Writing your resume is one of those rare moments in life when bragging about yourself is not only allowed, but encouraged. In fact, your nursing resume is all about highlighting your achievements. Whether you’ve been in the field for ages or are just now graduating, your nursing credentials – and how you present them on your resume – can make or break your chances of landing your next job offer. Which credentials should you include, and which should get the most prominent placement? Here’s how you should list your credentials to get the most attention from potential employers.
The perfect resume – How to list your nursing credentials
1. Your nursing degree
No matter what degree you’ve earned – ADN, BSN or beyond – your degree should come first in your list of achievements. This is a generally accepted rule in all professions, and is based on the idea of permanence. While your other certifications and licenses may expire, a college degree is permanent, and it is extremely rare for someone to have their degree annulled. Since your education is the foundation of your ability to practice as a nurse, it should receive top billing on your resume.
2. Nursing licensure
Even with a degree, you wouldn’t be able to practice nursing without a license, which is why licensure takes the second spot on your resume. Therefore, all nurses should have a minimum of two credentials listed after their name, e.g.: Jane Smith, BSN, RN.
3. State and national certifications
If you’ve received extra training in a unique specialty, now is the time to mention it. Since these certifications must generally be renewed and maintained with continuing education, they should be listed after your degrees and licensure. In addition, your state may have specific requirements depending on your field of practice. Since our fictional nurse has now obtained training as an oncology certified nurse (OCN), she may now list her credentials as: Jane Smith, BSN, RN, OCN.
4. Awards, honors, and recognitions
Since special awards and honors have little bearing on your right to practice as a nurse, they don’t receive prominent placement on your resume. Regardless, your achievements say much about your character and are therefore, worth including at the end of your credentials list.
Shouldn’t there be an easier way of keeping track of your nursing credentials? How come other professions have resume generators but there is not a good resume builder for nurses?
That’s what we thought too, which is why we developed the Nurse Backpack app. The app makes it easier than ever to track and share your credentials, resume, and other vital professional information – with its help, you’ll never miss a renewal deadline again and you’ll always be ready to share an up-to-date resume with potential employers.