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How to Create a Great Nursing Resume

Once you complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, it is time for you to put together a resume. With many nurses applying for the same jobs, you must impress hiring managers. You need to put effort into effectively marketing yourself so you can gain an edge over other applicants. The ideal nursing resume focuses on a nurse’s education, career progression, skills and achievements.

The Structure of a Resume

Most resumes follow this common structure:

  • Contact Information and Credentials.
  • Objective Statement.
  • Professional Experience.
  • Skills and Certifications.
  • Education.

Contact information should include your name, phone number and professional email address. To avoid confusion, use the same name that appears on your nursing license. Identify your credentials and certifications such as BSN or Critical Care Nurse (CCN) by putting them after your name.

A short objective statement summarizes your experience and expertise. This is your chance to inform hiring managers about what you can offer their organization.

Arrange your job experiences in reverse chronological order, placing your most recent position at the top of the list. Your work experience should consist of a job title, type of healthcare facility and how long you were employed. You should also be specific about the nursing unit you worked in. Were you a nurse in pediatrics, oncology or the intensive care unit? In addition, include the number of patients you were responsible for during a shift as well as the duties you performed.

In the skills and certifications section of your resume, detail your accreditations and note the expiration dates. Mention the kinds of equipment you know how to operate and any relevant computer skills such as experience with electronic nursing documentation systems and the length of time you used them.

The education portion of your nursing resume should record all of your degrees and the names of the institutions along with addresses and completion dates. If you are still in the process of completing a degree include your projected graduation date.

Attract Attention

Set yourself apart from other job candidates and make it simple for hiring managers to find your resume by saving the file with your name and the date. For example, name your file “FlorenceNightingaleBSNresumeJuly2016.docx”.

When writing your nursing resume, showcase your achievements by mentioning your exact capabilities. You may have advanced knowledge in wound care or a talent for calming agitated patients. Also add any proficiency in soft skills. These abilities can include critical thinking, reliability, communication, teamwork, customer service and problem-solving skills. And do not forget to point out your accomplishments such as:

  • Number of patients you took care of in your unit.
  • Number of hours you worked per rotation.
  • Number of nurses you prepared for patient care.

Many recruiting agencies and human resources departments rely on software that scans for keywords to select qualified candidates. To increase your chances of being considered for the job, take frequently used words and phrases from the job description and insert them into your nursing resume.

Keep Their Interest

You do not want an employer to pass over your resume because it is too long or hard to read. The length of your resume depends on how long you have been working in the nursing field; for nurses still early in their careers, it should not exceed two pages . Typically, the best format for a resume is a Word document with these standard fonts:

  • Times New Roman.
  • Arial.
  • Helvetica.

Try to keep your resume brief by not using any unnecessary adverbs and adjectives. Before submitting your resume, you should proofread it and have someone else look it over to correct any typos, misspelled words and grammatical mistakes.

Employers are seeking BSN-prepared nurses who can transition into a healthcare setting with the transferable skills needed to provide optimal patient care. Resumes that are organized, error-free, easy to read and relevant to the position present a professional image. A well-crafted nursing resume can persuade a hiring manager to set up an interview with the applicant that may result in a job offer.

Learn more about the UT Arlington online BSN program.


Anatomy of an Excellent Nursing Resume. (2015, March). Retrieved from

Nursing Job Resume Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Nursing Resume Advice. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Resume Tips: Perfecting Nursing Resume, Cover Letter, Online Nursing Job Applications. (2012, June 1). Retrieved from

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