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Perfect Your Graduate Nurse Resume to Obtain Your Dream Job

Resume & Interview July 22, 2013

Graduate nurses do a lot to obtain their degrees. They go to state-approved nursing schools to obtain the educational experience, so they can earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. They take the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed. They will make sure that they have met all requirements and guidelines of the state where they live to obtain the necessary certificates, so they can practice nursing in their state. Some graduate nurses have taken jobs during school, so they can pay down their student loans as well as gain the necessary skills that can further enhance their nursing experience.

So the time eventually comes when the class work is completed, and the textbooks are placed away. The graduate nurse will look for a nursing job that fits into their ideal place of employment. Whether it is a hospital, nursing facility, private medical office, or hospice, the graduate nurse will need to apply for the job by creating an appealing resume.

A graduate nurse resume will consist of two things: a cover letter, and an outline of education, special awards, and work experience. While every person will have a different format in displaying the information on their resume, such as bullet points, text boxes and underlined information, every resume should have the same basic information that tells the employer why the graduate nurse would be qualified for the work position.

Start with a Cover Letter

A graduate nurse should send out a cover letter with every resume that they mail out. The cover letter needs to be specific for the job position that the graduate nurse is applying for at the health care facility. It should have three paragraphs underneath the salutation.

•The first paragraph is an introduction that talks about the job position that the nurse is seeking and where the position is located.
•The second paragraph emphasizes why the graduate nurse believes they would be perfect for the position. This paragraph isn’t where the nurse places all their education and work experience information. Leave that for the resume.
•The third paragraph, thanks the employer for reading their resume and cover letter. It should also express the nurse’s eagerness for an interview meeting.

The graduate nurse should end the cover letter with their name and a list of document enclosures that are included with the cover letter, according to the University of Delaware.

Graduate Nurse Resume Formatting

The resume should detail all the education that the graduate nurse received since high school, all extracurricular activities, any special honors or awards, work experience, memberships, and all the information the graduate nurse believes will give them an edge over the other candidates for the graduate nurse position.

When writing out the resume, the nurse should make sure all information looks neat and orderly on the page. This includes using the correct grammar and punctuation. The nurse should proofread the resume by reading it aloud to another person to make sure the information sounds correct and to spot any errors.

Sample Graduate Nurse Resume Information

Nurse’s Contact Information

The nurse needs to include all contact information, so the employer can reach them to ask additional questions and set up an interview. The nurse should include their full name, address, phone number and email address (if applicable). Avoid including Facebook and other social media unless it pertains strictly to a professional career.


The nurse should include all education information from the time that they graduated high school up until graduating with their degree. The nurse should always include the years when they graduated and the name of the educational institutions, according to Scrubs Magazine. If desired, the nurse can also include any special programs that they took if it relates to the graduate nurse position that they are trying to get.

Clinical Experience and Clinical Rotation

Nurses who had clinical experience and rotation experience while taking their class programs should include this information on the resume. Place the name of the health care facility where it took place and the position the nurse held there. The nurse does not have to include the clinical rotation grades unless the nurse received high marks.

Work Experience

If the nurse has had any other work experience, even if it isn’t related to nursing, it should also be included on the resume. This work experience will show the employer that the nurse is dedicated to their work and gained important skills that can be translated to the graduate nurse position.

Special Skill, Activities, Honors

The nurse should round out the resume with any special skills, activities, honors, memberships, certificates, and other information that can relate to their nursing education or work experience. Employers like to see a nurse involved with continuing education beyond the classroom or being involved in community programs, so include this in the resume as well.

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