can someone review my resume?

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in NICU, Pediatrics.

Hey guys,

I'm a new nursing grad. I have applied for about 30 jobs online, and I keep getting the generic rejection email. I am starting to wonder if something is wrong with my application or resume. Can someone look this over and tell me if you see any glaring mistakes? Advice? I know the format is a bit messed up on here, so please ignore that. Thank you!

Kristen XXXXX

My email

my phone

Current Address: Permanent Address:




The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA July, 2010

M.S. Nursing

GPA: 3.36/4.0

Iowa State University, Ames, IA May, 2008

B.S. Psychology

GPA: 3.44/4.0


Registered Nurse Licensure Current through December 2012

CPR/AED Certified Current through December 2011

First Aid Certified Current through January 2012


Neonatal Intensive Care, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics April-July, 2010

Iowa City, IA

300 clinical hours

*Assessed newborns, administered medications, and provided family teaching

Orthopedic, Mercy Hospital January-March, 2010

Iowa City, IA

120 clinical hours

*Assisted with the care of patients before and after orthopedic surgeries

*Assessed patients by administering medications, checking lab results, and taking vital signs

Community and Public Health, Community of Vinton, IA January-March, 2010

Vinton, IA

120 clinical hours

*Completed community assessment and wrote report identifying areas of need

*Worked with a team to design an adopt-a-grandparent program at the local retirement home

Psych/Mental Health, Veterans Affairs Medical Center November-December, 2009

Iowa City, IA

32 clinical hours

*Participated in group therapy sessions, and observed individual sessions

*Observed electroconvulsive therapy treatments

Labor and Delivery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics October, 2009

Iowa City, IA

48 clinical hours

*Provided care for women and their newborns by administering injections, evaluating fetal heart monitoring, and performing initial assessments on newborns

*Observed both cesarean and lady partsl births

Neurology/Oncology/Hospice, Mercy Medical Center September-October, 2009

Cedar Rapids, IA

48 clinical hours

*Assisted with the care of a wide variety of patients through medication administration, assessments, and monitoring

Cardiothoracic Stepdown, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics May-July 2009

Iowa City, IA

180 clinical hours

*Assisted with the care of patients through assessment, documentation, and medication administration

*Observed surgical and catheterization lab procedures


Capstone Leadership Project, Reducing Distractions Among July 2010

Neonatal Intensive Care Nurses at the University of Iowa

Hospitals and Clinics, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Iowa City, IA

60 clinical hours

*Performed in-depth assessment of neonatal intensive care unit

*Researched and designed new policies to facilitate medication preparation without distractions from staff and environment


Cardiovascular Care, Pneumothorax, Orthopedics, Stroke, Post-Operation, Cardiac Arrest, End of Life, Pediatric DKA, Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension, Interprofessional with Medical Students, Poverty, Burn, Head Injury, University of Iowa College of Nursing


Clinic Volunteer, Ames Free Medical Clinic May-August 2005

Ames, Iowa

*Assisted with triage, filing patient records, and childcare

*Observed physical assessments

ER Volunteer, Mary Greeley Medical Center January-May 2006

Ames, Iowa

*Assisted with comfort measures, childcare, escorting patients, and stocking medical supplies


Suite Attendant/Banquet Server, Kinnick Stadium August-December 2008

Iowa City, Iowa

Server, Café Northwest December 2007-July 2008

Ames, Iowa

Nanny, Private Family May-September 2006

Ames, Iowa

Housekeeper, Quality Inn and Suites June-August 2005

Ames, Iowa

not so sure you should add the work experience because it is not related to nursing and seems out of place

A few things:

1) you have a lot of education and maybe they think you will expect too much pay and don't want to bother offering you a job you may be "overeducated" for.

2) It's good to use verbs, but mix it up and use different ones to describe the nursing abilities you have. Ie: assisted, assessed, provided, educated, performed, implemented, interviewed, examined, recorded, etc. I see a lot of, "observed, assisted, participated" in your resume.

3) Your Orthopedic clinical you wrote, "Assessed patients by administering medications..." the statement seems weird to me. How do you assess patients BY administering meds? Also, vitals are a presumed part of assessments to it is not necessary to list this.

Might condense all your clinical experiences to 3 different areas or types of patient care experiences, as it is not necessary to list the hours spent where. You may be trying to make your resume appear more beefed up, but it is a bit cumbersome to read through. Try bullet points.

Sometimes using a functional resume format helps when you have non-nursing related job experience that you feel is valuable, and/or you have little nursing experience and want to highlight your personal attributes rather than actual work experience.

Not sure it is necessary to list simulation experience. You are a nursing school grad, they don't really care where you went to school and assume since you are licensed you have been educated in all the typical areas of care.

Not trying to be critical, just trying to help! Best wishes!

Specializes in NICU, Pediatrics.

Thanks a lot for looking it over. I do feel like it is a bit too long. I think I will combine the volunteer and work section and remove a few of the jobs that have nothing to do with nursing. I'm also going to see what it looks like to remove the descriptions of what I did at each clinical. That should free up some space.

Specializes in Trauma ICU, Peds ICU.

1) I don't think you need to decribe what you did in each clinical rotation, i.e. "Assisted with the care of patients before and after orthopedic surgeries." It's sufficient to list the facility, type of unit, dates, and clinical hours.

2) On my resume I listed my 300 hour preceptorship separately from my clinical hours. It's not the same thing, as a preceptorship entails a higher level of individual responsibility and learning than a clinical rotation. I listed it under "Experience" along with both paid and volunteer work experience.

