Intensive Care Nurse Resume Guide + Tips + Example

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert
Last Updated: December 29, 2023
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Intensive care nurses play an invaluable role in providing care to critically ill patients. They are responsible for monitoring a patient’s vital signs, such as body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, as well as administering medications and providing emotional and physical support. They must be well-versed in the latest medical advances and treatments in order to make appropriate decisions and provide the best possible care. Intensive care nurses must also be able to manage and prioritize multiple tasks and be able to work in a high-stress environment. This type of nursing requires a special dedication to providing the best possible care to critically ill patients.

You need a great resume if you want a job as an intensive care nurse, so we’re here to help you build one. Our intensive care nurse resume examples and guide to crafting an effective resume for an intensive care nurse job will help you learn how to write a resume that makes the most of your compassion, interpersonal skills and medical knowledge to stand out from the competition. 

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Start by editing this sample resume for an intensive care nurse or explore our library of resume templates to find the best one for you.

Intensive care nurse resume sample (text version)

Hayden Crawford

Los Angeles, CA 90010
(555) 555-5555
example@example.com

Professional Summary

Compassionate intensive care registered nurse (ICU) with 10 years of experience in large hospital environments. Service-oriented with organized and proactive nature. Proficient in handling emergency situations and managing clinical staff.

Skills

  • Medication
  • Therapy and treatment
  • Procedural assistance
  • Life support and IV administration
  • HIPPA compliance
  • Reporting and documentation
  • Communication
  • Adaptability

Work History

November 2019 – Current
Los Angeles Community Hospital – Los Angeles, CA
Lead Intensive Care Registered Nurse

  • Give compassionate care to critical patients suffering from injuries or debilitating conditions.
  • Assess an average of 40 patients per month and administer medications.
  • Observe behavior and symptoms and report changes to on-call physicians.
  • Educate families about patients’ conditions and provide support as needed, improving patients’ conditions by 75%.
  • Frequently act as charge nurse and preceptor to 10 students per year.

September 2016 – October 2019
Cedars Sinai Medical Center – Los Angeles, CA
Intensive Care Registered Nurse

  • Managed life support equipment and IV administration of fluids and medications.
  • Provided basic patient care such as grooming and changing bedding.
  • Updated patient charts with data such as condition and medications and kept 300 records current to support accurate treatments.
  • Monitored telemetry and responded to codes.
  • Stocked supplies and reported malfunctioning equipment.

June 2012 – August 2016
Southern California Hospital – Los Angeles, CA
Registered Nurse

  • Collaborated with five physicians to quickly assess 200 patients per month and deliver appropriate treatment while managing rapidly changing conditions.
  • Followed a treatment plan and medication schedule ordered by the doctor and assessed patient pain levels during the hospital stay.
  • Implemented medication and IV administration, catheter insertion and airway management.
  • Supported patient families and provided any needed assistance.

Education

  • January 2016
    University of California – Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
    Master of Science Nursing
  • Nursing Administration
  • June 2012
    University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
    Bachelor of Science Nursing

Certifications

  • Critical Care Nurse Certification (CCRN), American Association of
  • Critical Care Nurses (AACN) – (Updated 2022)
  • Registered Nurse (RN) certification- (Updated 2021)
  • ACLS and BLS Certification – (Updated 2021)

5 essentials of a top intensive care nurse resume

  1. Contact details

    Add your contact information to the top of your resume; otherwise, hiring managers won’t know how to contact you for an interview. Display your contact information like so: Your full name, then your city, state and ZIP code, followed by your phone number and professional email address. Add your LinkedIn profile and professional website (if you have them) last.

    Want more inspiration? We have 400+ resume examples to help you create the perfect intensive care nurse resume.

  2. Professional summary

    A professional summary is where you introduce yourself on a resume, highlighting your top qualifications for the job in three to five sentences. A resume for an intensive care nurse must include a professional summary with appropriate skills and one or two notable accomplishments, and it should touch on how long you’ve been in the industry. If you are just starting your career, use an intensive care nurse resume objective instead. 

    Here’s a great example of an intensive care nurse resume summary:

    “I am an experienced intensive care nurse with seven years of experience in providing high-quality care to critically ill patients. I have a strong background in critical care nursing, including skills in ventilator management, patient assessment and pharmacology. I am passionate about providing compassionate, personalized care to patients and their families. In addition, I am a great team player and have excellent communication skills, which allows me to effectively collaborate with other health care providers and ensure optimal patient care. I am committed to providing the highest quality of care to my patients and their families.”

