Nursing Resume Examples, Skills and Keywords

Nurses are a vital part of the healthcare industry, and employers are always looking to hire. If you want to build your career as a nurse, here's how you can write a resume for three of the most popular career tracks.

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Nursing resume samples

Nurses are responsible for the majority of patient care work. Nurses and their assistants are found everywhere, from assisted living facilities and primary care clinics to operating rooms. They’re responsible for making sure that patients are comfortable and healthy.

Even with high demand, you still need a strong resume if you want to get a job that you’ll love. Your resume is your best chance to show employers that you have the qualifications they want. The resume you’d write for a registered nurse job won’t get you a job as a nurse practitioner, because it won’t include the right qualifications.

You’ll get better results if you target your resume for the job you want. Employers can tell when you’re using a generic resume, and most hiring managers are more interested in tailored, unique resumes than boilerplate applications. Take the time to revise your application for a specific position to show that you care about it

The easiest way to learn how to write a good resume is to read good resumes. These three nursing resume examples can help you decide how to tailor your resume to the job you want.

Registered nurse resume example

Registered nurses (RNs) are licensed medical professionals who handle daily patient care in many settings. RNs work on the front-line in hospitals and clinics, where they record patients' symptoms, administer medication, and follow care guidelines as directed by physicians. Many nurses get additional training to help with operations, deliver babies, or work in the ER. ‌ Most patients will talk to their nurses much more frequently than they speak to a physician. That means nurses not only need to have a solid medical education, they also need interpersonal skills. A good nursing resume will equally highlight your technical skills and your empathy. ‌ This nursing resume example shows how to focus on your soft skills without taking away from your medical knowledge.

Nurse practitioner resume example

Some nurses get additional education that qualifies them to act as primary care providers. Nurse practitioners can prescribe medication, order X-rays, and make diagnoses. They often work independently in clinics and hospitals as a central point of contact for patients. ‌ Nurse practitioners need to highlight their education on their resumes, but also need to demonstrate work experience. Your resume should show potential employers that you have the knowledge and the skills to do the job. ‌ This sample resume displays a great mix of experience and education to appeal to employers.

Nursing assistant resume example

Nursing assistants provide basic care to patients and assist with tasks that patients can't do on their own. They often work in assisted living homes or are responsible for in-home care. ‌ Nursing assistants don't need as much education as other nursing careers. However, they need empathy, attention to detail, and resilience. Nursing assistants are often their patients' primary caregivers. Employers prefer resumes that demonstrate a candidate's reliability and focus. ‌ This nursing assistant resume shows how you can use your past experience to show hiring managers that you're prepared for the role.

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Nursing resume skills and keywords

Since many nursing positions involve specialized skills, hiring managers vet their candidates carefully. Many hiring teams use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to do their initial filtering so that they can save time. These systems look for specific keywords in your application, passing resumes with the right skill and terms to the hiring team and remove the rest. If you don’t include the right keywords for the job, a human being might never see your resume.


30 skills for nursing roles

  • Empathy
  • ‌Verbal and written communication
  • ‌Patient education
  • ‌Kindness
  • ‌Endurance
  • ‌Accuracy
  • ‌Blood glucose testing
  • ‌Catheter care
  • ‌Data management
  • ‌HIPAA
  • ‌Electronic health records
  • ‌Leadership
  • ‌Active listening
  • ‌Patient charts
  • ‌Patience
  • ‌Suture removal
  • ‌Teamwork
  • ‌Venipuncture
  • ‌Vaccination
  • ‌Adaptability
  • ‌Pain management
  • ‌Lab testing
  • ‌Diagnostics
  • ‌Conflict resolution
  • ‌Problem-solving
  • ‌Managing medications
  • ‌Coding and billing
  • ‌Wound care
  • ‌Physical exams
  • ‌Bedside manner

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Salary expectations for popular nursing roles

The nursing field is broad and spans a range of salaries, from entry-level positions to roles that require doctorates. Roles that require more schooling usually pay better. If you want to work in nursing, you can significantly improve your earning potential by committing to additional education.

Registered nurse
Nurse practitioner
Nursing assistant

Education and certification requirements for nursing resumes

All nursing jobs require a certain amount of specialized knowledge. The important thing for you is the amount of knowledge each role needs.

Nursing assistants need the fewest qualifications. The education requirements vary from state to state, but they usually involve several months of training, followed by a nursing assistant certification test. If you pass this test, you’re officially a licensed Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

Registered nurses have more responsibilities and require more training. They’re “registered” because they’re required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination Registered Nurse (NCLEX) examination. Prospective test-takers need to get an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing before they can take the NCLEX.

Finally, nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have received additional degrees, whether it be a master’s or doctoral degree, in Science of Nursing. These programs include clinical rotations, like those done by doctors, and a research thesis. After attaining these higher levels of education, they’re certified to be a patient’s primary care provider.