Licensed nurse practitioners (NPs) play a critical role in patient health and care. NPs work autonomously and/or in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, providers and specialists. They may work in primary or specialty settings, and have advanced training and education to ensure proper care and health management for patients.
Specifically, NPs are licensed clinicians who give primary, acute and specialty healthcare services to patients, such as diagnosing illnesses, treating conditions, and educating patients to help ensure they are living their healthiest life.
If you’re applying for a licensed nurse practitioner position, knowing how to structure your resume and what you should list and call out, including education, skills and objectives, can help your resume get noticed and selected and an interview scheduled.
How to structure your licensed nurse practitioner resume
When formatting your resume for an NP position, you should include:
A summary/career objective
Education/certifications (if applicable)
Relevant work history, including the company, dates worked, and brief description of the duties performed
Relevant skills for the role
When creating your resume, you’ll want to carefully read the job description to ensure you include all relevant keywords, skills and experience that show you are the best candidate. By tailoring your objective and resume to the job description, it’s more likely it will make it through any application tracking system software and to the desk of the hiring manager.
Licensed nurse practitioner job description
Overall, nurse practitioners see patients when they are sick, admitted to a hospital, have an injury, or have outpatient procedures performed. They take care of a variety of patient needs from admission to discharge, either from a hospital or from a doctor’s office or other outpatient setting.
They often specialize by patient population, such as pediatric, gerontological, family medicine or women’s health, and may even have sub-specialties in areas such as dermatology, oncology, cardiovascular health, orthopedics or others.
Many NPs serve as a patient’s primary healthcare provider, but this is not true for everyone. NP roles can look different depending their work environment, but generally, the job description can include duties such as:
Observe and record patient behavior, both upon arrival and throughout their visit/stay.
Order or perform physical exams and diagnostic tests.
Collect and record patient health history.
Educate patients and their families on diagnoses and treatment plans.
Direct and supervise nurses, nurse assistants and nurse aides.
Conduct health assessments and help determine the problem.
Develop treatment plans/options.
Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure holistic and complete care for the patient.
Licensed nurse practitioner education and training
Nurse practitioners must have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). After obtaining licensing as a registered nurse, students typically then earn a Master’s degree in nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DMP) degree.
Once you complete your education, you must pass a standardized exam to get certification from the specialty nursing board overseeing your area of practice. NPs also must get licensed to practice medicine from their state.
After finishing your degrees, completing your residency, and obtaining all necessary licenses, you’re ready to search for open NP positions in your area.
You may want to outline your education on your resume like the following:
State of licensure
When listing your qualifications, here are a few tips:
Consider leaving off the years you attended school or your graduation date. Typically, that’s not as important unless you’re still pursuing your degree. In that case, be clear your education is in progress. For example,
MSN; anticipated completion December, 2021
List the order of your education with the highest level first. For example, if you have a Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree, list the Master’s degree first, followed by your Bachelor’s.
If you have additional certifications or training, list them in their section with the heading “Additional Certifications.” Include the organization that provided the certification, the title, and the date of completion or renewal.
Be sure to list your nursing license information and other endorsements in their section with the heading “Licenses.” Include your license number, license type, state of licensure, and expiration date.
What to include on your resume for a licensed nurse practitioner
Typically, an NP resume will list the education or formal training you have that makes you most qualified for the role.
Then, in the work experience section, you’ll want to include duties related to the job description, such as:
Provided prompt and efficient assessments of incoming patients to best prioritize care.
Ordered and performed regular diagnostic tests to understand the patient’s concerns and issues.
Maintained detailed electronic records on all patient statuses, treatments, and medications.
Educated patients and families on the best ways to support ongoing health, wellness, and treatments.
Performed routine treatments and developed detailed treatment plans.
Supervised team of X nurses and provided mentoring and coaching during clinical rotations.
Collaborated with X other healthcare professionals to ensure holistic and complete care for patients.
Served as a primary care physician for an average of X patients, seeing Y number of patients per day.
The experience and skills you list should be relevant to the specific job and work environment you’re applying for. Try to go beyond simply listing duties you’ve performed, and instead show both duties and achievements with examples or numbers to support the statements. This can depend on your experience and specific workplaces.
Licensed nurse practitioner skills and traits for a resume
There are many skills and traits you could list on your resume for an NP position. Here are a few to choose from to get you started:
Urgent and emergency care knowledge
Patient safety knowledge
Knowledge of technology and equipment
Written and verbal communication skills
Ability to work under pressure or in stressful situations
If you have previous NP or healthcare experience, be sure to list it on your resume. If you don’t, or if you just graduated, you can still highlight the experience and skills you may have that make you a great candidate for the position. You can also list your clinical rotations or other experiences that took place during your education.
Look at all experiences (volunteer or employment) you have and determine which of the above skills were learned or improved upon, and list those on your resume.
Action verbs to include on a licensed nurse practitioner resume
Should I include references in my licensed nurse practitioner resume?
Your resume is a professional representation of your career qualifications and skills that make you an ideal candidate. As a general rule, avoid including references in your resume unless they are specifically asked for. This is information that tends to distract hiring managers from the information you want them to see, and it can take up valuable space on the page.
If references are requested, you can include them on your resume or as a separate document. Be sure to list the name, job title, company, email address, and phone number for each reference.
Licensed nurse practitioner resume objectives
A career objective, also known as a resume objective or summary, is a brief statement toward the top of your resume that explains your professional goals and intentions for applying to a job. In 1 to 3 sentences, you should mention the job title, add a couple of key skills, and share what you’re hoping to achieve in the job.
An experienced and passionate individual seeking a position as a nurse practitioner in the X field with Y hospital, which will offer the ability to coordinate and work with a skilled healthcare team and enhance the overall level of patient care.
A motivated and organized nurse practitioner with X years of nursing experience and specialty in Y, as well as a background in Z. Strong clinical knowledge, problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to supervise a staff of nurses.
Compassionate and caring nurse practitioner seeking a position with XYZ organization to utilize extensive knowledge of clinical protocol, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills to ensure patient needs are met and all patients are cared for appropriately.
Caring and thoughtful nurse with many years of experience. Interested in a nurse practitioner position at XYZ organization to help patients get the best care possible.
Listing skills and traits that make you an excellent candidate are important, so try to be specific about your expertise or other personality traits. Additionally, quantify your years of experience instead of saying things like “a lot” or “many.”
Hardworking and passionate nursing professional with X years of experience taking care of patients, particularly in the Y setting and Z specialty.
Because you’re using this space to capture the attention of the hiring manager, be specific about how your skills and experience are best for this position. For example, mention specific knowledge you have or particular patient care tasks you’ve performed, your exact specialty, or the setting you’ve worked in previously. Also, consider mentioning the organization you’re applying with.
Seeking a position as a nurse practitioner with XYZ organization. X years of training have given me clinical knowledge and other skills necessary for success.
Listing the position and company in the resume objectives can be helpful details, but try to expand on this by also highlighting specific traits, skills, or experience you have that make you qualified for the role. If you have statistics to back up your claims, that can also be beneficial.