RN Resume: Step-By-Step to Writing Your RN Resume

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By Liz Hogan

June 17, 2022

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Step-By-Step to Writing Your RN Resume

With all the other things nurses have to juggle, writing a resume can end up on the back burner. So, where should you get started? This step-by-step guide will provide you with the guidance to create a strong RN resume. 

Use the below example as you follow the steps: 

rn resume

Step 1: Choosing a Resume Format

There are three main formats that can be good options for RN resumes: Functional format, chronological format, and Combination 

You should choose the format that highlights you the most. 

  • Functional resumes are good for ones with many skills, but not much experience.
  • Chronological resumes are a great choice for those with many years of experience. 
  • The combination format highlights both your skills and experience. 

On-the-job experience is extremely important in nursing, so always side with the chronological format if you have it. The resume above is in chronological format.

Step 2: Personal Information and Titles

The first step is to create, if you haven’t already, a professional email address with your first name and initials. Make sure you add an active phone number and continually add new degrees, specializations, and certifications as you acquire them. Your professional title will keep changing as you gain more experience and training.  

Step 3: Resume Summary

We no longer write resume objectives as professionally our resume summary needs to highlight what we bring to the table to your future employer.

Below your professional title, write a five-sentence overview of your career highlights. Mention your most impressive accomplishments, job experience, and skills as they relate to the job you are applying for. Make sure to mention any quantified achievements.

Step 4: Add Relevant Skills

While having an array of skills is beneficial to any professional in this section of your resume, try to highlight the skills required by the job description. Include any competencies and specializations that are ideal for a person in this role.

You can add this section below your professional summary. Title this section “Core Competencies” or “Areas of Expertise.” Use a bullets list format to clearly display all your skills.  

Do not include skills that are irrelevant. For example, if you are applying for a Pediatrics RN role, do not include your experience with Geriatric care. The only time to include this would be if you don’t have too much experience to list and have spare space on your resume to add this information.

Step 5: Education 

The education section is the easiest to complete. Center each education experience and include the name of degree or program, the degree acquired, the institution’s name, and the year of completion. Start with adding your education above the clinical rotation and experience section. 

Below these list any certifications and licensures you possess and mention any relevant organizations you are involved in.

Step 6: Include Targeted Experience 

When writing your job experience section, starts out by listing your most recent role.

Each role should include the name of the institute, the location, your role, and the length of employment.  

Within the description of the role, describe your main responsibilities, but more importantly, what you accomplished in that role. Make these sections easy to read by writing the job responsibilities in a paragraph format and the accomplishments in bullet points right below.

When writing your experience, keep the job description for the role you are applying for close by. Think ahead by imagining yourself in that role and what activities you will be performing. Focus the information you include so it is the most relevant to the new role. Utilizing numbers and data to indicate your workload of patient care and how well you handled it.

RNs who are recent graduates can use their clinical rotations, internships, and student nurse roles in the experience section. 

In Conclusion

Pay attention to your resume’s appearance and check for any grammatical errors. Have a friend review your resume to make sure it is visually appealing, easy to read, and free of errors. 

If you have any doubts or simply don’t have the time in your schedule to write this professional document, there are many certified resume writers that can help you.  

While writing an RN resume is not an easy task, with this comprehensive guide, you will be able to create a professional resume that will have you ready for any opportunity that comes your way. 

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