Looking to land more Nursing job offers?
You're going to need an awesome resume. This guide is your one-stop-shop for writing a job-winning nursing resume using our proven strategies, skills, templates, and examples.
All of the content in this guide is based on data from coaching thousands of job seekers (just like you!) who went on to land offers at the world's best companies.
If you want to maximize your chances of landing that nursing role, I recommend reading this piece from top to bottom. But if you're just looking for something specific, here's what's included in this guide:
- What To Know About Writing A Job-Winning Nursing Resume
- The Best Skills To Include On A Nursing Resume
- How To Write A Job-Winning Nursing Resume Summary
- How To Write Offer-Winning Nursing Resume Bullets
- 3 Nursing Resume Examples
- The 8 Best Nursing Resume Templates
Here's the step-by-step breakdown:
Nursing Resume Overview: What To Know To Write A Resume That Wins More Job Offers
What do healthcare centers look for when hiring for a nursing role?
Hospitals and clinics look for nursing candidates with a nursing degree or diploma from an accredited program and a valid nursing license. Certification in a specialty area, such as pediatrics or critical care, may also be preferred.
Nurses should have both technical skills, such as administering medication and using medical equipment, and strong interpersonal skills, such as communication, empathy, and collaboration. They should be adaptable, flexible, able to make quick decisions, and solve problems in complex situations.
Professionalism and ethical standards are also important qualities in nursing roles. Nurses work as part of a larger healthcare team, so employers often look for candidates who are team players and can work effectively with others.
Your resume should show your potential employer that both your personality and your experience encompass all of these things.
Additionally, there are a few best practices you want to follow to write a job-winning nursing resume:
- Highlight your experience. Highlight your nursing experience that is most relevant to the job you are applying for. Focus on clinical skills, procedures, and technologies you are experienced with.
- Emphasize your communication and interpersonal skills. Provide examples of how you have effectively communicated with patients, family members, and colleagues.
- Include keywords from the job description: ensure your resume is optimized for applicant tracking systems (ATS).
- Highlight your problem-solving and decision-making skills. Provide examples of how you have addressed complex issues and made effective decisions.
- Include any relevant certifications, awards or professional development courses. List any nursing certifications, licenses, and professional memberships you hold.
- Quantify your work: Use numbers and statistics to quantify your achievements, such as the number of patients you cared for or the success rate of your treatments.
- Proofread: Carefully proofread your resume for errors and typos, as these can give a negative impression to potential employers (I recommend using the Hemingway App).
Let's dive deeper into each of these so you have the exact blueprint you need to see success.
The Best Nursing Skills To Include On Your Resume
Keywords are one of the most important factors in your resume. They show employers that your skills align with the role and they also help format your resume for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
If you're not familiar with ATS systems, they are pieces of software used by employers to manage job applications. They scan resumes for keywords and qualifications and make it easier for the employers to filter and search for candidates whose qualifications match the role.
If you want to win more interviews and job offers, you need to have a keyword-optimized resume. There are two ways to find the right keywords:
1. Leverage The 20 Best Nursing Keywords
The first is to leverage our list of the best keywords and skills for a nursing resume.
These keywords were selected from an analysis of real nursing job descriptions sourced from actual job boards. Here they are:
- Patient Care
- Team Member
- Follow Up
- Patient Care
2. Use ResyMatch.io To Find The Best Keywords That Are Specific To Your Resume And Target Role
The second method is the one I recommend because it's personalized to your specific resume and target job.
This process lets you find the exact keywords that your resume is missing when compared to the individual role you're applying for
- Open a copy of your updated nursing resume
- Open a copy of your target nursing job description
- Head over to ResyMatch.io
- Copy and paste your nursing resume on the left and then do the same for the job description on the right
- Hit scan and review the results
ResyMatch is going to scan your resume and compare it to the target job description. It's going to show you the exact keywords and skills you're missing as well as share other feedback you can use to improve your resume.
Here's a video walking through this whole process:
How To Write A Job-Winning Nursing Resume Summary
Employers spend an average of six seconds reading your resume.
The key to landing more interviews and offers is to make that time count. That starts with hitting the reader with the exact information they're looking for right at the top of your resume.
Unfortunately, traditional resume advice will lead you to write Summaries and Objectives, which don't accomplish that goal. Winning in today's job market means using a more modern approach, what I like to call a “Highlight Reel.”
Here's how it works:
Highlight Reels: A Proven Way To Start Your Resume And Win More Jobs
The Highlight Reel is exactly what it sounds like.
It's a section at the top of your resume that allows you to pick and choose the best and most relevant experience to feature right at the top of your resume.
It's essentially a highlight reel of your career as it relates to this specific role! I like to think about it as the SportsCenter Top 10 of your resume.
The Highlight Reel resume summary consists of 4 parts:
- A relevant section title that ties your experience to the role
- An introductory bullet that summarizes your experience and high level value
- A few supporting “Case Study” bullets that illustrate specific results, projects, and relevant experience
- A closing “Extracurricular” bullet to round out your candidacy
For example, if we were writing a Highlight Reel for a nursing role, it might look like this:
You can see how the first includes the nursing job title, the years of experience this candidate has, and it wraps up with a value-driven pitch for their track record of patient satisfaction.