3) I'm not sure whether or not you need your work history on there. For me it was an easy choice in favor of listing it, because my work history was somewhat related to nursing. In your case I agree with the last poster that it does feel a little out of place, but if I were a hiring manager I'd still want to see it... because it tells me you've held a job and will have a reference in terms of things like do you show up on time.

4) The only other thing I can think of... is if you're looking at NICU positions (which are probably hard to come by these days), you could take NRP to beef up your resume.

My recommendations: Take out the descriptions of your clinicals since they already know what nursing students do in clinical. Take out the simulation experience and the work experience since it's irrelevant. Leave the volunteer and leadership experience. If you wanted, you could elaborate a little more on the capstone if you wanted to since this could make you stand out more from another new grad applicant with no work experience.

Specializes in Home health was tops, 2nd was L&D.

I agree with the Anticagulationnurse. First off you need an objective paragraph, well written , not too wordy to give manager reason you are applying for this or any job. You must sell yourself in you resume and cover letter to ever get a face to face interview.

Is your MSN in any specific area, like nursing education, APN, Leadership? Need to add that into your objective.

Keep your non-nursing jobs but add a line or two relating them to nursing...handling challenging persons/situations, customer service, time management skills success, meeting productivity schedules with server and housekeeper job, Nanny play up dealing with sick kids, safety issues, mention things you may have taught them..nutrition, reading, mannners....

Play up volunteer work more, creativity with words can make it seem.

Lose simulation work totally. Under you schooling focus on what you liked and were very good at, no one cares the number of hrs. Did you graduate with honors if so say that, specific GPA's are not as valuable now due to weighted GPA and all that nonsense. Did you teach/run study group for other students? If so put it in there. teaching is number one thing in every area of nursing, be it patients, staff, precepting down the line.

What did you plan to do when you went to get MSN in nursing? Why did you choose that, why did you think you would be good at it.

Yes some will not want to pay for MSN so steer towards places like Teaching hospitals that actually have MSN nurse doing clinical care.

No resume should be more that 2 pages even after many many years of experience. You can expand on things at interview, and in cover letter be specific about why they should consider you.. Gotta make you stand out from other resumes.

Specializes in Home health was tops, 2nd was L&D.

I also suggest education go at end of resume..I prefer objective paragraph (can be different for each job) then experience: start with Volunteer work, then into non- nursing work, then I would add you achievements in nursing school. Example Pediatrics: clinical rotation allowed me to perform assessment while concentrating on....specific thing you did well or like, add in any teaching you did etc, this area could also allow you to expand on capstone project for a few lines. This area should just give manager idea of what you like and what you feel you are good at...she will ask specific questions is she wants more.

The do education, you could add Honors or GPA here if you felt it was important, then end it. Pick excellent references to have on hand for application, teachers who thought you were exceptional, old boos from pre-nursing days to verify your creditability, and a RN who worked with you in volunteer work or clinical if you got friendly or a personal friend who is a RN and believes in you. Always ask permission to use them as references and have name, address, email, and current number cell is best for each one. Type it up and have it on decnet paper where you can hand it to interviewer if application does not request it.

Specializes in med surg,stroke.

Kissell, you are so lucky all the experienced members are giving you absolutely relevant advice.

If possible start your resume with an objective and reduce the length so that person reading it does not looses interest. I know this because my husband hires for multinational firm student interns and he is looking for substantial opening lines.

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management.

Yep, edit out the non-nursing experience. If they want to know what you did while/before you went to nursing school, they will ask. Eliminate the clinical hours. I agree wholeheartedly that you should expand on the Capstone experience. That would catch my eye if I were the hiring manager.

Keep in mind that managers want a very short, succinct and easy to read resume. Bullet points are a favorite among managers. My husband has hired countless medical staff, and he told me that he didn't even bother to read through very long, very wordy resumes. He just didn't have the time. He skimmed through them, but was impressed with resumes that were to the point and organized.

Good luck to you!

Specializes in OB, L&D, NICU, Med-Surg, Ortho.

also, i would removed the gpas. unnecessary and i've read not to put them in a resume unless they are above 3.5.

i would delete the "simulation" experience. you can mention that in your interview.

remove the unnecessary work history.

be sure to list the state your license is current in.

also, list an objective at the top of your resume.

to me, your resume almost reads backwards. education usually comes at the end of the resume. when i saw you had listed your education first, my first thought was "oh, this person has no experience to list." you have an ms, but no nursing experience at all? not even part-time?

i always put my information & license number together at the top

sherri xxxxx

po box xxx

anytown, usa


[email protected]

in license number:

then objective

for your case, i would follow with


clinicals (a very reduced version as suggested)

volunteer work



what type of nursing positions are you looking for? when i see msn, i think management. many of the nurses i've known how went to school for their msn chose to be nps or they wanted a management position.

if you are looking for a management position, you may have a hard time because you have had no experience as a working nurse.

if you are looking for a staff nurse position, as a manager i would wonder how long you are going to stay as a floor nurse with an msn background.

an objective would really help clarify what it is you are looking for.

here is a student nurse example i found online:

dedicated and compassionate nursing candidate with hospital and clinical training. highly organized with well-regarded administrative and supervisory strengths. conscientious, team-oriented and eager to learn. fully committed to following directions and regulations.

those would be my suggestions. hope they help :D


"the new nurse thinks like a mom. the experienced nurse thinks like a lawyer."

Specializes in Hospice, ONC, Tele, Med Surg, Endo/Output.

Try to get it all on one page. Dispense with the gpa stuff. Keep the extracuriculars. Have spaces between the paragraphs to break it up. You may abbreviate some words and managers will understand what you are saying still and will know you know the lingo of nursing. I've had 7 interviews and 3 offers recently and my resume is on one page despite 15 years of nursing experience.

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