New Grad Nurse Resume Example (W/ Templates & Tips!)

29 February
12 min read
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You're an aspiring nurse, and you just graduated!

You've mastered the art of patient care, so now you’re out and looking for your first job as a registered nurse.

But when it comes to writing your resume, you're self-diagnosed with writer's block.

It's ironic that after so many detailed reports you've tackled during nursing school, you just can’t seem to show off your skills and experience.

Just take a deep breath.

Preparing a resume might not be as exciting as your first clinical rotation, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.

With the right pointers, you can create the perfect new grad nurse resume!

And guess what? We're here to guide you every step of the way.

In this article, we’re going to cover:

  • What an Amazing New Grad Nurse Resume Example Looks Like
  • 8 Steps to Writing a Job-Winning Resume as a Recently Graduated Nurse
  • The 67 Top Nursing Skills for 2024

...and so much more!

Ready to begin? Let’s jump right in.

New Grad Nurse Resume Example

New Grad Nurse Resume Example

That’s a spot-on example of a resume for a recently graduated nurse.

Here’s what it gets right:

  • Uses the reverse-chronological resume format. This recent nursing grad has a resume that shows their newest experience first and then works its way back, so hiring managers can have a clear look at their experience.
  • Starts with a strong resume objective. The nursing resume example above includes a brief paragraph in the header that catches employers’ attention and lets them know the candidate’s top skills, achievements, and professional aspirations.
  • Only includes relevant contact information. Social media profiles aren’t appropriate for a nurse job application, so this candidate only lists her full name, phone number, email address, and location.
  • Quantifies achievements. The candidate backs up their achievements with relevant data, which lets employers immediately see the benefit of hiring them.
  • Expands on education. Since the candidate has just recently graduated, they elaborate on their education and how well-prepared they are for the role.
  • Shows off in-demand skills. This new grad nurse resume makes sure the most relevant hard skills are in plain view, so hiring managers can easily see just what the candidate can do.
  • Adds optional sections. The candidate leverages sections such as conferences and languages to make their resume stand out from other recently graduated nurses with similar skills and experience.
  • Fits everything on one page. This new grad nurse resume uses every bit of space available to fit all the sections on one page.

8 Steps for a Great New Grad Nurse Resume

You know what a spot-on new graduate nurse resume includes, and now it’s your turn to write one.

Luckily, you just need to follow these easy steps:

#1. Choose a Resume Format

Before you can fill in the contents of your resume, you have to decide how it’s going to look.

Start by choosing the right resume format.

You have three main resume formats to choose from:

  • Reverse-chronological (sometimes called chronological)
  • Functional (sometimes called skill-based format)
  • Combination (which blends elements of both)

For the vast majority of nursing graduates, the reverse-chronological resume format is the best choice.

This format shows your most recent work experience, skills, and accomplishments, which are what healthcare employers will want to see first.

It’s also hiring managers’ favorite resume format worldwide, so that should make it your first choice. 

Here's a quick glance:

New Grad Nurse Resume reverse-chronological resume format

Next, it’s time to perfect your resume layout.

Before a hiring manager reads your resume, they’re going to look at it. But if your resume is chaotic and hard on the eyes, it’ll probably get tossed aside.

Here’s how to make sure your new grad nurse resume leaves a great first impression:

  • Adjust the margins. The margins on your document should be set to one inch on all sides so it doesn’t look too cluttered.
  • Choose an appropriate font. Your resume’s font should be easy to read and stylish, but not overused. Skip Times New Roman and opt for something like Roboto instead.
  • Set the font size. If the hiring manager has to squint to read your resume, they might just stop altogether. Use 10-12 pts for the body of your text and 14-16 pts for headings and section titles.
  • Change the line spacing. To make sure your text isn’t too spaced out or overlapping, set the line spacing to 1.0 between text and 1.15 after subheadings.
  • Send it in the right file format. Your new grad nurse resume should always be sent as a PDF. This way, your layout stays intact regardless of what device or software the hiring manager uses to open it.

Or Use a Professional Resume Template Instead

Starting your nurse resume from scratch takes a lot of effort.

You have to tweak the margins, adjust the line spacing, pick the best font, and make sure the sizes are uniform throughout your whole resume.

What if there was another way?

Just give any of our free resume templates a go and spare yourself the hassle.

Each of our templates is designed hand-in-hand with hiring managers from around the world, all to make sure your resume meets industry standards easily fits on one page, and lets you show off your personality.

Check for yourself how one of our resume templates compares to a standard text editor template:

novoresume versus normal resume

#2. Fill In Your Contact Details

Once you’ve taken care of your resume format and layout, you can start filling in its contents.

