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How do you become an ICU nurse?
Complete a degree in nursing. Get your first work experience on a less stressful floor. You’ve been through it, no need to go into detail.
And then… you need to write a resume. Without a top-notch resume, getting a good ICU nurse job is almost impossible, unless you happen to know a lot of people in the right places.
Fortunately, writing an ICU nurse resume is so much easier than caring for patients. At least if you break it down into a step-by-step procedure, like we did in this guide.
This guide will show you:
- An ICU nurse resume example better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
- How to write an ICU nurse resume that will land you more interviews.
- Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on an ICU nurse resume.
- How to describe your experience on a resume for an ICU nurse to get any job you want.
Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.
Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume samples here.
Targeting other medicine or healthcare jobs? See one of our dedicated guides:
- Nursing Skills
- Nursing Resume
- Caregiver Resume
- CNA Resume
- Radiologic Technologist Resume
- Medical Assistant Resume
- Telemetry Nurse Resume
- Nursing Student Resume
- Phlebotomy Resume
- Sonographer Resume
- Med-Surg Nurse Resume
- Charge Nurse Resume
- Pediatric Nurse Resume
- OR Nurse Resume
- Labor and Delivery Nurse Resume
- NICU Nurse Resume
- Nurse Practitioner Resume
- LPN Resume
- ER Nurse Resume
- New Grad Nursing Resume
- Nurse Manager Resume
- Registered Nurse Resume
- Doctor Resume
- LVN Resume
- Travel Nurse Resume
- Sample Resumes for All Jobs
ICU Nurse Resume Sample
Margaret Houlihan, BSN, CCRN
Compassionate and exceptionally organized Registered Nurse with 7+ years of professional experience. Specialized in providing complex critical nursing care to adult patients at Intensive Care Units. Eager to join Bellevue Hospital to support its patients and staff. Recognized for providing exceptional quality service. ACLS and BCLS certified.
ICU Registered Nurse
Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, New York City, NY
- Provided patient care, performed assessments, and interventions at a 10-bed ICU unit for trauma and post-surgical patients.
- Assessed patients’ condition, notified physicians of clinical changes as well as prepared and implemented patient care plans.
- Monitored vital signs, adequacy of ventilation, and levels of consciousness and pain.
- Administered medications as determined by the patient’s condition (IV, Sub-Q, etc.)
- Communicated the patient’s condition to family members in a compassionate and non-technical manner.
- Complied with rigorous standards of service (>90% compliance rate on average) delivering exceptional service to patients, physicians, guests, coworkers, and others.
Staff Registered Nurse
NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, NY
- Assisted doctors in the delivery of medical procedures and provided basic life support in case of emergencies.
- Obtained and monitored patient vital signs.
- Cooperated with a multi-disciplinary team of MDs, PAs, etc. in a stressful environment.
- Educated patients about medications, treatment procedures and discharge processes.
- Handled patient questions and kept accurate records, maintaining confidentiality at all times.
- Developed critical thinking and analytical skills applicable across the entire nursing field.
Bachelor of Science, Nursing
Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CN
Associate of Science, Biology
National University, San Diego, CA
Licenses and Certifications
- Registered Nurse—Licence #8947839
- ACLS, BCLS, CCRN
- Triple lumen CVP
- AV fistulas
- Bedside monitoring (HP, Philips)
- Meditech documentation
- Patient/family education
- Decision making
Here’s how to write your ICU nurse resume that proves you’re vital to the hospital.
1. Choose the Best Format for Your ICU Nurse Resume
Your patients require the best possible care and attention. Formatting your ICU resume only requires—
Follow these formatting rules:
- Create a solid resume header and include your contact information.
- Split your resume into sections. Add legible reader-friendly headings.
- Select the best resume format. Most of the time you’d go for the chronological layout. It puts your experience and achievements in the spotlight.
- Make sure your resume font is legible and not too tiny.
- Embrace white space, and avoid cramming in too much information.
- Decide on the best file format. In most cases, you’ll be hesitating between a PDF of Word resume. Long story short: go for a PDF unless you’re explicitly asked not to.
2. Write a Critical Care Nurse Resume Objective or Summary
A resume summary or a resume objective can also be referred to as a resume profile.
However you decide to call it, that’s the part that comes up top and serves as an opening to your entire resume.
