Nursing Resumes and Cover Letters

Nursing Resumes and Cover Letters


The nursing profession is very rewarding as it puts one in the frontlines of critical care and impactful services to patients with affliction, injury, and discomfort. Nurses bring comfort and healing to other people, and it is important for them to be competent and well trained because they handle critical procedures and functions that could well mean the life and death of a patient. 

As such, employers are often very selective of the nurses that they hire, and to advance to a good nursing role, one must possess a well-written resume that contains all of the required information. Presenting a competent, empathetic, responsible, and professional image to your prospective nursing employer entails outlining all of the key elements in your resume so that you can move past the screening rounds and into bagging an interview that could potentially get you your next fulfilling and enriching nursing engagements. 

To help you write an impressive and comprehensive nursing resume, here are 5 tips and considerations to remember: 

Licensure and Certifications 

Your nursing resume should highlight your licences and certificates, as it is important for nursing employers to see that you are qualified for the role right of the bat. Nursing is a heavily regulated profession because of its critical caregiving nature, and therefore, there are certain professional and regulatory licences that you must posses before you put yourself out for consideration for any nursing job. Whilst licences and certificates are required for nursing positions, graduate nurses or nurses with limited professional experience may also state on their resumes whatever certificates they are currently working on or are planning to obtain in the near future. 

Internships and Clinical Placements 

Regardless of your experience and expertise in the field, employers look for previous professional placements, especially in terms of what department, ward or healthcare unit you worked in. Scrub nurses, intensive care unit nurses, medical-surgical nurses, ER nurses, paediatric nurses, oncology nurses etc. all have various specialisations and niche functions, but it is also important for your employers to have an idea of previous rotations or related medical experience that you have undertaken. For graduate nurses with limited hospital and clinical experiences, professional placements will still allow you to highlight required skills. Detailing how these placements have contributed to your progress will convince the employer that you are  adaptable and enthusiastic about training opportunities, which is important in the nursing profession as continuous learning is a primary priority in growth and development. 

Technical and Soft Skills 

Nurses working in different departments and hospitals may experience different situations or day-to-day scenarios so it is of utmost importance that you are able to paint a clear picture of your experiences and previous working history vis-à-vis the  requirements of the job that you are applying for. By addressing these technical skills, you send a message that you are ready to take on any challenge thrown at you by the hospital or clinical setting. However, apart from technical skills, equally important are soft skills such as effective listening, outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, initiative, professional growth, and effective written and documentation acumen. These soft skills work together with technical knowledge in order to provide patients and their family with most appropriate healthcare services. 

Further Training 

Learning is an important component to success in any medical profession. Every day, scientists and researchers are able to come up with medical breakthroughs that may help extend the life of patients, as well as hasten their recovery from their conditions. As such, it is important for nurses to be able to demonstrate their participation in voluntary and required talent enhancement sessions. These include classes, lectures, seminars, conferences, and other gatherings that allow information sharing and the cascading of novel approaches to healthcare services delivery. The willingness to learn more and adopt new strategies in care is an important trait among nurses, and you should be able to highlight this by outlining in a clear and concise way the seminars and conferences that you have attended. Included in this category are any avenues to contribute to knowledge, such as case presentations, research publications, and commentaries on practices and approaches to care. More importantly, you should also outline in your resume how you are integral in the passing on of training knowledge to junior nurses and new graduate nursing staff. 

Selection Criteria 

Lastly, one of the most important considerations in nursing applications is that most of the nursing jobs, whether in the private sector or in government nursing areas, require a selection criteria. Selection criteria documents require you to state specific and pertinent examples of how you are able to respond to requirements for the specific role. These are competency-based statements that must be addressed by the STAR method, in which an applicant must outline specific situations through outlining the Situation, Task, Action and Result. The STAR method gives context to an applicant’s skills, and it is a record of how the said applicant applies competencies and skills in actual, real-life situations. Most STAR responses tell anecdotes of how each criteria, say excellent communication skills, can be applied in the nursing setting. It is a good exercise at demonstrating how you, the applicant, can fulfil these roles should these situations arise in your new workplace setting. Furthermore, a well-written selection criteria must express how you are willing to replicate your success in this role in the conduct of your work in your prospective position. 

Are you applying for graduate nursing or RN roles? Contact us today for assistance on how you can prepare professional, flawless, and comprehensive application documents. Get in touch with Brisbane Resumes today and leave your nursing resume to a team of professionals who can help you secure an interview.