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New Grad Nursing (RN) Resume Examples & Guide

New Grad Nursing (RN) Resume Examples & Guide

You made it through school, and your RN license is shiny, new, and ready for duty. You’ve even got some brand new scrubs. Show your skills with a new grad nurse resume that works.

Your new grad nurse resume has to stand out like forget-me-not blue scrubs in a crowd of grey. You excelled in nursing school, and you can assess, diagnose, and create a plan-of-care like Pearl McIver. But the hospital’s HR team won’t know it without a compelling resume for new grad nurses.

 

So—

 

How can you show your wound-dressing and efficiency are Johns-Hopkins level? It’s not so hard. If you put the right parts of your time in nursing school in a clean format, your new grad nursing resume will shine. We’ll show you how to list your clinical experience and education in a way that gets results.

 

Ready to make it happen?

 

You’re about to see a resume example for new grad nurses you can tweak to fit any nursing job you want. You’ll also get the steps to write a resume for new grad nurse jobs that’ll land 10x more interviews than any other.

 

Here’s a new grad nurse resume example made with our builder:

 

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.

 

new grad nursing resume templates

New Grad Nursingresume made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Before we start, here are a few other healthcare resume samples and guides:

 

Sample New Grad Nurse Resume (Text Version)

 

Kathy Moffatt

Registered Nurse

773-839-1414

kathyzmoffatt@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/kathyzmoffatt 

 

Summary

 

Licensed RN with 2 years of clinical experience. Seeking to become a top nurse at Chicago General Hospital by following protocols and promoting efficiency. As student nurse at Daily Medical Clinic of Chicago, achieved 20% higher-than-average patient satisfaction scores and 97% favorable preceptor evaluations.

 

Certifications & Licensure

 

  • Registered Nurse, Illinois Board of Nursing, License #0000000
  • EMT-B Certification
  • Phlebotomy Certification

 

Education 

 

BS in Nursing

Illinois State University, Normal, IL

Completion Date: May 2020

  • Excelled in patient care coursework.
  • Selected by professor to teach patient education.
  • Member, Student Nursing Association.

 

Clinical Experience

 

Student Nurse

Illinois Central Hospital, Chicago, IL

October 2019–May 2020

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Performed patient care and patient education duties on a busy general care ward with 22 active beds. Commended 3x by preceptor for time management.
  • Assessed and helped create plan-of-care for up to 10 patients per shift. Consistently evaluated by preceptor at 93% for wound dressing.
  • Assisted with patient nutrition and elimination needs. Implemented low-salt, low-fat, and other diets for 100+ kidney, diabetes, and other patients.
  • Maintained and updated 500+ patient records with both Cerner and Meditech EHR systems.
  • Assisted with patient mobility, achieving a 15% lower rate of bedsores in my patients than the average for the ward.

Key Achievements

  • Maintained 20% higher-than-average patient satisfaction scores.
  • Evaluated at 97% by preceptor for wound dressing, efficiency, and patient care.

 

Student Nurse

Blye Street Urgent Care

September 2018–May 2019

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Provided care to 20+ patients per day in a fast-paced medical clinic in Chicago’s busy East Side district.
  • Triaged patients, creating records, taking vital signs, and gathering patient histories. Maintained 99.7% accuracy in preceptor spot checks.
  • Maintained strict HIPAA compliance.
  • Facilitated patient education, transfer, specimen collection, and exam preparation. Complimented 6x by doctors for efficiency.

 

Skills

 

  • Patient Education
  • Phlebotomy
  • Wound Dressing
  • EHR
  • Medicine Administration
  • Compassion
  • Teamwork
  • Confidence
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication

 

Volunteer Work

 

  • American Heart Association, Exam Preparation
  • Red Cross, Blood Drive Assistance

 

Here’s how to write a new grad nurse resume step-by-step:

 

1. Start With the Best Format for a New Grad Nurse Resume

 

How can the charge nurse and hospital HR staff know you can dress a wound or take vital signs before they meet you? They can’t—unless your new grad nurse resume proves it to them. That starts by looking crisp and sharp. Your resume formatting sends a message about professionalism.

