurse to pass through the ATS system.
                        3. Arrange the specific details of the tenure chronologically as an Emergency Department nurse, including job descriptions.

                          Nurse Manager Resume

                          Nurse Manager Resume

                          PRO TIPS:

                          1. Note the ability to work in a team and leadership skills in the skills section.
                          2. Highlight successes in improving patient care outcomes during the professional activities in the summary.
                          3. List chronologically all work experiences from the time of being a nurse to becoming a nurse manager, including all details.

                            Nursing Director Resume

                            Nursing Director Resume

                            PRO TIPS:

                            1. Emphasize the important leadership and management skills for a director in the skills section.
                            2. Highlight the experience in achieving goals during the tenure as a Nursing Director and successes in the summary section.
                            3. List the significant certifications obtained as a Nursing Director in the certifications section with all the details.

                              Nurse Practitioner Resume Examples

                              Nurse Practitioner Resume Examples

                              PRO TIPS:

                              1. Prepare the resume tailored to the requirements of the given job opportunity and customize it to fit the vacancy.
                              2. Highlight the education related to the nurse practitioner role with all the details in the resume.
                              3. Give priority to listing the hard skills that are crucial for a nurse.


                                How do you explain gaps in employment on a nursing resume?

                                It is feasible to explain resume gaps in nursing by considering how periods of unemployment are perceived and valued. The reasons for resume gaps include illness, marital status changes, or a child's birth. However, mentioning these gaps on a resume is not received favorably by employers and diminishes the chances of being recruited. Firstly, focusing on the skills, courses, or certifications acquired during those periods is advisable instead of directly highlighting these gaps. It becomes evident that although there was no employment during that time, relevant nursing skills for resumes were still being developed.

                                Secondly, creating a functional resume is a convenient option that emphasizes skills and competencies, along with a well-crafted cover letter in the case of multiple gaps. The functional resume format places the nurse's skills at the forefront, making it the first aspect employers see. However, it is more appropriate to discuss gaps in the cover letter if it is essential to address them. It allows for a more contextualized explanation of the circumstances surrounding the gaps.

                                Thirdly, omitting specific months from the resume is the solution to conceal these gaps. For instance, it suffices to mention only the years when listing previous workplaces if the gaps are less than a year. Any gaps between the years are not readily apparent, especially when subsequent positions are marked by omitting the months.

                                How to write nursing credentials

                                Following the correct format and including the most pertinent information is crucial to writing nursing credentials accurately. Listed below are the details about nursing credentials and their appropriate presentation:

                                • Education: Education is paramount as a nursing credential, encompassing degrees such as a Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctoral degree. It is essential to write these degrees in a comprehensive resume chronologically, starting with the most recent and proceeding to the earliest.
                                • Licensure: Licensure is a vital credential required for nursing practice and must be prominently mentioned in the resume. Proper formatting is necessary when writing licensure information. Examples of licensure include Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN).
                                • Certifications: Nurses often obtain various certifications to demonstrate their specialized skills in the field. The types of certificates vary based on individual preferences or the specific requirements of the desired employment setting. Credentials must be written in sequential order within the resume.
                                • Awards and Honors: Awards in the resume significantly impact the candidate's career prospects. It sets candidates apart from others by showcasing their determination and dedication. All awards are written chronologically in the resume, highlighting the number of awards received.
                                • Specializations and Other Professional Indicators: Specializations or additional professional indicators should be included in the resume. It demonstrates the possession of relevant skills that contribute to nursing.

                                Should I include references? If so, what's the best way to do that?

                                No. Nursing references do not need to be mentioned in the resume. However, specific job openings, such as consulting positions, sometimes require references. It is more advisable to provide references in a separate document rather than including them directly in the resume.

                                References include the full name, job title, company name, and contact information of the individuals who vouch for the candidate's qualifications. Potential employers quickly contact them by referring to the provided contact details and keeping references separate from the resume. Allocating a separate section dedicated explicitly to references at the end is recommended if a candidate prefers to mention references within the resume.

                                How long should I wait to follow up after I submit a resume for this job?

                                It is generally recommended for candidates to wait one to two weeks following up after submitting a resume. The first step is to review the job vacancy and see if any specified timeframe is mentioned. The candidate must wait until that designated period has passed before initiating any follow-up if a specific time interval is indicated.

                                Waiting one to two weeks is advisable to allow the employer sufficient time to review all the resumes received thoroughly in cases where no timeframe is mentioned. The timeframe enables the employer to comprehend and evaluate each resume accurately and thoroughly. The employer typically reaches out to the candidate through email or a phone call to provide an update on the status of their application after the waiting period. They inform the candidate if they have been selected to proceed to the next stage of the hiring process.

                                Craft your cover letter in 10 minutes

                                Use professional templates built by industry experts to stand out among others.

                                Share this article