Few positions remain as constantly in demands as those for qualified nurses. However, there are a lot of qualified nurses constantly looking for better positions. This means that you will face a lot of competition whenever you apply for the most desirable positions. The main thing you need to do when writing a nurse resume is to focus on credentials and experience. Without the required credentials, you cannot be considered for a position. But your experience is what makes you different than all of the other candidates.
Your Education and Licenses Qualify You
The name of the college you attended is not as important in the nursing field as it is in many others. What is important is that you completed your education and passed the licensing exams necessary to practice in the position for which you’re applying. You should still list your school of education and any awards and honors received, but unless you’re completely new to the field, your work history will be of greater importance.
So what you need to be most clear about in the educational section of your resume is that you meet the minimum legal requirements to hold the position. Later, in your work experience section, you can expound on how your experience in nursing makes you the right person for the job. So first you establish that you’re qualified, then you establish that you’ve got experience that shows you’ve handled the same or similar duties in the past.
On the other hand, if you’ve got limited experience, you may want to expound more on specific things you did during your education. Your grade point average, honors, and awards will also be much more important. So highlight any positive achievements. Also make sure to list any clinical rotations that would show you can handle the position.
Regardless of your qualifications, it should be emphasized that you do need to detail your licensing. Licenses issued in other areas may also be listed. You don’t need to give your license number yet, as this will be asked for when you’re chosen for the position.
Detail Your Special Skills
Your resume needs to be full of keywords that those in human resources will be on the lookout for. In nursing, these keywords are typically “procedures”, “departments”, “medical conditions”, and “rotations”. White space is often a good way to present keywords so that they’re highly visible. You can use bullet points to list the keywords that describe your special skills. This will help you stand out within a quick glance at your resume. If you’ve been in nursing for a long time, you may want to include how long or how much time you’ve spent doing each listed skill. If you’re new to nursing, then this can be a place where you fit in keywords from things you did while you were studying nursing.
Your Employment History
For nurses, employment history is a golden skeleton key that opens job doors. An experienced nurse with a clean, broad work experience history gets priority consideration for every new job opening. So you need to make sure that any experience you don’t include elsewhere in your resume appears in your employment history. Any specialized work you’ve done, any departments you’ve worked in, and even your caseloads can boost your candidacy. For inexperienced nurses, it is even more vital that every experience be detailed.
As you go through the creation of your resume, always keep in mind that what all employers want for all types of positions is someone who will produce above expectations in some way. You want to show that you take pride in going beyond what is required. You want to demonstrate that you’re a good team member. Volunteer work and special committee work should receive mention.