 

Here’s how to format a new grad nurse resume template:

  • Resume format: reverse-chronological resume format.
  • Resume section titles: clear headings guide the hospital HR team’s eyes to what they’re looking for.
  • Resume margins: an inch on all four edges of your resume for new grad nursing jobs.
  • Resume fonts: select from professional resume fonts.
  • Font size: 11–12 pt for most text but 2–4 points bigger for your headings.
  • Line spacing: 1 line to 1.15.
  • Overall appearance: leave lots of white space to avoid looking like lisinopril instructions.
  • File type: PDF resumes work best unless the hospital calls for MS Word in the job ad.
  • Resume icons can help the hiring team find what they’re looking for fast. Add them to your new grad resume to make your experience and other sections visible.

 

Include these resume parts:

  • Resume header: your name and contact information.
  • Introduction: a briefing of the most relevant parts of your new grad nurse resume.
  • License: your RN license and related certifications
  • Education: your nursing school, completion date, and successes.
  • Clinical experience: your time and achievements while working in patient care facilities.
  • Skills: a short list of your most job-fitting abilities.
  • Extra sections: publications, volunteer work, and additional activities.

Are there other layouts besides reverse-chronological? See our guide: Best Resume Layouts

Don’t get stuck starting your new grad nurse resume. List the easy parts first—your education and clinical experience. Then create your heading and introduction.

 

2. Put Your License Near the Top of Your New Grad Nurse Resume

 

The nurse hiring manager has 105 tasks all clamoring for her attention. If she can’t see your RN license at a glance, she’ll skip your new grad nurse resume. List your RN, CNA, LPN, or APRN license first in its own section. Add your state and license number, plus additional certifications.

 

Do it like these new grad nurse resume samples:

 

New Grad RN Resume Certifications Section

 

Certifications & Licensure

 

  • Registered Nurse, Illinois Board of Nursing, License #0000000
  • EMT-B Certification
  • Phlebotomy Certification

Pro Tip: Also put “RN” after your name in your resume header. Give the HR team as many chances as you can to see you’re certified and ready for the workforce.

3. List Education Next on Your Resume for New Grad Nurses

 

Education is everything in new grad nurse resumes. But—there are more than 200,000 new grad nurses every year. How can you stand out? By showing your education differently than the others. You won’t just list your degree, and completion date. You’ll add successes to turn heads.

 

See this new grad nurse resume example:

 

New Grad RN Resume Example [Education]

 

Right

Education 

 

BS in Nursing

Illinois State University, Normal, IL

Completion Date: May 2020

  • Maintained a 4.0 GPA in anatomy, microbiology, and nursing assessment.
  • Excelled in patient care coursework.
  • Selected by professor to teach patient education.
  • Member, Student Nursing Association.

 

That resume education section for nursing student graduates is Cleveland-Clinic-ready. While other applicants will just add the basics, you’ll impress with achievements such as GPA or extracurricular activities. That’ll get you noticed by the charge nurse, HR staff, and patient care facility administrators.

Pro Tip: Sometimes you’ve got so many accomplishments you need a second page. Right? Wrong. Two-page resumes are for applicants with several years of experience.

4. Add Your Clinical Experience With Care

 

Listing clinical experience on a new grad nursing resume takes skill. It’s not as clear cut as an internship on a resume. Since every newly-licensed RN has years of clinical experience, you won’t stand out by listing it alone. But a few tweaks to your approach will shine the O.R. lights on you.

 

Here’s the best way to make a work experience section for a new grad nurse resume that gets jobs:

  • Start with your latest clinical role and job title.
  • Write the patient care facility’s name, location, and your working dates.
  • Add a two-line new grad nurse job description that describes the role.
  • Make up to 6 bullet points that detail your finest student nurse achievements.
  • Customize your resume by using those successes to show you fit this nursing job.
  • Add numbers to show the HR team that yes, you really are that skilled.
  • To make your new grad nurse job description for resumes more effective, use the PAR (Problem-Action-Result) formula.
  • Start sentences with resume action words to catch their interest.

 

Here are two new grad nurse resume samples that show the plan of care:

 

Say the job ad calls for skills in patient assessment, nutrition, EHR, and wound dressing.

