Resume Tips for Nurses

Man reviewing his resume
Man reviewing his resume

When it comes to nursing resumes, the most important component is a clear explanation of qualifications. The resume should highlight qualifications in terms of education as well as work experience. Nurses who have advanced education credentials stand the best chance of obtaining an interview and receiving an employment offer with a high salary.

Stress Continuing Education

Those who invest the time and money to transition from a licensed practical nurse (LPN) to a registered nurse (RN) will reap the rewards in terms of a higher salary, fulfilling work and the opportunity to manage other nurses. The median salary of an RN is $66,000 while the median salary for LPNs is $42,000. In 2015, the top 10 percent of RNs earned a median salary of slightly more than $100,000 per year. RNs in the bottom 10 percent were compensated with a median salary of about $46,000. So make sure your resume keys in on educational achievements such as earning your BSN degree.

One great option for RNs who want to continue their education is online nursing programs. This allows nurses to continue working while also broadening their career options. For example, an RN who gets a BSN online degree will have the chance to earn more and pursue specializations within the field. Also, when you complete an online nursing program, make sure to note it on your resume, especially if you graduated with any sort of honors. If your grade point average is high, make sure it is clearly displayed toward the top of your resume. Key in on specific details that are most likely to interest nurse managers and nurse supervisors. Always be specific rather than vague.

Don't Forget Your Technical Skills

Though nursing involves extensive interpersonal interactions, it is becoming more technical day-by-day. The entire healthcare industry is transitioning to the electronic realm. Nurses who are skilled with computers have a leg up on the competition. If you have any experience with Electronic Health Records (EHR) or Electronic Medical Records (EMR), emphasize it on your resume. A recent analysis performed by Wanted Analytics shows that an aptitude for EMR was the most commonly listed skill required of nursing candidates.

Above All, Sell Yourself

Your resume is your chance to emphasize your educational and professional achievements. Avoid self-deprecation. Use an assertive and confident tone of voice. Present yourself in the best possible light. List all of your job promotions, academic honors, special assignments, professional affiliations, certifications and other accolades. Make sure your nursing license and certification details are presented “above the fold” (meaning “on the top half of the resume”). Include basic information like the license type and licensing state/body.

Take Advantage of Resources

Some colleges and universities offer student support services, including resume reviews or career resources. Spring Arbor University, for example, has tremendous nursing career resources for its students. SAU offers several online nursing programs geared for nurses already working who are looking to continue their education and further their careers.