What to include in my resume.

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    Hello resume gurus. I have two questions about what to include in my new grad resume. I have seen people on both sides of the issue say that you should or shouldn't include clinical experience (except a preceptorship). Has there ever been a consensus?

    Second question. Should I include things that are basic nursing skills that everyone graduating should have? Things like: Charting and documentation, Medication administration, Inserting and maintaining IV fluids, Ostomy and wound care . . . etc. Do I need to say that I posses these skills?

    What do you think? If you are, or have ever been a hiring manager or someone of that sort, please say so in your post so I can give you extra points. Thanks for any feedback.
    myko likes this.
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    Include your clinical experience. A brief explanation/list of the units you worked on will be sufficient. Not all students do clinicals in the same areas, and if you are applying for a job in oncology and did clinicals on an oncology floor, you want that to be known.

    I would not include basic nursing skills. They are redundant and every nursing student should know them. If you have special training/experience that other nursing students do not, then that would be important to mention. Inserting IVs is not common in nursing school, and if you've done it several times, that that's a good thing to include. For example, if you did a clinical in ICU and have experience managing ventilators, or assisted several times in the OR, those are unique experiences that you should mention. Include the electronic charting systems you have used, especially if you know the hospital you are apply to utilizes the same one.
    myko and Cahoon BSN RN like this.
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    I agree with Ashley above, don't include basic nursing skills and yes include clinical experience especially if it is a special skills not usually done by all nursing students. I would also include any special awards you received or committees you worked on or volunteer work that you did. Make your resume easy to read and be specific using action verbs to describe what your experience is. It's all in the words you put on your resume that will make it stand out, so don't be wordy or go on and on, make it scannable and easy to find the information needed.

    Not sure why someone would say not to include clinical experience. What would you put on your resume if you didn't summarize your clinical experience?

    Donna Cardillo wrote an excellent book called "The Ultimate Career Guide for Nurses" if you need help with writing a resume and cover letter.
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    tlancio and Ashley, I appreciate your feedback. Some of what I have read says to not include clinical rotations since if you graduated from an accredited school it is expected that you have had the same rotations as everyone else who is a new grad. Thanks
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    10 years ago, I would have said not to include all your basic clinical rotations as every nursing student should have done those and it can be assumed that you did, too. Hiring managers get irritated reading all that stuff that says things that everybody already knows.

    However, in recent years, an increasing number of schools are failing to provide their students with as much actual bedside experience. So if you are a student who went to one of the better schools that DO provide good clinical education, you should show it off to your best advantage.

    My recommendation is to list it on a separate page and label it clearly as student clinical experiences so that there is no doubt what it is and that it is clear you are not trying to pass it off as work experience. Where you list your education, list the school and the degree and graduation date, and then say something like, "A summary of student clinical experiences is attached." On your clinical list, focus on the highlights of the types of patients you cared for and major skills you learned. Don't waste the reader's time on basics such as "took vital signs," "performed routine hygiene," etc. On the main resume page, you should also include any special experiences that not every student would have and/or those that are particularly pertinent to the job you are applying for -- e.g. your senior preceptorship, other special projects, etc.
    rhiannon01 and newbieRN724 like this.
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    Well when I was a LVN New Grad I had both skills and clinical experiences on my resume and I was hired on with 2 weeks vs my cohort buddies who took a few months. I got the format straight out of a resume book that was designed for a new grad RN resume and still use some variant today but changing the skills to fit whatever job I was applying for. Unlike most LVN programs I got a lot of hospital time in and extra training with an RT on a subacute vent floor so I wanted to showcase that Ditto for the couple of days I spent in the ER doing nothing but 12 lead EKG's.

    Sit down and think of all the stuff you did. I can guarantee you can find a little thing that you shined at. What else are you going to put on your resume if your not going to showcase the experiences and skills you DO have? A resume is a chance to show your personality just a tad.
    JulieL likes this.


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