 

New Grad Nurse Job Description for a Resume

 

Right

Clinical Experience

 

Student Nurse

Illinois Central Hospital, Chicago, IL

October 2019–May 2020

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Performed patient care and patient education duties on a busy general care ward with 22 active beds. Commended 3x by preceptor for time management.
  • Assessed and helped create plan-of-care for up to 10 patients per shift. Consistently evaluated by preceptor at 93% for wound dressing.
  • Assisted with patient nutrition and elimination needs. Implemented low-salt, low-fat, and other diets for 100+ kidney, diabetes, and other patients.
  • Maintained and updated 500+ patient records with both Cerner and Meditech EHR systems.
  • Assisted with patient mobility, achieving a 15% lower rate of bedsores in my patients than the average for the ward.

Key Achievements

  • Maintained 20% higher-than-average patient satisfaction scores.
  • Evaluated at 97% by preceptor for wound dressing, efficiency, and patient care.
Wrong

Experience

 

Student Nurse

Illinois Central Hospital

2019–2020

  • Performed patient intakes and collected vital signs and medical histories.
  • Responsible for providing patient education and fulfilling phlebotomy duties.
  • Helped senior nurses create plan-of-care for patients.
  • Triaged patients and dressed wounds as needed.
  • Administered medications as directed and per hospital policy.
  • Assisted with patient mobility and transport.

 

We don’t need Meredith Grey to tell us what’s wrong with example #2. It’s not tailored to what the HR team is hunting for. The real kicker is, this is the same applicant in both cases. The difference is, she’ll wow them if she targets the right skills with numbers like in example #1.

 

The exact resume accomplishments you choose to show make all the difference.

Pro Tip: How much impact do resume styles have on the odds of getting hired? A standout resume template can catch the administrator’s eye, but don’t go overboard with flashiness.

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

5. List New Grad RN Skills That Match the Job

 

Patient care, assessment, education, and medication administration. You’ve got them all and more. But you can’t just copy-paste a list of skills into your new graduate nurse resume and get the job. Anyone can do that. To get hired, you’ve got to zero in on the abilities this role demands.

 

To start, see this list of skills for new grad nurse resumes:

 

New Grad Nurse Resume Skills (Hard Skills)

 

  • Patient Education
  • Budgeting
  • Assessment
  • Creating Plan of Care
  • Electronic Health Records (EHR)
  • Record Keeping
  • HIPAA Compliance
  • Patient Transport
  • Wound Dressing
  • Medicine Administration
  • Triaging Patients
  • Patient Mobility
  • Care and Discharge Planning
  • Recording Vital Signs

 

New Grad Nurse Skills for Resumes (Soft Skills)

 

 

But—

 

Here’s how to select the best new grad nurse skills for a resume:

 

Make a list of your nursing skills. Then find the ones the patient care facility is searching for. You can find them in the job ad online or by talking to nurses who work there currently. The matches in both lists are your resume keywords. Prove them in your bullet points.

 

See these examples:

 

New Grad Nurse Skills Resume Example

 

Right
  • Patient Assessment
  • EHR
  • Creating Plan of Care
  • Teamwork
  • Physical Stamina

 

Notice how we mixed both soft skills and hard skills.

Pro Tip: Don’t put the hospital’s HR staff to sleep with handled or responsible for. Start your bullet points with resume action verbs like assessed, transported, and triaged.

6. Add Bonus Sections to Your New Grad Nurse Resume

 

The charge nurse doesn’t want to hire a resume. She wants a living, breathing nurse. The best way to show who you are? With extra sections in your new grad nurse resume. Added items like volunteer work or publications can take your resume from borderline to robust, fast.

 

Here are some examples of tempting extra sections to add to a resume for new grad nurse jobs:

 

New Grad Nurse Resume Samples: Extra Sections

 

  1. Resume Volunteer Work

 

Why put volunteering on a new grad nursing resume? Because it shows the manager you have energy and skills to spare. Not only did you finish that complex nursing degree—you also chipped in to use your talents in the real world.

