New grads, How did you list your clinical rotations on your resume? - page 2

by grownuprosie

I am having a debate with some classmates about how much info we should list on our resumes about each clinical rotation. some of them are only listing the hospital, unit and date. Others are listing a brief description of each... Read More


  1. 0
    My opinion would be: if you're newly minted and haven't worked in healthcare before starting your degree program and your resume is a bit thin, list it below your education section (which in turn is below your Skill Highlights section in the upper third of the resume) so your employer can see you walk the walk and get pass the ATS 'bots. Later, as you become seasoned, you can ditch the clinicals. As per my usual disclamer: I'm not a nurse but am helping a nurse friend with over 30 years experience land her next job so I'm doing a lot of reading. Organize it thus:

    CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
    specific subcategory (e.g. Medical Surgical ) in bold 11pt, then below it -
    Title of Hospital or Facility, Location, Dates (right or left depending on preference)
    • Use action verbs to begin sentences
    • Focus on the populations you have treated and include the diagnosis
    • Be specific regarding treatments and give examples when applicable
    • Show rather than tell your experience
    • What did you learn, develop, or teach to patients and their families?

    another specific subcategory (e.g. Pediatrics )
    Title of Hospital or Facility, Location, Dates (right or left depending on preference)

    • See above
  2. 1
    I say focus on the nursing interventions you did, instead of the rotations. When I was a new grad, a HR rep told me I did not have to list that; they already know that you had clinicals, as others have stated.

    For example; if you had a pt who had a TURP, Chest Tube, Wound Vac, C-Section, Skin Graft, etc...Rotation in the ER (pt the hours down)...those are significant for the learning exposure you experience.

    Also allow your résumé to be reviewed by someone from HR; if you have the opportunity to go to a job fair, ask them to critique your resume; use an elevator speech for 15-20 seconds, ask them to review their résumé, ask about the company, etc. Usually they are interested in giving new grads pointers. I did the same and have a contact at a major teaching hospital; but landed a job at another hospital because of her recommendations.

    I didn't use a cover letter. I used the intro to my résumé to describe me, my goals as a new grad, and filled education and experience.
    grownuprosie likes this.
  3. 1
    I did not list any nursing school clinical rotations on my resume as a new grad.

    I had two rationales for not listing clinical experiences. (1) The vast majority of hiring managers do nor count it as experience, and (2) they could look at the graduation date on my resume and the slew of non-nursing jobs and easily figure out I was a new nurse.
    MBARNBSN likes this.
  4. 4
    Back when I was in school (in the Dark Ages), no one even suggested that we list clinicals on a resume'. Potentional employers are well aware of what clinicals student nurses complete. I would not list anything unless you had some really unusual, superspecial clinical experience that really sets you apart from the other new grads.

    And, if you really feel you must list them, be sure it is very clear to anyone glancing casually at your resume' that you are talking about clinical experiences in school and there is no way anyone could conclude that you are trying to pass this off as legitimate work experience; that would leave a bad taste in most interviewer's mouths.
    MrChicagoRN, psu_213, GrnTea, and 1 other like this.
  5. 2
    I listed my last two placements, year 4. Both were full time. One was acute care on an 80 bed unit, the second was OR. Many students do not receive those opportunities. And we're talking one bullet for each placement. Keep it brief.
    GrnTea and grownuprosie like this.
  6. 1
    Is Hogwart's hiring?? Pick me, pick me!

    I would definitely list your clinical rotations and 1-2 lines about the non-mundane skills you did in each one. Of course every nurse manager will know that you went through clinical rotations in nursing school, but not listing them is like saying you didn't learn anything or didn't gain any experience worth listing. They need to see hospital names.
    grownuprosie likes this.
  7. 2
    I think it is unnecessary to put school-based clinical experience on a resume. They know you went to school, and they know what rotations would be required in your state. If you absolutely must, then make it short. I personally don't see this as "experience." I see it as school, with a clinical instructor guiding you.
    psu_213 and GrnTea like this.
  8. 1
    I did not list clinical experience. You graduated from an accredited nursing school, you had to have a certain set of clinicals and pass them all to graduate, that is a given. I was hired as a new grad in the ED at the hospital I wanted without any of that. I actually did my 120 hour practicum in a different ED and didn't list that on my resume, although I did bring it up during my interview.
    GrnTea likes this.
  9. 0
    I lumped mine into one generic group stating various specialties and locations for nursing school.
  10. 4
    Quote from grownuprosie
    Thank you for the critique! I appreciate you reading it.

    The thing that blows is that we did very little in the way of actual skills. I can think of only 2 class mates that got to put in a catheter in the past 2 years and the facilities did not allow students to put in IVs. no traches or vents either. the most complicated line I used was hanging a piggyback on a primary saline. the skills part is killing me! I did a ton of pt teaching. That is what i meant by discharge planning. I suppose I could change it to "teaching" or "education" instead of planning. thank you for pointing out psychosocial support. That is definitely something I should include.

    Thanks!
    I have this discussion with students all the time. First, you don't have any real nursing experience. You graduated from nursing school; the people who are looking to hire a new grad know what that means. A new nursing license is a lot like a new driver's license; it gets you on the road, but you still need a lot of experience to be good at it.

    Second, you have to lose the idea that you were shortchanged because you didn't have a chance to learn what you think are "skills." Why? Because what we call in the ed biz "psychomotor skills," the things you do with your hands, can be done by anyone with enough practice. Hell, we teach lay people how to do peritoneal dialysis at home, catheterize bladders, and suction tracheostomies. I hear students all the time say, "Ooooh, you are so lucky, you got to put in a Foley / sink an NG tube / start an IV / pack an open wound." Your first year of nursing practice is gonna be one great big learning lab; I promise you that nobody expects you to have done any of those tasks as a new grad, and any you did do is gravy. Also, in three months, all of those things will assume their proper place ... as tasks. Never, never confuse what tasks nurses do with what nurses are.

    Of course, your actual nursing skills-- the real ones, the ones involving assessment, judgment, planning a patient's care and teaching, and time management-- you're not too great at those yet either. You will be, but as a new grad you aren't, nobody expects you to be. Yet. They do expect you to make measurable progress on all of it in fairly short order.

    So in answer to your question, it looks silly to say what all your clinical rotations were. Your senior capstone / internship / externship / whatever they call it semester that gave you an opportunity to learn more about a particular specialty is useful; even then, no one will be under the illusion that six weeks in CCU makes you a CCU nurse. Don't fall for that illusion yourself, either.

    Good luck in your job search, and have a great first year! We need you out here.
    SENSUALBLISSINFL, elkpark, joanna73, and 1 other like this.


Top