How to List Clinical Experience in Resume for Nursing

Nursing is a tough yet rewarding profession and requires numerous hard skills.

What’s more, professional nurses must possess excellent medical knowledge and have the skill to perform particular procedures like drawing blood and giving vaccinations.

You’d be surprised to see the high amount of requirements clinics and hospitals have for nurses, especially when you compare them to a decade ago.

Modern nurses must be tech-savvy as most hospitals rely on online databases to maintain patient records. You should also possess some soft skills to improve your chances of getting hired.

Are you an aspiring nurse searching for your dream job? If the answer is yes, you must be preparing your resume.

Writing resumes can often feel overwhelming, especially when you don’t know how to list your experience.

If you are facing the same issue, there is no need to worry as this piece will discuss how to list your clinical experience in your nursing resume.

Related: Top, Impactful Nurse Resume Templates and Samples

The Importance of Organizing Information the Right Way

Finding out the best way to highlight your clinical experience, skills, and education, your nursing resume can be a massive determinant in your chances of getting employed.

With certifications, clinical experience, and state licensure to account for, organizing the information correctly is critical to present yourself as a worthy candidate.

Before we discuss how to list your clinical experience in your CV, let us talk about how nursing resumes are different from traditional ones.

What Makes Nursing Resumes Different from Regular Ones?

Nursing resumes are vastly different from traditional CVs. Why?Because they require loads of detail and clarity.

Since clinics and hospitals have different procedures, medical terminology, and equipment, detailed job descriptions can help potential employers determine whether you meet their criteria.

Being clear about certifications, medical tools, and other pertinent items could make hiring managers see you as a suitable candidate, helping you land your preferred job.

The Best Way to Write Your Nursing Resume

Before completing your resume, you will need to determine the right format and a suitable way to present your qualifications, achievements, and clinical experience.

Don’t worry if you are struggling with this part as here are some helpful tips to help you write an eye-catching nursing resume.

Begin With Your Contact Details

Consider writing your full name at the top of your CV. You can include your phone number, professional email ID, and home address below it.

The reason why you should place this info at the top is to ensure hiring managers don’t have trouble finding your contact details.

Consider Adding a Summary

While summaries are not a requirement for nursing or any other resume type, adding them could add a touch of professionalism.

It is an excellent way to provide potential employers with an informative brief of your achievements and qualifications. The summary should be in the first section of your CV and shouldn’t be over two or three sentences.

It should explain your career goals, skills, and how you plan to contribute to your new employer.

List Your License and Certifications

Since being a nurse requires a license, ensure you add it to the top of your CV. It would also help if you mentioned your license number and additional certifications like CPR or first aid, making your resume more impressive.

Mention Your Skills

Skills are an excellent way to highlight your abilities, making you stand out from other candidates. Consider including soft and hard skills to promote professional and personal attributes.

For those who don’t know, hard skills consist of industry-related expertise like secondary IV therapy, dressing gauze, and postoperative care.

On the other hand, soft skills consist of critical decision making, attention to detail, empathy, and other traits. It would be best if you included an equal number of both skills to demonstrate a well-balanced skill set.

Discuss Your Academics/Education

Listing your academics in reverse chronological order is one of the best ways to grab the hiring manager’s attention. Why? Because it lists your current degrees at the top, helping them see your recent accomplishments.

You should also include your school’s name, degree level, the name of your particular program, and its completion date. Mentioning your coursework description will also be an excellent choice to make your resume more attractive.

Related: Resume Objective Examples For A Compelling Resume

Pay Special Attention to the Clinical Experience Part

Clinical experience makes or breaks a resume. It is an essential part of nursing resumes, and you should pay extra attention to it.

Once again, mentioning your clinical experience in reverse chronological order would be the best way to make your recent work stand out.

What’s more, this part of your resume will showcase whether you can transfer your skills to diverse settings and various real-life situations.

Do not skip out on any detail and consider using action verbs like monitored, implemented, conducted, briefed, prioritized, evaluated, maintained, cared, assigned, resolved, administered, performed, etc.

While your nursing resume should heavily focus on internship and medical-specific experiences, there is always room for adding non-medical work experiences as long as they are notable.

Add Achievements or Awards

Awards and achievements should always be at the end of your nursing resume. These are accomplishments you gained in addition to your clinical experiences, licensure, and certifications.

Consider including academic recognitions, published materials, awards, nominations, and scholarships to get noticed by your potential employer.

Essential Details for the Clinical Experience Section

While adding your clinical experience details might seem relatively straightforward, there are some details you should remember to make it more eye-catching.

  • Did you gain clinical experience besides your regular rotations? If yes, consider adding them to a new section following your clinical experience section. Use the new portion to highlight the duties you performed outside the healthcare or nursing field.
  • Mentioning your employer’s name will make your resume more credible and could make you a desirable candidate in the hiring manager’s eyes.
  • Presentation matters, and it is especially important for nursing resumes. Using bullet points to list your experience will add a neat look to your CV and prevent the hiring manager from skimming through it. Using bullet points is an excellent way to make things more presentable and concise.

Things to Avoid in Nursing Resumes

Let us discuss some things to avoid in your nursing resume to make sure it is free from errors and things that could displease your hiring manager.

  • Steer clear from using special characters. As mentioned earlier, using standard bullet points is ideal. It would also help if you avoided checkmarks, arrows, and other unusual characters in your resume.
  • Graphics or images are a deal-breaker for any resume, let alone nursing resumes. Therefore, excluding them would be in your best interest.
  • Mentioning references will not do you any favors, so it is best to avoid them.
  • Avoid utilizing footers or headers for critical topics as some clinics and hospitals do not recognize them.
  • Make no mention of previous, current, or expected compensations.
  • Ensure your resume is free from spelling errors by rereading it twice or thrice
  • Adding details about your private life will not do you any favors, so it would be best to steer clear from mentioning them.
  • Obscure titles are a deal-breaker for nursing resumes, and hiring managers often reject them. Sticking to the basics like achievement and academics would be a wise choice.
  • Using scripted info from CV generators is a one-way ticket towards rejection. Sure, you can take inspiration from them but copying them word to word is not a good idea.
  • Do not be inconsistent with your font size. It may feel like a small detail, but it makes a massive difference for hiring managers. As mentioned previously, consistency and presentation are essential components of a winning nursing resume and could land you your dream job.

Final Thoughts on How to List Clinical Experience in Resume for Nursing

When creating your nursing resume, it is critical to present an excellent balance of hard and soft skills.

You’d be surprised to learn that fundamental nursing skills like critical thinking and professionalism are as essential as technical knowhow.

Employers want candidates who can be competent in versatile and fast-paced settings. So, ensure your application shines a light on your essential skills, showing that you are an ideal candidate for the job.

What’s more, paying special attention to the job description and tracking the keywords could help your resume stand out from other applicants.

Many hospitals and clinics utilize applicant tracking systems for scanning resumes. It helps them save loads of time by eliminating CVs that do not match their criteria.

Therefore, paying attention to keywords and job descriptions could help you land your dream nursing job.

Marissa Letendre, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Marissa Letendre is a senior HR leader and resume expert with over 12 years of experience. She has worked for both startups and Fortune 50 corporations and has helped thousands land jobs at top companies. Marissa has written on a wide range of topics, including employee engagement, career development, resumes, job searching, recruiting, and organizational effectiveness and has been featured on sites such as Slack and The Undercover Recruiter.

Our Latest Blog