 

  1. Trade Association Memberships

 

Are you a member of the American Nurses Association or another professional group? Listing that on a resume for new grad nurses can show you’re serious about your career. Here are a few clubs and groups that work:

 

  1. Publications on a Resume

 

Have you written articles that show your passion for nursing? Posting your thoughts in nursing blogs, websites, and even in the school paper can demonstrate your nursing skills to employers.

 

  1. Languages on a Resume

 

Do you speak Spanish or Chinese? Speaking another language can improve your hiring odds. That goes double if the facility is in a community with residents that speak that language, too.

 

See these new grad nurse resume samples:

 

New Grad Nurse Resume Examples [Other Sections]

 

Right

Additional Activities

 

  • Fluent in Mandarin
  • Volunteer Patient Education Assistant, American Heart Association
  • Volunteer Blood Drive Facilitator, American Red Cross
Wrong
  • Skiing
  • Sailing

Should everything in your resume for new grad nurses be in past tense? See this guide: What Tense to Use in a Resume: Past or Present? What Voice?

7. Compile the Best Parts in a New Grad Nurse Resume Objective

 

Your new graduate nurse resume is almost ready. Now you need to get the hiring team to read it. But—they’re so busy they can hardly think. So put a summary up top that gets them to keep reading. It’s called a heading statement, and you’ll build it from the best moments of your school and clinical experience.

 

Here’s how to write a career objective:

 

  1. Start with Licensed RN.
  2. Add your number of years of clinical experience.
  3. Share your objective for the job (Seeking to become a top nurse at...)
  4. Add the facility’s name.
  5. Share 1–2 of your most Mass-General-level successes.

 

See these new grad nurse resume objective examples:

 

Nursing Resume Objective for New Grads

 

Right
Licensed RN with 2 years of clinical experience. Seeking to become a top nurse at Chicago General Hospital by following protocols and promoting efficiency. As student nurse at Daily Medical Clinic of Chicago, achieved 20% higher-than-average patient satisfaction scores and 97% favorable preceptor evaluations.
Wrong
New grad nurse, seeking a position in a hospital, clinic, or long-term-care facility. A fast worker and a quick thinker who handles pressure well. Strong knowledge of anatomy, chemistry, and patient care. Eager to start my new nursing career.

 

Whoops. That second new grad nursing resume sample is on life support. You sound as generic as a tongue depressor in a box of 2,000. But look again at example #1. It’s got your license, practical experience, goal for this specific job, and two measurable nursing achievements.

Pro Tip: Are you planning to email your resume? Export it as a PDF, then attach it to your email. Write your cover letter in the body of the email. (That’s next!)

8. Write a Job-Winning New Grad Nurse Cover Letter

 

Does your new grad nurse resume need a cover letter? Yep. Your resume cover page shows you’re not just applying to every hospital, nursing home, and clinic you can find. It’s where you show this nursing job is important to you. Plus, our HR statistics report shows almost half of managers toss resumes sans letters.

 

To write your new grad nurse cover letter:

 

  1. Format your cover letter before you start.
  2. Begin your new grad nurse cover letter with the hiring manager’s name.
  3. Write a UCSF-worthy cover letter introduction.
  4. Recap the job responsibilities to show you understand the role.
  5. Put the healthiest parts of your resume in your letter.
  6. To end your cover letter right, ask for the interview.

Read more: Nursing Cover Letter Examples (With and Without Experience)

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:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

 

Here’s a recap of how to write a new grad nurse resume:

  • Format your new grad nurse resume template in reverse-chronological order.
  • Find new grad nurse skills in the job listing online.
  • Start with your RN license, then add your clinical experience.
  • Include your best healthcare achievements to show you’re ready for the job.
  • Add numbers to prove your skills are as strong as you say.
  • Spotlight the best parts of your nursing education.
  • Inject some other sections like volunteering or an ANA membership.
  • Write a new grad nurse cover letter to raise your chances.

 

That’s it! Now, we’d love to hear from you: 

  • What’s the worst part about writing a new grad RN resume with no experience? 
  • Does writing a new grad nurse cover letter make you nervous?
  • Do you worry that you’ll vanish in a sea of applicants?

 

Let’s chat below in the comments, and thanks for reading!

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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