The next two bullets are “Case Studies” of specific results they drove at their previous employers, again driving home the measurable outcomes of their efforts with metrics. Their last bullet focuses on their achievement in a volunteer role, which demonstrates their level of commitment and dedication to giving back. I like to refer to this type of bullet as “extracurricular”. It gives the employer a more well-rounded view of what this candidate has to offer.
This candidate has provided all of the info any employer would want to see right at the very top of their resume! The best part is, they can customize this section for each and every role they apply for to maximize the relevance of their experience.
Here's one more example of a Nursing Highlight Reel:
This candidate does a great job of highlighting their years of experience, the results they were able to drive at their previous employers, and includes an extracurricular bullet to round everything out–all the elements of a great Highlight Reel!
If you want more details on writing a killer Highlight Reel, check out my full guide on Highlight Reels here.
How To Write Offer-Winning Nursing Resume Bullets
Bullets make up the majority of the content in your resume. If you want to win, you need to know how to write bullets that are compelling and value-driven.
Unfortunately, way too many job seekers aren't good at this. They use fluffy, buzzword-fill language and they only talk about the actions that they took rather than the results and outcomes those actions created.
If you apply this framework to each of the bullets on your resume, you're going to make them more compelling and your value is going to be crystal clear to the reader. For example, take a look at these resume bullets:
❌ Responsible for maintaining high patient satisfaction scores.
✅ Increased patient satisfaction scores by 25% over a 6 month period through personalized care plans and effective communication.
The second bullet makes the candidate's value so much more clear. It gives information about what the candidate accomplished, how they accomplished it, and also gives a timeframe. That's what we're going for here.
That said, it's one thing to look at the graphic above and try to apply the abstract concept of “35% hard skills” to your bullet. We wanted to make things easy, so we created a tool called ResyBullet.io that will actually give your resume bullet a score and show you how to improve it.
Using ResyBullet To Write Crazy Effective, Job-Winning Nursing Resume Bullets
ResyBullet takes our proprietary “resume bullet formula” and layers it into a tool that's super simple to use. Here's how it works:
- Head over to ResyBullet.io
- Copy a bullet from your nursing resume and paste it into the tool, then hit “Analyze”
- ResyBullet will score your nursing resume bullet and show you exactly what you need to improve
- You edit your bullet with the recommended changes and scan it again
- Rinse and repeat until you get a score of 60+
- Move on to the next bullet in your nursing resume
Let's take a look at how this works for the two resume bullet examples I shared above:
First, we had, “Responsible for maintaining high patient satisfaction scores.”
ResyBullet gave that a score of 0/100. While it gives insight into the end goal that this candidate was working towards, it includes mostly common words and is missing action words, hard and soft skills and, most importantly, measurable results:
Now, let's take a look at our second bullet, “Increased patient satisfaction scores by 25% over a 6 month period through personalized care plans and effective communication.”
ResyBullet gave that a 60 / 100. Much better! This bullet had more content focused on the specific criteria the hiring team is looking for. We can see by exactly how much they increased patient satisfaction rates and in what timeframe. We can also see the skills used to achieve those results, by providing personalized care plans and using effective communication. This is exactly the kind of results hiring managers are looking for when hiring for a nursing role!
Now all you have to do is run each of your bullets through ResyBullet, make the suggested updates, and your resume is going to be jam packed with eye-popping, value-driven content!
And if you want to learn more about the underlying strategies behind writing great resume bullets, check out this guide.
3 Nursing Resume Examples For 2023
Now let's take a look at all of these best practices in action. Here are three resume examples for different situations from people with different backgrounds:
Nursing Resume Example #1: A Traditional Background
Nursing Resume Example #2: A Non-Traditional Background
For our second Nursing Resume Example, we have a candidate who has a non-traditional background. In this case, they are looking to transition into a nursing role from a social work background, so their resume highlights their transferrable skills. Here's an example of what their resume might look like when applying for nursing roles:
Nursing Resume Example #3: Experienced Nurse Targeting a Nurse Practitioner Role
For our third Nursing Resume Example, we have a candidate who has 10+ years of experience in the nursing field who also holds a Nurse Practitioner certification and is looking for a similar role. Here is an example of what their resume would look like:
The 8 Best Nursing Resume Templates
At this point, you know all of the basics you'll need to write a nursing resume that wins you more interviews and offers. The only thing left is to take all of that information and apply it to a template that's going to help you get results.
We made that easy with our ResyBuild tool. It has 8 proven templates that were created with the help of recruiters and hiring nurses at the world's best healthcare centers. These templates also bake in thousands of data points we have from the job seekers in our audience who have used them to land job offers.
Just click any of the templates below to start building your resume using proven, recruiter-approved templates:
Key Takeaways To Wrap Up Your Job-Winning Nursing Resume
You made it! We packed a lot of information into this post so I wanted to distill the key points for you and lay out next steps so you know exactly where to from here.
Here are the 5 steps for writing a job-winning nursing resume:
- Start with a proven resume template from ResyBuild.io
- Use ResyMatch.io to find the right keywords and optimize your resume for each nursing role you apply to
- Start your resume with a Highlight Reel to immediately grab your target employer's attention
- Use ResyBullet.io to craft compelling, value-driven bullets that pop off the page
- Compare the draft of your nursing resume to the examples on this page to make sure you're on the right path
- Use a tool like HemingwayApp to proofread your resume before you submit it
If you follow those steps, you're going to be well on your way to landing more nursing interviews and job offers.
Now that you've got your resume taken care of, check out our guide on writing a job-winning Nursing cover letter (with examples!)