Career Resource Center

The Entry-Level Nurse Resume: 5 Things To Include

If you are about to finish your nursing education, you probably are already thinking about your future job and how to create that entry-level nurse resume. It’s never too early to start looking for possible job openings, preparing a resume and deciding which type of nursing environment you might prefer.

For instance, some nurses prefer a hospital setting, while others would prefer a smaller setting, such as a long-term care facility or even private nursing. And, naturally, the job offerings also depend upon your level of education.

The majority of entry-level nurses are either Nursing Assistants or Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational nurses. Some also have completed further education and have earned their degree as a Registered Nurse or perhaps earned a bachelor’s of science in nursing.

No matter what type of degree you have earned, all of these individuals will be entering the workforce at the entry level, and one of the biggest concerns that new nurses worry about is whether or not their lack of experience will hinder their effort to find employment.

The good news is that nursing is a field that is expanding all of the time. There will always be a need for nurses, including entry-level nurses, so finding job openings should not be a problem. To earn the position, however, you’ll need a well-crafted resume. Here are a few things we recommend all nurses include on a nursing student resume.

1. Create A Great Objective

The objective section of an entry-level nurse resume can be a great place to express your skills and really sell yourself as a potential employee. The objective section is all about what you bring to a care facility and far less about your personal goals.

After all, the hiring manager knows that you want a great job and a great salary because everyone wants that. What they need to see is how your skills, work ethic and people skills will benefit an employer.

2. Keep It Chronological

While you might be tempted to put your education or certifications first, it’s best to put work experience at the top, beginning with your most recent experiences. You might also have one heading titled “Student Clinical Experience” where you list care facilities where you worked during your time as a student.

These probably will be brief one or two-month experiences, but that’s fine. Hiring managers understand that you have a limited amount of experience. You also might list other relevant work experiences or just significant work experiences you’ve had even if they don’t relate to nursing.

For instance, perhaps you worked as a manager at a coffeehouse for several years while you were studying. While you weren’t learning how to provide patient care, you were learning valuable communication, organizational and management skills that will make you a better employee no matter what field you end up in.

If you have relevant volunteer experiences, perhaps as an aide in a hospital or another type of care facility, you can add a section for this as well. While you might not have gained technical training, these volunteer experiences provided you with insight about the medical profession and this also showcases your commitment to becoming a part of the medical profession in general. Other additional volunteer experience also might be relevant simply because it shows you to be a compassionate, hard-working individual.

After all of these work or students experiences, you will want to list your education. For an entry-level nurse resume, it is fine to put your GPA in there, provided it’s like a 4.0, and you can add any accolades or awards you might have earned during your school experience.

3. Add Your License & Certifications

Obviously, adding this information is crucial since you can’t really work without certain licenses and certifications. Be sure to include your license number and the expiration date, as well as the expiration date of all of your other certifications.

For instance, perhaps you have Wound Care Certification or IV Therapy Certification or Basic Life Support or even Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certification. There are many types of certifications, and it’s always wise to think about expanding your education and earning several certifications beyond the basic licensing requirements. This can set you apart from other candidates and make it easier for you to find a job that truly fits your needs and wants.

4. Add Dynamic Keywords

This is good advice for any resume. Hiring managers and applicant tracking software both skim resumes looking for specific keywords. What are these mysterious keywords? Well, typically you can find them by reading the job description carefully. They might include specific skills or certifications, and if you possess these skills and certifications, make sure that they appear on your resume using the same language that was listed in the job description.

5. Personalize Each Resume (and Cover Letter)

Never send out a cookie-cutter resume to hundreds of employers. It is far better to research different employers, create a list of 20 or so that seem like a good fit, and personalize each of these resumes to fit that company’s needs.

Keep in mind, if you hire us to write your nursing student resume, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel and write an entirely new resume. Just tweak each one a little bit before you send it out to make sure that the language in your resume matches the language in the job description.

This is even more important when it comes to preparing your cover letter. Each cover letter should be personalized to include the name of the hiring manager at each specific facility, but that’s not all. Each letter also should showcase that you did some research about the facility.

For instance, instead of stating, “I would love an opportunity to interview for a position at your excellent facility.” You might state, “I was inspired by your company’s motto Compassion Is The Best Medicine, as this is the foundation that motivated me to aim for a career in nursing. I witnessed the power of compassionate care in my own life when my grandmother passed away, and I am excited to begin working in a field where I can truly help others during a difficult time.”

This provides a quick personal look at your reasons for entering the health care field and also showcases that you’ve read a bit about the company at hand. Obviously, every facility will have something different about it that might inspire you, so look carefully at each facility’s website.

At Resume Writing Group, we have many areas of specialization, and we have several full-time writers with extensive experience in crafting nursing student resumes and resumes for nurses with several or many years of experience, as well as cover letters. Whether you need an entry-level nurse resume or a resume for a more advanced position, we can help!


Jacob Mathias

Jacob Mathias is a content writer and SEO specialist for Resume Writing Groups. He also works as a web developer and designer. He's passionate about sharing ways on how to get the job you want and living life to the fullest.

Need help with your resume?

We offer a FREE resume critique! Simply fill out a few fields and upload your resume!

Get the information you need to land your dream job faster – delivered to your inbox, every week.