Your contact information is the easiest section to fill out. All you need to do is make sure it’s factual – this isn’t the place to be inattentive. A single typo in your phone number or email address could cost you an opportunity.

Here’s what you need to include in this section:

  • Full Name. (E.g. Jessica Smith)
  • Professional Title. Make sure your resume’s professional title matches the specific nursing job you’re applying for. (E.g. Pediatric Nurse)
  • Phone Number. If you're aiming for a job abroad, don't forget to include the dial code at the front of your number.
  • Email Address. Ideally, use a combination of your first and last name. Quirky email addresses from high school won't cut it. (e.g. is great, but isn’t.)
  • Location. List your city and state/country. If you’re willing to relocate for a job, specify it somewhere in your resume.
Correct Example:

Jessica Smith - Registered Nurse
+1 234 567 8910
San Francisco, CA

Incorrect Example:

Jessie Smith, Nurse
1234 567 8910
Cali, USA

#3. Write a Convincing Resume Summary (or Objective)

Hiring managers go through hundreds of resumes daily, and they rarely spend more than a few seconds looking at a single resume. So if you want your new grad nurse resume to make an impression, you need to have an elevator pitch ready.

That would be the brief paragraph in your resume’s header, where you summarize some of your top skills, achievements, and other qualifications that make you right for the role.

Depending on your level of experience, here’s what you can write:

  • Resume summary. If you have any clinical experience or internships from your time at university, a resume summary is the ideal choice. It provides a snapshot of your hands-on experience, primary nursing skills, and academic achievements.
  • Resume objective. For fresh nursing graduates with limited experience, a resume objective is the way to go. This focuses on your nursing skills, relevant academic accomplishments, and your passion for patient care.

Here's a sample for a new grad nurse with some hands-on experience:

New Grad Nurse Resume Summary Example:
  • Committed and compassionate Registered Nurse, seeking a position with Hospital X. With over two years of clinical experience during studies, skilled in patient care, medical documentation, and emergency response. CPR and First Aid certified. Eager to support a team in delivering patient-centered care.

For those just stepping into the nursing profession, here's a resume objective for a student with no experience:

New Grad Nurse Resume Objective Example:
  • Dedicated Nursing Graduate, eager to join Hospital Y. Proficient in patient assessments, foundational nursing procedures, and effective communication. Motivated to contribute positively to patient outcomes and grow professionally in a dynamic healthcare environment.

#4. List Your Work Experience

The work experience section of your new grad nurse resume is what hiring managers will pay attention to, even if you're fresh out of school.

Presentation is key, so let's make sure yours is on point.

Here’s how to structure this section:

  • List in reverse chronological order. Since you're newly graduated, start with your most recent clinical rotations or internships and then any related roles.
  • Add the name of the facility. Specify the name of the hospital, clinic, or healthcare facility, and then its location.
  • Include dates. Stick to the mm/yyyy format for clarity.
  • Describe responsibilities and achievements. Highlight five to six key examples from your most recent experience in bullet points. Older roles might only need two to three.

But if you’re a recent nursing graduate, just listing your experience the right way isn’t enough.

You need to make it shine. Here’s how:

  • Tailor your experience to the job. Look at the job ad and compare it to your experience so far. Your recent pediatric rotation might be more relevant for the position of school nurse than that summer you spent as a lifeguard.
  • Focus on your impact. The hiring manager knows what a typical nursing student does, so you won’t impress them that easily. Instead, wow them by focusing on the difference you made during your rotations, such as improving patient outcomes or boosting morale.
  • Quantify whenever possible. Put numbers next to any achievement you can. Quantifying your achievements can change the generic "assisted with patient care," into the more impressive "aided in the care of 10-15 patients daily under supervision."
  • Use strong verbs. Instead of just "helped" or "worked", use powerful words like "administered", "collaborated", or "monitored" to show you as a proactive worker.

Check out this example for a nursing graduate:

Nurse Graduate Resume Work Experience Example:

Nursing Intern

St. Peter's Hospital

Seattle, WA

05/2022 - 09/2022

  • Collaborated with a team of 5 registered nurses in the cardiac unit, assisting in the care of 10-12 patients daily.
  • Administered medications under supervision, achieving a 100% accuracy rate throughout the internship.
  • Assisted in patient documentation, updating medical histories and vital signs for over 250 patients during the rotation.
  • Monitored and reported changes in patient conditions, resulting in timely interventions on several occasions.
  • Received commendation from the head nurse for dedication and keen attention to detail during high-pressure situations.

What If I Don’t Have Work Experience?

Entering the world of healthcare as a fresh graduate nurse might seem overwhelming, especially if your resume feels light on professional experience.

However, your nursing resume can absolutely reflect your dedication and skills, even as you’re entering the field!