    Review our intensive care nurse resume examples on this page for more inspiration.

  3. Skills

    You’ve got to let potential employers know what skills you bring to the table. Create a separate section for your job-relevant skills and display them with bullet points to make them easy to read. Our sample resume for an intensive care nurse includes hard skills such as knowledge of nursing protocols and standards of care, and soft skills such as the ability to provide emotional support to patients.

  4. Work history

    Your resume must include an employment history section, whether or not you have professional experience as an intensive care nurse. In reverse-chronological order, list current and previous employers and provide business names, locations and the dates you worked for each. Include three bullet points of measurable achievements for every job you list. If you’re applying for your first job as an intensive care nurse, it’s acceptable to highlight relevant extracurricular activities, coursework, presentations, volunteer experience and community service.

    Your intensive care nurse resume accomplishments might look like this: 

    • Developed and implemented patient-focused care plans for 50 critically ill patients in an intensive care unit.
    • Administered medications and treatments to 40 patients in an intensive care unit, resulting in a 95% successful recovery rate.
    • Implemented advanced nursing protocols for 20 patients in an intensive care unit, resulting in improved patient outcomes.
  5. Education

    Hiring managers want to see your education credentials, so a resume for an intensive care nurse job must include an education section. Add all the educational institutions you’ve attended after high school and display the names of the schools and the years that you graduated in reverse-chronological order using bullet points. If you did not attend college, list your high school information and the classes you’ve taken since graduating. 

    In order to become an intensive care nurse, you will need to have at least an associate degree in nursing. In addition, you will need a valid Registered Nurse (RN) license in the state where you plan to practice. You will also need to have current CPR certification and certification in basic life support. Depending on the employer, you may also need to have additional certifications such as a Certified Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) or a Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC).

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Do’s and don’ts for building an intensive care nurse resume

  • Use measurable achievements to describe your intensive care nurse abilities and experience. For example, “Developed and implemented infection control protocols for 25 intensive care unit patients, resulting in a 90% decrease in hospital-acquired infections.”
  • Use action words like “monitor,” “evaluate” and “carry out” to make an impact on your intensive care nurse resume.
  • Tailor your resume to your target intensive care nurse job.
  • Use keywords from the job description throughout your intensive care nurse resume.
  • Format your intensive care nurse resume so that it is easy to read by ATS software and human eyes.
  • Lie about your intensive care nurse experience and skills.
  • Boast that you’re the “best intensive care nurse ever.” Instead, highlight previous work accomplishments like “Developed and maintained an electronic medical records system for patient care.”
  • Include irrelevant personal information such as your ethnicity and age.
  • Add skills and experience that do not pertain to being an intensive care nurse.
  • Forget to proofread. An intensive care nurse resume with errors is unprofessional.

Top 4 tips for acing an intensive care nurse interview

  1. Learn about the institution.

    It’s vital to take the time to learn about the institution or company’s history, goals, values and people before the interview. Doing so conveys interest, passion and commitment — traits that can set you above the competition. Plus, a glimpse of the company culture early on will help you know what to expect and can boost your confidence.

  2. Practice at home.

    Practice really does make perfect. To practice for your interview, start by reviewing the most common interview questions, such as: 

    Possible behavioral questions include:

    Also, ensure you are ready to answer intensive care nurse-specific questions, such as:

    • What have been some of your most successful approaches to patient care?
    • Describe your experience in caring for critically ill patients.
    • What strategies do you use to ensure that you provide the best quality of care?
    • How do you work in a team to ensure the safety of your patients?
    • How do you stay up to date on new treatments and therapies for intensive care nursing?

    Write down two or three possible answers as you review potential questions, then review them with a friend or a family member in a mock interview so you can get comfortable with the questions and memorize your answers.

  3. Ask questions.

    You should always have at least three questions ready to ask every job interview you encounter; those who do tend to get hired more often than those who don’t because they show motivation, keen interest and thoughtfulness. 

    Some questions you might ask for an intensive care nurse job are: 

    • What is the typical patient caseload for intensive care nurses?
    • What type of collaboration and communication methods are used among the intensive care team?
    • How is patient care managed in the intensive care unit?
    • What strategies are in place to ensure patient safety?
    • What technology and equipment are used in the intensive care unit?
    • What policies and procedures are in place to ensure quality patient care?
  4. Gather references.

    You’ll need professional references quickly if the hiring manager offers you the job after the interview. Having them ready will save you stress and time, so prepare a list of two former colleagues and a former manager who are willing to speak to your abilities to perform the job of an intensive care nurse and who you know will give you a stellar review.

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