How to Write a Nurse Resume for New Grads

Writing a resume is difficult enough, but writing a new grad nursing resume when you have little experience to include can be downright daunting. 

Add to that your concerns over formatting and a desire to present your skills and education as favorably as possible, and a simple document turns into quite a task. 

Luckily, whipping up a memorable new grad nurse resume is far from impossible – even if you’re just starting out. Study our expert tips and learn how to write an entry-level nursing resume that shines.

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Tips On How to Write Your Nursing Resume

First impressions are important, and your new graduate nursing resume provides that first impression to your prospective employer. Experts tell us that employers spend an average of six seconds looking at each resume before they decide to keep or toss it. Your resume is likely your only chance to connect with an employer and secure an interview.

1. Start Your New Grad Resume With a Memorable Summary

The old-school “objective” portion of the classic resume has been replaced by a summary that serves as an overview of your skills, experience, and other relevant information. 

While an objective focuses on what you want to get out of your job or where you want to go with your career, a summary is a declaration of what you can offer the company receiving your application. 

Spend a few sentences detailing your passion for the nursing profession and introducing yourself to your prospective employer.

2. Emphasize Your Education

Credentials and education are important in the medical field, and both should be mentioned on your new grad nursing resume. 

Balance out your fledgling work history with a more robust accounting of your coursework. Instead of just listing “Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing,” you can list out specific classes or areas of focus, for example:

  • Pathophysiology for Nursing
  • Psychiatric and Mental Health
  • Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice
  • Pharmaceutical Oncology

3. Rethink the Meaning of “Experience”

On a new grad nursing resume, the clinical experience should take precedence, but you can also include other activities.

 If you’ve done volunteer work at a nursing home, built homes for Habitat for Humanity, studied Spanish in Guatemala or acted as the RA in your college dormitory, include it. 

This is how you’ll demonstrate everything from leadership abilities to a thirst for knowledge.

4. List your Skills, Honors, and Awards

There’s nothing wrong with doing a little boasting about your achievements, especially if that’s the best way to show community involvement and real-world experience. 

Include all the languages you speak, any recognition you’ve received as part of an organization or club or as a result of an academic feat, and consider adding a dedicated skill section where you can play up your clinical abilities as well as grace under pressure or impressive self-motivation. Putting together a new grad nursing resume is an opportunity, not a burden. 

Seize the moment to toot your horn and concentrate on the training and knowledge you do have rather than the experience you lack, and soon you’ll be on the nursing career path to success.

5. Should I have a new graduate nursing cover letter to accompany my resume? 

Yes, say the experts. Here are some guidelines:

  • Keep your new grad nursing cover letter brief and to the point.
  • Avoid “To whom it may concern.” Know the name of the person who does the hiring.
  • Tailor your letter to the employer. Mention their mission statement and how your goals match. Tell a brief personal story that illustrates why you want to work in a particular area, and list any unique skills pertinent to the position.
  • Thank the reader for his/her time, and include your phone number.
  • Apply Now


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