It's all about highlighting relevant experience, even if it isn’t professional.

Here are some examples you can choose from:

  • Volunteering at health camps or local clinics
  • Personal projects related to healthcare
  • Academic projects related to patient care
  • University health drives or campaigns

For example, if you volunteered at a health camp during your summer break, that’s an invaluable hands-on experience that can elevate your resume as a recently graduated nurse.

Here's an example:


Nurse Intern & Health Educator

Springfield Health Camp

06/2022 - 08/2022

  • Volunteered in patient care, assisting registered nurses in administering basic treatments and wound care.
  • Educated local community members about preventive healthcare measures, receiving positive feedback for clear communication.
  • Assisted in organizing health seminars, ensuring informative sessions on nutrition, and hygiene.
  • Collaborated with fellow interns to gather patient feedback, leading to improved patient education materials.
  • Partnered with local schools to conduct health check-ups, providing basic healthcare knowledge to students.

#5. Add Your Most Vital Nursing Skills

Nursing is more than just administering medication or checking vitals. The job requires a broad range of skills, and the ones you add to your new grad nurse resume should align with the specific nursing position you're after.

Your skills section shows potential employers your clinical competencies and the depth of your training. If you tailor this section right, they’ll see how prepared you are to step into the role.

Here are some tips for writing a great skills section:

  • Tailor them to the ad. Does the job description mention certain requirements for candidates? Whether it's wound care, patient education, or managing specific health conditions, add the skills you have to your resume.
  • Research what skills you need. The world of healthcare is ever-evolving and the key to success is ongoing learning. Stay updated on patient care guidelines, innovative treatment methods, or emerging healthcare technologies.
  • List hard and soft skills separately. Your new grad nurse resume should keep soft skills and hard skills neatly separate. This way, employers can find exactly what skills they’re looking for at a glance.

You've got the know-how to list your nursing skills.

All that’s left is to figure out which you should include on your resume.

Take a look at this list of the 67 most in-demand hard and soft skills for recently graduated nurses to get started!

67 Most In-Demand New Grad Nurse Skills

51 New Grad Nurse Hard Skills
  1. Aseptic technique
  2. Electronic Health Records (EHR)
  3. EPIC Systems
  4. Cerner
  5. Meditech
  6. Record keeping
  7. Patient assessment
  8. Phlebotomy
  9. Wound dressing
  10. IV insertion and management
  11. Medication administration
  12. First Aid and CPR
  13. Basic Life Support (BLS)
  14. Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
  15. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
  16. Catheter insertion and care
  17. Infection control
  18. Vaccination administration
  19. Triage
  20. Pain management
  21. Patient education
  22. Care and discharge planning
  23. ECG interpretation
  24. Emergency response
  25. Surgical assistance
  26. Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
  27. Oxygen therapy
  28. Endotracheal intubation
  29. Fluid and electrolyte balance
  30. Palliative care
  31. Ventilator management
  32. SOAP note documentation
  33. Patient charting
  34. Patient transport
  35. Tracheostomy care
  36. Gastrostomy feedings
  37. Diabetes management
  38. Hemodynamic monitoring
  39. Sterilization techniques
  40. Seizure precautions
  41. Ostomy care
  42. Orthopedic casting and splinting
  43. Isolation procedures
  44. Defibrillation
  45. HIPAA compliance
  46. Manual blood pressure measurement
  47. Nasogastric (NG) tube placement
  48. Suturing
  49. Critical care
  50. Telemetry monitoring
  51. Mobility assistance
16 New Grad Nurse Soft Skills
  1. Empathy
  2. Communication
  3. Teamwork
  4. Adaptability
  5. Patience
  6. Critical thinking
  7. Time management
  8. Problem-solving
  9. Active listening
  10. Resilience
  11. Self-awareness
  12. Stress management
  13. Interpersonal skills
  14. Organizational skills
  15. Conflict resolution
  16. Leadership

#6. Elaborate on Your Education

In any resume, work experience and skills speak louder than academic credentials. Usually, this section only gets a passing mention.

However, when you’re a newly graduated nurse, you might want to dive into more details.

If you don’t have as much hands-on experience as your peers, your education section is where your resume can shine.

Here’s how you should format the basics:

  • Degree Name. (E.g. Bachelor of Science in Nursing)
  • University Name. (E.g. Metropolitan University of Health Sciences)
  • Location. (E.g. Los Angeles, CA)
  • Years Attended. If you haven’t graduated yet, don’t worry about it. Over 74% of new graduate nurses have a job offer lined up before graduation. Instead of using the yyyy - yyyy format, you can specify your expected graduation date. (E.g. Expected graduation: May 2024)
  • Optional Details. List any relevant coursework, such as classes, projects, or clinical rotations, that’s relevant to the nurse position you’re applying for.

