How to write an outstanding nursing resume

Jun 20, 20
Career tips
How to write an outstanding nursing resume

When you’re trying to land a nursing job, a nursing resume objective can be a powerful tool in your application arsenal. Standing out from the crowd is essential. Otherwise, you might miss out on your perfect opportunity.

Alright, we know you’re wondering, why do you need to stand out when demand for nurses is so high? After all, the need for registered nurses alone is going up by 12 percent between 2018 and 2028, creating a shocking 371,500 new opportunities. If companies need that many nurses, is going the extra mile necessary?

While it may seem like any nurse can just waltz in off the street and get a job, that isn’t the case. You still need to showcase yourself as a great candidate. If you don’t, even a nurse can struggle to find a job.

How can a nursing resume objective make a difference? Let’s take a look.

What is a resume objectives?

Alright, let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, many people think that a resume objective is a bit antiquated. If you mention that you use one, your friends, family, or colleagues may sprain their eyes from rolling them so hard.

But, the trick is, when you use a nursing resume objective right, it can work in your favor. It lets you show the hiring manager what you bring to the table. Plus, it can answer questions a traditional resume doesn’t answer.So, what exactly is a resume objective? In the simplest terms, it’s a brief overview of your career and accompanying goals.

Usually, a standout statement includes details about how you enjoy applying relevant skills, as well as how you intend to use them if hired. If you’d like to learn more, we’ve covered it in-depth before. But, that’s the gist of what a resume objective is all about.

What is unique about a nursing resume objective?

In most cases, nursing resumes have a lot in common. Usually, each applicant brings something very similar to the table. Their education and certifications could be near identical. The nature of their work experience might be closely aligned. 

This happens because nursing is incredibly technical. The requirements for a role are often ridiculously rigid. That means every person you are up against more or less looks like you on paper. If you don’t find a way to stand out, your resume might get lost in the pack.That’s what can make a nursing resume objective so unique. It gives you a chance to do something extra, as long as you approach it the right way. The most critical thing to understand is when to use one. Generally, a nursing resume objective is a smart addition if you are a recent graduate looking for their first nursing job, transitioning from another job into this kind of nursing role, or have a specific role target in mind. In those cases, this statement lets you highlight relevant skills or achievements as well as assert why this opportunity caught your eye.

Tips to Note: With a nursing resume objective, quantifiable details are your best friend. Including the number of patients you saw daily, the number of beds you were responsible for, or the number of minutes or hours a new approach you created saved is a smart move. Digits stand out in a sea of letters. Plus, that information gives the hiring manager context about your capabilities, and that can help you stand out.

If you already have nursing experience in a similar position, then you might want to go a different route. The resume summary statement may be a better choice for you, so see what that’s all about and choose the approach that’s the best match.


Common Mistakes when writing a nursing resume objectives.

As with all parts of a resume, nursing resume objective mistakes are pervasive. Many people misunderstand how to use these statements effectively, and that costs them opportunities.

You don’t want to end up in that boat, right? Didn’t think so. Luckily, we have your back.

First and foremost, whatever you do, don’t say that you “want the job.” You applied, so that’s already clear. It’s a nothing statement that provides zero value to the hiring manager.

Another common misstep is a lack of specifics. You want an objective to align with the role you want to land. If it’s so generic it could apply to any nursing position (or be true from any nurse), you’re missing the mark.

3 Tips for writing a nursing resume objective

If your goal is to create a winning nursing resume objective, here are three tips that can help you do just that:

  • Explain how you want to use your skills

Since a resume objective involves discussing your goals (and you don’t want to say that your goal is to get the job), then your best bet is to explain how you want to apply your skills to the role. For example, stating that you want to utilize your expertise “to enhance patient care at ABC clinic” could work, suggesting that it is one of your goals.

  • Be specific to highlight your values

When you create a nursing objective statement, be as specific as possible. Highlight individual skills, accomplishments, and goals that are highly relevant to the role. That ensures you showcase your value, which can make a significant difference.

  • Don't go overboard

Your nursing resume objective shouldn’t be a massive wall of text. Ideally, you want to keep it to four sentences or less. If you don’t, there’s a decent chance it is unfocused or unrefined. That’s an immediate turnoff for hiring managers. Ultimately, brevity is your friend, so embrace it.

Putting it all together

Alright, you now know not just what a nursing resume objective is, but when and how to use one. When properly deployed, these statements can be powerful resume additions, helping you stand out from the sea of other applicants.

Just bear in mind that it isn’t the only approach. In some cases, a resume summary might be a stronger option. Take a look at them both and see which best meets your needs. That way, you can craft your ideal resume, increasing your odds of landing your perfect job.

Good luck!