Use it to show the hiring manager why you’re the perfect candidate and what skills/qualities you’d bring to the team.
A resume summary works best for candidates with 2+ years of experience. As the name aptly suggests, it’s a brief statement with your key achievements that demonstrate your potential to a prospective employer.
A resume objective is a good choice for freshers. It focuses on the skills you’ve learned and thus proves to your potential employer you’re able to help them achieve their goals.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
Pro Tip: Yes, this section comes up top but you can just as well write it last. Why? It will be much easier to summarize your resume once you actually have something to summarize.
3. Create the Perfect ICU Nurse Job Description for a Resume
The work experience section is the lifeblood of your entire ICU resume.
It’s not enough to list your duties and interlace them with technical skills. You must prove you’re able to work as part of a team, think on your feet, and provide top-class care to the patients entrusted to you.
Here’s how to nail your ICU nurse job description:
- Put your latest job up top and let the previous ones follow.
- Add job title, company name, and dates.
- List your duties and achievements in bullet points. Stay below 6-7 bullets, though.
- Focus on the experience relevant to the position you’re applying for. And tailor your resume to the job offer.
- Let each bullet start with an action word: provided, assessed, monitored, conducted, etc.
- Put numbers wherever you can—quantified, measurable achievements shout “I’m effective!”
Pro Tip: There's a large skills gap in the healthcare sector, so make sure your experience bullet points communicate both: your technical skills and soft skills.
4. Make Your ICU Nursing Resume Education Section Critical
This is pretty much obvious—
You can’t just ignore the education section on a resume for an ICU nurse. Without your education, you wouldn’t be where you are professionally.
Here’s how to list your education:
- 5+ years of experience? List your degree, major, minors (if applicable), school name, graduation year.
- Less experience? Your education section would benefit from adding your GPA (if above 3.5), academic achievements, extracurricular activities, relevant coursework.
- Always include information on your professional certifications and licenses. Preferably in a separate section.
Pro Tip: List your critical care nurse certifications in a separate section.
5. Highlight Your ICU Nurse Skills
Here’s a list of nursing skills you might consider using on your critical care nursing resume.
ICU Nurse Resume—Skills
- Automatic Internal Cardioverter Defib (AICD)
- Cardiogenic/Hypovolemic Shock patient care
- Ventricular Assist Device (RVAD/LVAD) patient care
- Renal failure (acute/chronic) patient care
- Identification and intervention during complications (CSG leak, clot, herniation, tension pneumothorax, aspiration, pulmonary edema, etc.)
- Chest Tubes (Pleur-Evac)
- Nebulizer treatments
- Hickman/Broviac/Groshong catheter
- Seizure precautions
- Pain management
- Specimen collection
- Care of drains/tubes
- Burn patients
- Use of hypothermia blanket
- Inserting IV’s
- IV Therapy
Transferable and Soft Skills:
Remember to focus on the relevant skills, don’t list everything.
Here’s what you need to do:
- List all your job skills, including soft skills, hard skills, and technical skills.
- Look at the job ad to see what skills specifically are required of you.
- Now look back at your list to see which ones you have. Focus on these on your ICU nurse resume.
- Remember: don’t just put your skills on a long list. Weave them into your experience section as well.
Pro Tip: The skills you’d want to put on your resume depend on the type of ICU nurse you are: SICU, CVICU, Surgical ICU, Trauma ICU, PICU, or other. Read this article to see what skills all ICU nurses need.
6. Add Other Sections to Your ICU Nurse Resume
To make your ICU nurse stand out consider adding sections on:
7. Attach Cover Letter to Your SICU Nurse Resume
About 50% of recruiters expect a cover letter from you. Here comes a couple of hints to help you write your ICU nurse cover letter:
- Pick out a good cover letter format.
- Start your cover letter in a captivating way.
- Show what you can offer to the company.
- Finish your cover letter with a call to action.
Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to follow up on your job application. Shoot an email or make a phone call. It’s a bit of an extra effort but can take you a long way.
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
This is it.
That’s how you make a resume for ICU nurse positions.
Are you writing an ICU nurse resume for the first time? Or perhaps you’re a seasoned pro eager to help the rookies out? We’d love to hear from you, leave your comment below!