New Grad RN (BSN). Do not have applicable nursing experience.


Hey all!

So today I just found out that I passed my NCLEX-RN! As such I have been scouring the internet for potential career opportunities and tweaking my resume. After a lot of googling I believe I have formulated a alright resume for a new graduate that does not have relevant nursing experience outside of my clinical rotations. Here is a link to a screenshot of it below (the blacked out parts are identifying information that I don't want displayed all over the internet).

My resume in all of it's glory

I wasn't sure if I should include a "Summary of Qualifications" or "Objective" in the beginning since I don't really have qualifications to summarize and I think it's a given that my objective is to get a job at whatever institution/hospital I'm applying to. Also, all of the clinical instructors and professors who agreed to be a reference for me said to let them know who I was interviewing with and that they would send a letter directly to my potential employer (rather than giving me a letter directly). Should I ask for physical letters or is this not an issue? Also, I am in the NY/NJ region if that helps at all.

I plan on getting my ACLS and NIHSS certification within the next month or so to boost up my resume. I also plan on visiting the hospitals I am applying to in person so I can give my resume to someone directly as opposed to having it filtered through online. Soooo yep! Tips/Comments/Criticism to help me stand out are both wanted and welcome.

Also, just wanted to thank everyone in this community. I see nothing but support and constructive criticism which is rare to find online with all of the trolls and jerks. You guys are awesome :shy:


3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Condense your clinicals. You don't need to put what months you did what. Just list the floors where appropriate, ideally the name of the hospital, and the amount of hours. Don't separate them all out.

Here's what I have for mine, to give you a sense of what I mean:

Medical/Surgical- ****** Medical Center, 270 hours. Included rotations in ED, ICU, cardiac cath lab and surgical units.

Maternal Child- ****** Medical, 90 hours

Mental Health- various locations throughout ****** County, 90 hours

Pediatrics- Name of hospital ED; ****** Schools, 90 hours

Community health- ****** Schools, 90 hours

I am confused by "proof of passing NCLEX." Usually that means you have your license, and you should put your RN license number on your resume.

Did you complete a senior preceptorship? If so, where? What did you do?

For the jobs you held prior to nursing school, be sure to include the skills that are pertinent to nursing. Customer service, problem solving, multi-tasking, working in a fast-paced environment, having to think fast on your feet, etc. Make it relevant!! Any leadership in there?

You're right about the objective and skills summary- not necessary as a new grad, and won't likely have much that makes you stand out. However, once you have your ACLS and NIHSS (and any other certs you can get), consider listing those and your language skills potentially. Also, look into getting certification as a medical interpreter. It will look fantastic on your resume.

I think the way your instructors want to do the letters is best. That way they can tailor the letters to the hospital/unit. This is how mine are doing it, too.

Good luck!!


10 Posts

What do you mean by a senior preceptorship? As in something that is separate from my nursing program's clinical rotations? If so, my school didn't require that and as such I didn't have a senior preceptorship. Pretty much all of the nursing experience I have is listed in the image that I posted above.

And for the NCLEX proof of passing part, I literally JUST passed my NCLEX (took it November 1st and got my quick unofficial results today) so I don't have my actual license number yet. My state's BON is known to be notoriously slow (usually around a month from passing NCLEX to getting your license number). I did check Nursys and my license isn't listed. From suggestions after posting on another forum, I have changed this part to "Unofficial proof of passing available upon request".

Also, on the same said forum, some people have told me that since my hours are very menial (only 64 hours total per clinical rotation in comparison to 500+ for orientation at an institution/hospital), I shouldn't list the actual total hours and simply list the dates that I did each clinical. I was also told that even as a new grad, I should make a clinical summary so that I can still list what I have done in my clinical rotations and show whoever is interviewing me that I do at least a certain amount of experience.

