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Registered Nurse Resume: Examples and Tips

Registered nurses evaluate and record patient symptoms, treat wounds and incisions, educate patients, supervise other nurses and assist doctors during surgeries and examinations. Usually this position requires a state license, as well as training at a nursing program. Get the expert advice you need to create a professional nurse resume using the tips and resume examples on this page.

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best in Class Registered Nurse (RN) Resume

  1. Summary In a few sentences, sum up your top skills and expertise that make you a fit for the job, such as your ability to work in various healthcare settings, or the professional training you’ve received as a medical professional. Also include some soft skills such as patience, empathy or a patient-friendly approach. For example: “Reliable registered nurse with 3+ years experience in assessments, triage, scheduling, patient education, and emergency response coverage. Trained in midwifery and clinical care.”
  2. Skills Be sure to match the skills you feature here with the job description. Common skills required by employers include infection control, administering vaccinations, drawing blood, telemetry and assisting in surgery. Don’t forget soft skills such as communication, critical thinking, kindness, a strong work ethic and even physical stamina.
  3. Work history Convey your work experience through how effective you’ve been at certain tasks, rather than just laundry-listing your duties. Mention any activities that have earned you positive customer feedback or letters of merit. For example: “Assisted 15+ patients with limited mobility per week, gaining a 98% patient satisfaction score in surveys.”
  4. Education Experience in a nurse training program as well as state licensure is a must for RNs. To continue moving up the career path, look to obtain more credentials and training in specific nursing areas like brain injuries, strokes or trauma, as well as an advanced degree (e.g., Master of Science, Doctorate) in Nursing.

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Find the Right Template for your Resume

Create and customize your own registered nurse resume using these professionally-designed templates.


This template is a good choice for healthcare professionals due to its streamlined, contemporary look. The use of color for the header and section headings gives this layout a distinctive touch.


This straightforward design organizes information under color headers, with the job applicant’s name rendered in an elegant font that stands out.


The job applicant’s name stands out in this template through the use of bold and color fonts. Distinct lines are used to separate sections, giving the layout a very systematic and clean look.

To choose from a complete collection of free designs, visit our resume templates page.

Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume

  • Do optimize your resume for ATS Many employers are now using applicant tracking systems (ATS) tp rank applicants, based on how closely their resume matches the job requirements. To create an ATS-ready resume, update your resume with keywords, which are short phrases or words related to job requirements. Go through the job posting carefully and look for job-related skills that match your primary qualifications and characteristics for the job. Once you have identified these keywords, include them throughout your resume. Remember that once your resume passess an ATS scan, it will be read by a human, so make sure the keywords you include are backed up by job experiences and achievements.
  • Do focus on your accomplishments Instead of listing out all your tasks from previous jobs, highlight special activities you might have undertaken that made a difference in your organization’s performance, like managing budgets and schedules, conducting patient and family knowledge classes and giving presentations to outside groups. You can also highlight particular specialties you have, such as obtaining IV certification or assisting in complex surgeries.
  • Do proofread for any errors It’s always a good idea to review your resume before you submit it, and make sure it’s error-free. Studies say nothing turns off a recruiter faster than a resume with typos or grammatical mistakes. Take this time to also review your resume design and layout, making sure it’s easy to navigate, and also ensure the information you’ve included is 100% accurate and relevant to the potential job.
  • Don’t get too creative with your layout Funky fonts, a rainbow of colors and overcomplicated designs can do far more harm than good to your resume. These elements not only confuse recruiters, but they can also confuse ATS scans. It’s always a better bet to rely on a simple, straightforward layout and devote your effort to properly explaining your skills and medical capabilities, then to try dazzling an employer with an unusual layout.
  • Don’t lie or mislead recruiters Honesty is truly the best policy — don’t exaggerate your skills or experiences to make your resume look more impressive. In a field like nursing, where accuracy and trustworthiness are crucial attributes, the repercussions can be severe if any lies are discovered.
  • Don’t write “References Upon Request” If recruiters need to check your professional background, they will send a direct request for character references. Have this information handy, but there’s no need to mention it in your resume. Instead, use the valuable real estate in your document to further elaborate on necessary skills and qualifications.

Registered Nurse Resume FAQs

1. What are the skills you should emphasize for this specific job?

Apart from leadership, empathy and communication skills, here’s some specific RN skills you can include:

  • Maintaining patient charts
  • Management of wounds and dressings
  • Total parenteral nutrition and lipids
  • Telemetry care
  • Psychiatric care and Seizure Precautions
  • Record-keeping and documentation
  • Patient monitoring, including vital signs
  • Blood and medical administration

2. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit this specific resume?

Nursing features a large number of various specialties where you can attain certification. Make yourself a more attractive candidate and expand your knowledge base with training in:

  • AIDS-certified Registered Nurse
  • Certified Pediatric Nurse
  • Oncology Certified Nurse
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Advanced degree (e.g., Master of Science or Doctorate) in Nursing
  • CPR and basic life support certification
  • Patient Care Technician Program
  • State Tested Nurse Assistant (STNA) certification
  • Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare
  • Associate of Arts in Healthcare
  • Current Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse

3. How should you format your resume?

Pick a resume format based on your experience and current position. If you’re entering the nursing field after a career gap or are switching from a different industry, the combination format is perfect for focusing on your relevant skills and experiences. If you lack experience or are a first-time job seeker, use the functional format, which focuses more on your training, credentials, and skills. In this format, you can also add extracurricular or volunteer activities that reflect your nursing capabilities (e.g., working as a First Aid volunteer at a city-sponsored event).

4. How should you craft your resume if you’re looking to take the next step forward in your career?

Take on more opportunities that allow you to develop your management and leadership skills, such as mentoring other staff members, or being more involved in administrative and management processes. Also look into joining professional nursing organizations where you can network with others in the profession. Other advanced training, such as a Master’s in Nursing, or certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), or Nursing Educator gives you the credentials you need to expand to a role such as Family Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator.