One of the first things your potential employer will see is your resume. If you’re wondering what can make you stand out among a huge stack of applications, what’s on your resume is one major thing. At the same time, people will usually only spend about 30 seconds looking at your resume. So, you should probably do it right.

This post will go through the major points you need on your resume. Use it as a sort of checklist, so you know you’ve included everything you need.


1. Contact information
Pretty straightforward: Name, address, email address, phone number. Done.

2. Basic info
This should include:

  • Nursing school
  • City and state of nursing school
  • Degree type (BSN, ADN, etc.)
  • Date of graduation
  • GPA: cumulative and, if you have a separate one, nursing GPA can be added as well


3. Nursing Experience
This should be at the top of your list of activities, because they are the most relevant. Include things such as:

  • Externship experience
  • Work as a tech/patient care assistant/EMT/whatever
  • Shadowing
  • Volunteering in some sort of medical capacity

** Some hospitals you apply to will want a list of your clinical hours on your resume. They usually tell you how they want that formatted, but in general want the type of unit/specialty, number of hours, and what hospital.


4. Certifications
List any special certifications you may have. This can include your CPR certification. Also include if you have ACLS/PALS certification, your EMT certification, paramedic, etc. You can even include any “Clinical Competencies” you may have (for example, use of an electronic documentation system).


5.  Leadership Experience
Here, you can branch out and list activities and things that you have done outside of the nursing world as well. Of course, list your nursing leadership positions first; maybe you were the vice president of your nursing student council. Then you can list things such as coach of a local soccer team, president of your Habitat for Humanity club, etc.


6. Other Experience
This is what I consider the miscellaneous category. You can put your volunteering at the local animal shelter, or whatever it may be. This is last because if all of your nursing activities take up one whole page, then you don’t need this! But if you have room, definitely add any other activities you are involved in.


7. Extra sections you can add:

  • Awards, if you have any. You should definitely have a section on this if you have any nursing awards. Other awards are good too, but remember, you want to keep it to 1 page, so nursing stuff is more important!
  • International experiences. If you studied abroad to learn more about their healthcare systems, or traveled on trips to provide nursing care. You can list other study-abroad experiences if you have room after healthcare-related trips.
  • Work experience. Some people choose to combine all nursing work experience with non-nursing jobs. Whichever way you want to do that is fine, but remember that you want them to see your nursing experience first, which is why I recommend putting nursing jobs with your nursing experience at the top, then listing other jobs later.
  • Extra Coursework. If you worked on any research, wrote a thesis, published any articles, etc., add that! Research is a big thing these days with evidence-based practice and so forth, so if you were involved in any, definitely add that!!
  • Athletics. If you played on a Varsity sport in college, definitely add that as well. It shows you are good at time management and can handle responsibilies.

If you follow this checklist, you should have everything you need to include on your resume. However, don’t be afraid to ask your school of nursing faculty for advice! They can be very helpful.

Now that you have the basics of what you should put in your resume, check back soon for tips on formatting!

Nursing Love <3

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