Nurse Resumes: Free Templates & Best Practices
From searching for nursing jobs online, to video interviewing with employers, there’s no question that digitization has revolutionized the ways you can search for nursing opportunities - and how medical employers can look for, well, you!
But even in this high-speed, recruiter-free world, one thing remains the same: To land the nursing job of your dreams, you still need a killer resume.
Read on for free best-in-class nurse resume templates from Nomad, and the top tips for crafting an outstanding nursing resume that’s heads and tails above the rest.
To jumpstart your nurse resume / CV creation, here are three of Nomad Health’s recommended resume templates free for you to download here.
The resume templates are fully editable and completely free. Enjoy!
Resume template previews.
Now that you have a template, here’s the top 10 ways to make your experience as a nurse shine:
Tip #1: Start with a professional summary.
While we recommended using your personal statement on your Nomad profile to detail what kind of job you’re looking for, your professional summary is the place to talk about what you’ve done and how you can benefit the facility.
What’s your specialty? How many years have you worked? What skills do you have? Do you have a BSN? While you will be listing these in greater detail throughout the rest of your resume, this is the best place to summarize it all in a few sentences for the skimming hiring manager to catch their eye.
Tip #2: Highlight a list of relevant skills and credential qualifications.
Keep in mind that employers will be sifting through a lot of applications. This means that the amount of time they can spend on each one is limited. Having a good overview of everything you can do will help employers who are skimming resumes to notice something they like and stick around to read more.
Include both clinical and practical skills. Clinical skills include things like wound care, blood draw, and pre/post surgical care and monitoring. Practical skills are things like patient and family advocacy, attentive to detail, and professional bedside manner.
If you’ve worked for a significant period of time in a specialty outside your listed specialty, this is also the place to list that. Mention any other specialties you’ve worked in as well as how many years you’ve worked in each.
Tip #3: Make sure your work history is very complete.
Your work history shouldn’t just include your favorite assignments or the ones you spent the longest amount of time at. You need to list every assignment you’ve taken, even if it was only a few weeks long. Any gaps over 30 days will be questioned by your potential employers so avoid that by listing everything.
Also make sure that you’re listing your assignments in reverse chronological order. That means starting with your most recent (or current!) assignment and working backwards from there. Even if you switched agencies between assignments, make sure your timeline makes sense. On that note...
Tip #4: List both the hospital and agency you worked with.
For each assignment make sure you not only list the hospital name, but also which agency you went through to get the assignment. This is important for future employers to know to expedite their credentialing process.
Find a format that works for you and keep it consistent throughout each assignment description. Just make sure you’re including, both the name of the hospital as well as the agency name.
Tip #5: Each assignment listing should have all relevant information.
Don’t just include the name of the hospital and dates worked - your potential employer will want to know much more than that. Make sure you have information include:
- Location: This includes both city and state.
- Type of hospital: Was it an acute care hospital? A teaching hospital? This gives employers an idea of the type of environment you’re familiar with.
- What unit you worked in: Medical/Pulmonary? Neuro? Surgical? Especially if you switched units or worked in multiple units within a hospital, it’s important to detail your experience in all.
- Number of beds AND patient ratio: Every hospital will vary in the patient ratio they need you to handle. Knowing what experience you have will help inform that.
- Agency name: We mentioned this in the last tip but it’s so important we’re mentioning it again. Make sure you list both the name of the hospital and what agency you worked with.
- NICU Level: Particularly for NICU nurses, it’s important to know what level care unit you worked in. Every hospital will have an experience requirement so it’s important to show that you can meet them.
- Awards received: Did you receive any recognition for your work? Make sure your employers see that! It will help you to stand out.
Tip #6: Add more color to each job assignment with skills.
Below each job listing, add a few bullets of what you actually did on the assignment to give some depth to your resume. You can include answers to questions like:
- How long was your assignment?
- What was the patient population?
- What skills did you acquire?
These details will give employers a greater view of your experience as a nurse and what you’re capable of.
Tip #7: Strong action verbs are your friend.
Employers are looking for candidates who show motivation and can accomplish tasks. Let them know this is you by describing your experiences with words that prove you’ve done just that. Treated, analyzed, developed, practiced, trained, taught—these are all verbs that fit the bill. Always write from the first person, though avoid using pronouns to refer to yourself. For example, for a current position on a resume, “I provide care” would be just “provide care.”
Tip #8: Include a list of your state licensures.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but employers need to make sure you are properly licensed in the state you wish to work in to actually be able to take you for the job. Include information on each license you have and whether or not it’s a compact license.
For each license, include the license number and the expiration date to make it easy for the employers to quickly do a double check. If you’re in the process of applying for or renewing an expired license, make sure your resume reflects that.
Tip #9: The more complete your information is, the better.
It doesn’t hurt to include information outside of what may seem directly applicable -- like assignments or clinical skills. This is the information that will help you truly stand out from the crowd. If your potential employer is deciding between two equally qualified candidates, this can help you edge your way to the front.
Include things like:
- Education: Where did you go to school and what degrees do you have? Did you graduate with honors?
- Languages: Employers are always looking out for nurses who can speak more than one language.
- EMR Experience: Medical institutions make different choices in terms of which EMRs to use based on their needs. It certainly helps if you’re experienced in the EMR they use.
Tip #10: Formatting matters!
Even if your experiences can speak for themselves, if your resume doesn’t look professional, your potential employer might not even take the time to read over your resume.
Having a format that makes sense and clearly highlights all the important details of every experience makes it easy for the reader to find the key information that shows your abilities. Above we’ve included a few winning templates inspired by the resumes of nurses who have had the most success on our platform. You can download them for free and use them to help inspire your new killer resume!
And there you have it! Resume liftoff. Ready to launch yours?
If you need any additional help with improving your nursing CV or resume, or would just like expert eyes on yours, feel free to reach out to our Nomad Navigator team for additional support:
- Schedule time here!
- Email the Navigators at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shoot the Navigators a message through the blue chat bubble on the website.
- Call 866-OK-NOMAD (866-656-6623)
- Interested in texting? Email the Navigators and they’ll get you set up. Never lose another opportunity in your email inbox!
Now go forth and create a winning resume!
The Nomad Team
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