Steps on How to Write a Nurse Resume that Wins Jobs

Folder with a pinned resume of a girl

Healthcare workers are the heart of the nation. They are the underrated heroes that have fearlessly fought against COVID-19, often sacrificing their lives and asking for nothing in return. So if you’ve decided to join the bravest and succeed at one of the noblest careers, you need a registered nurse resume. 

How to write a job-winning resume when searching for your first nursing job or swapping industries? Check the answer in the article below. 

Why Learning How to Write a Nurse Resume is a Must? 

All stunning careers start with a resume. However, hoping that a degree in healthcare and a higher-than-average GPA will win you a nursing job is ineffective. All because a modern hiring manager needs your education- and job-related data in one place. 

This is where a resume helps, being a document with all necessary details like education, skills, and experience. Sure, you might contact a nurse resume writing service and delegate the matters to the professionals. But even if you do so, you should know what a well-written resume looks like to check whether they’ve done a good job. 

Before asking for the help of third parties, try writing a resume yourself. Even if it doesn’t work out, showing it to a resume writer is a good idea to get clear with the expectations. 

#1: Go Through the Preparation Stage

This doesn’t simply mean ‘cancel your plans for weekends and brace yourself if writing is not your strongest suit.’ Sure, you must find time to proceed with a peaceful mind and maximum concentration. That’s why we advise you to start working on your resume when you’re full of energy and have the entire day to yourself. However, thinking that 2-3 hours for creating a bot-beating rn resume is enough is rather misleading. 

Avoid distractions like a ringing phone, messengers, and noisy family members. Instead, make yourself as comfortable as possible - bring a bottle of water, tea, coffee, and snacks. Now, when you’ve got cozy and opened a fresh Word document on your laptop, let’s start writing. 

#2: Let’s Take a Good Look at Design

Let’s move from the general to the details. What hiring managers see first are colors, fonts, and margins in your resume. This is where you have to make a great first impression and encourage a recruiter to go deeper into the resume sections. 

  • Length. Two pages or a one-page resume - no less or more; 
  • Margins. One-inch margins are standard; 
  • Font size. Keep it formal - Times New Roman 12 and Calibri are the best options;
  • Headings. Use level 1, 2, and 3 headings to upgrade your resume structure; 
  • Spacing. 1.5-point is standard.

If you’re confused about the whole ‘let’s design a resume’ thing, you can always find resume builders like Free Resume Builder or One Perfect Resume. You can also upload some templates depending on the company’s policies. 

Using a resume builder online tremendously simplifies your design building but doesn’t negate the need for filling in the resume blocks. That’s why let’s move to the rn resume structure. 

#3: Choose a Proper Resume Format

So, how to make nursing resume that lets your strengths shine? By choosing the right format! Depending on your skills and experience, you’ll select from the list of resume formats below:

  • Chronological. The most suitable format for professionals with years of experience in their career history. This format prioritizes the Experience section, putting other blocks in the background;
  • Functional. The greatest resume for industry changers or recent graduates. This format prioritizes the Skills section, showing a potential employer the candidate’s proficiency in the industry; 
  • Combination. Though this approach is the perfect mixture of other formats, we don’t advise using this method since it scores the lowest in ATS checks. 
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#4: Let’s Browse the Structure Together 

At the core, developing a solid structure for your resume is the main answer to the ‘how to make a nurse resume’ question. A traditional resume consists of a few sections, but you can add as many sections as you need depending on your job specifics and goals. 

Contact Information

This is commonly the opening section in any resume, often located in the left corner of the document right beside your photo. In this section, one would usually mention their contact details as follows:

Name: Fiona Rivera

Phone number: +34 (607) 829 902


LinkedIn: optional

Summary or Objective

If this is your first nursing job, stick to a resume objective. For example, you can mention the need for additional training or special job demands like a flexible schedule. Meanwhile, a resume summary is a better option for professionals with years of experience in healthcare. 

Objective Example

Looking for a job position as a pediatric RN in a local hospital. Day shifts are preferable.

Summary Example

A licensed pediatric RN with seven years of work experience in neonatal care units of a private hospital. A compassionate healthcare worker with midwifery nursing skills, inventory control, and staff management.


This section is an entrance ticket to your dream industry. In short, it should answer the ‘what are your greatest strengths?’ While hard nursing skills are directly job-related (you can’t be an RN nurse without them), soft skills are more about your personality, lifestyle, and habits. 

Skills Example

Skills Section

Hard Skills

  • Emergency care skills;
  • Checking and monitoring vital signs; 
  • Strong knowledge of treatment and well-being strategies; 
  • Strong knowledge of healthcare technologies;
  • Advanced data management skills.

Soft Skills

  • Communication skills;
  • Physical stamina;
  • Time management;
  • Critical thinking;
  • Teamwork.


This section is a must to focus on if you’re no longer a nursing student but a professional with decades of experience. The structure of this section will stay the same regardless of the resume format you choose. Don’t forget to mention the name of the hospital, the job position, and the years spent in the organization. List your key responsibilities and achievements after. 

Experience Example

Certified Nurse 

New York Hospital - NICU

July 2017 - September 2022

  • Oversaw care for over 15 newborns per shift;
  • Educated parents and provided guidance on further treatment; 
  • Assisted in moving 92% of newborns out of NICU in 5 days.

Another important tip - there is no such thing as ‘no experience.’ If you’ve never worked at a hospital before, list the internships and responsibilities/projects you had back then.


So, how to create a nursing resume that showcases you as a pro? By adding an Education section. This is a place to list your college subjects, courses, conferences, licenses, and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees to persuade the potential employer that you’re a qualified specialist, even if your work history is short. 

In this section, you might want to use a ‘Conferences & Courses’ subsection to show the reader that you’re a constant learner. 

Education Example

Bachelor of Science 

Denver College of Nursing 


  • Healthcare Management;
  • Biostatistics;
  • Emergency Care;
  • Public Health;
  • Epidemiology.


  • Basic Life Support Certification; 
  • CPR Certification. 


This section lists everyone who can prove your nursing skills and knowledge. Write it down as a list of contacts with names, job positions, phone numbers, and emails. Possible references are physicians, colleagues, supervisors, etc. 

Other Sections 

A great opportunity to let the reader know you better. In most cases, Other Sections contain job-related data but add more layers to your personality. For instance, empathy is vital in nursing. If you’ve volunteered at a hospital or any other organization, it’s an amazing opportunity to promote your soft skills.

Other Sections are Volunteering, Languages, Hobbies, Other Projects, etc.

Other Sections Example

Other Sections


  • Educated elementary students about hygiene at a New York school;
  • Assisted victims of physical violence at the local shelter (emergency care).

#5: Let Keywords Power Up Your Nursing Resume 

An applicant tracking system or ATS is a guardian of the recruiter’s desk. This AI-fueled system counts the number of professional keywords in your resume and concludes whether you’re a good fit for the job. So how to build an ATS-friendly resume?

  • Use professional keywords in your resume like ‘RN,’ ‘emergency care,’ ‘NICU,’ ‘adverse conditions,’ etc.; 
  • Use names of tools like ‘stethoscope,’ ‘hemostat,’ ‘sanitizer,’ etc.;
  • Mention names of organizations, licenses, and courses.

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Final Thoughts 

Writing a resume is all about bringing everything to the table. Ultimately, your purpose is to persuade the recruiter that you’re the best fit for the job. Now you know how to write a nurse resume in a few steps; start with design and format, follow with structure and content, add keywords, and you’re good to go!

We hope the article was helpful to you. Good luck!