Thank you for the advice! Tis appreciated

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

Then put license number pending. In NY/NJ it is NOT recommended to apply in person at hospitals. Most will refer you to online applications. Many facilities have HR off site so you would not be able to submit an application in person. Your online applications may get rejected without a license number especially since neither NY nor NJ offer temporary practice permits.

You are correct objectives are redundant and you have no experience to summarize as a new grad.

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

Also it's BSN you are not yet a BSN, RN and the degree (which cannot be taken away) always comes before the license (which must be renewed) Pearson Vue quick results are not evidence of a nursing license. Just put license pending in NY/NJ board of nursing. Writing "unofficial proof of passing available upon request" is wordy and irrelevant. You can't be hired with proof of passing. Most NY/NJ employers won't even consider your application without a valid, active nursing license.

Consolidate clinicals listing with numbers is distracting. Everyone has clinicals to graduate unless you did something special or unique be simple.

No school activities, clubs, student nursing organization, or volunteer work?

Consider a more traditional font & format as resumes are scanned and OCR cannot read fancy fonts or "unique" characters such as the red square. Or at least create a plain text version as most applications online ask for a text or plain version to be attached.

Again objective is redundant. Summary of qualifications is inapplicable unless a new grad program has specific requirements that you have met through school.


10 Posts

Hm I see. I'm already changing the format and font completely based on suggestions from others. Also, I stumbled upon this resume whilst googling. It seems to abide by what the consensus of people are saying. What say you guys? I don't mean to be a copy cat or anything. It just helps to have something that is a good, visual sample for me to follow.

Also, I unfortunately do not have any volunteering/school activities/or student nurses association. Never took the time and effort. Plus a majority of the time I would go straight from class to work. Or I would go home to nap before studying. Is that extremely bad? If so, do you have any suggestions for how I can "fluff" up my resume per se? I do have a lot more work/professional experience. I simply didn't list it since I didn't have much more room on my resume.

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

If your work experience is steady employment in a customer relations industry it can help more than a long list of clinical experiences that every new grad has to complete for graduation. But don't go back too far or if your jobs were for a year or less.

One possibility is if you have any comments on your clinical rotations assessments that you can quote such as "leezee.lo demonstrated excellent organizational skills, prioritizing patient care as a professional nurse while still a student. Facility staff sought out the clinical instructor to commend Ms. Lo's skills and attention to detail." I've seen resumes include a few quotes (with the originals to back them up if asked)

Additionals would be adding volunteer or school activities. Have you considered joining a professional nursing association whether general (ANA) or specialty? Most offer low cost memberships to new grads. So if you are targeting emergency nursing look into joining the ENA (Emergency Nurses Association) for example. There is an organization for most specialties even med-surg

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

Skip the objective, the "strengths" are fluff that add nothing to your resume though the format is nice. You can elaborate on past work experience as you do not have extracurricular activities.


10 Posts

Okie dokes. And yeah I haven't been without a job since 2006 (all in retail/customer service/sales management). I figured they would be good to include. And I never thought of what other nurses have said about me during clinical. Luckily that has actually happened (yay initiative!) so I'll definitely include it. Where should I put that information though? In the beginning as a small summary of myself?

And yeah I've been looking around at organizations as well as certs I can get to set my resume apart from other new grads that may not have them.

Also, Thank you so so much for taking the time to respond and help! I appreciate it a LOT :cat: and I'm sure other new grads looking at this thread will too!

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

You can use them in your cover letter. there is a resume here that utilized them on the side bar it was tasteful. I'd have to search through the resume forum to find it again.

Certifications are often credentials demonstrating experience and competency. If you look at your BLS card it's not a certification but a course completion card. Many certifications won't set you apart but will deplete your cash reserves. Most employers do not expect inexperienced new grads to have ACLS, PALS, NRP as those with experience tend to do better in the class as they have experience and knowledge to increase success. Plus many employers include required certifications as a part of orientation if not at a discounted rate for employees.


87 Posts

It's very interesting to read this ... it really stinks that as a new grad we don't have much to put to make us stand out. I guess we have to play up whatever we can!