The goal here is to paint a clear picture of how your studies have prepared you for the hands-on work in the world of nursing. Everything you add should be relevant, so you should skip your high school education.

Here’s an example of how your education section might look:

New Grad Nurse Resume Education Example:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Metropolitan University of Health Sciences

Los Angeles, CA

08/2019 - 06/2023

  • Relevant Coursework: Pediatric Nursing, Critical Care Nursing, and Nursing Ethics.
  • Research Project: "The Impact of Patient-Nurse Ratios on Care Quality."
  • Clinical Rotations: Completed practical training in Pediatric, ICU, and Emergency Nursing departments.

#7. Leverage Optional Sections

Once you’ve come to the end of your new grad nurse resume, you have some leftover space.

This is a great opportunity for you to add optional sections, which can take your resume to the next level. These sections can be the cherry on top, giving potential employers deeper insight into who you are both professionally and personally.

Here are some sections you can choose from:

  • Licenses and certifications. The more qualifications you have, the more commitment and readiness for nursing your resume shows.
  • Awards. Any scholarships, academic honors, or nursing-related competitions you've won are good for showing off on your new grad nurse resume.
  • Memberships. Being a part of professional nursing organizations gives you credibility and shows your drive to stay updated with industry trends.
  • Languages. Hospitals and clinics appreciate nurses who can communicate with diverse patient populations, so speaking multiple languages is a huge plus.
  • Publications or conferences. If you've written healthcare-related articles or created presentations for nursing school or even conferences, list them! It shows expertise and enthusiasm for particular subjects.
  • Hobbies and interests. This section gives a glimpse into your personality. Activities like team sports can show teamwork skills and physical stamina, while interests like medical literature or meditation can show an interest in continuous learning and stress management.
New Grad Nurse Resume Optional Sections Example:


  • Florence Nightingale Academic Scholarship
    State Nursing School - 2022
  • Top Performer
    American Red Cross First Aid Competition - October 2021


  • National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA)
    Member - 2020

Always be sure to keep the optional sections you add to your new grad nurse resume relevant. Your interests in cooking or experience in the university drama club probably won’t do.

If you’re based in the USA, you should always include your nursing license number on your resume. But in countries where Nursing graduates are automatically registered with the board, there’s no need to add this credential.

#8. Attach an Equally Well-Made Cover Letter

Once you’ve completed your resume, your work isn’t done yet.

The last step on your resume-writing journey is writing a cover letter.

In reality, not writing a cover letter can significantly lower your chances of getting an interview since hiring managers expect to get cover letters.

There’s no need to worry, though! Your new grad nurse resume can be paired with a matching cover letter in no time.

Just take a look at what a great cover letter for a recently graduated nurse looks like:

New Graduate Nurse Cover Letter

You know the drill - you’ve seen a great cover letter, so now it’s time to make one yourself.

Follow our cover letter tips to nail it:

  • Include the right contact information. Your new grad nurse cover letter should have the exact same contact information as your resume. Your full name, phone number, professional email address, and general location are enough, followed by the hiring manager’s contact information.
  • Address your cover letter. Don’t skip the greeting or use something generic like “To whom it may concern”. Instead, do a bit of research and address the hiring manager by name to make a strong impression.
  • Start with a strong opening. Your first paragraph should always include why you’re writing and what skills you can offer the employer, so they’ll want to read more.
  • Expand on the details. This is the place to get creative! Elaborate on anything that makes you perfect for the job, but don’t just repeat what’s on your resume. Offer the hiring manager insight they wouldn’t get from just reading your new grad nurse resume.
  • Finish it appropriately. Once you’re ready to wrap it up, invite the hiring manager to do something, like contact you. Then add an appropriate closing line and sign your name.
cover letter structure

Key Takeaways

And that’s a wrap!

Now you’ll be well on your way to delivering extraordinary patient care.

But before you pick out your new scrubs, let’s recap what we talked about:

  • Always add an eye-catching paragraph at the top of your new grad nurse resume. A resume summary is a great way to catch the hiring manager’s attention.
  • Don’t worry too much about not having enough professional experience. Hiring managers won’t expect a fresh graduate to have Dr. House’s list of achievements.
  • List your soft skills separately from your hard skills so hiring managers can easily find what they’re looking for, and make sure to tailor any skills on your resume to the job ad.
  • While your education is usually less important than your hands-on experience, don’t be afraid to give more detail if you’re very inexperienced. It still shows off your medical know-how and it’s better than having blank space.
  • Any licenses and certifications are a great addition to your resume as a newly graduated nurse, so make sure to add them right after your most important sections are filled in.