Registered Nurse - Resumes

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Registered nurse resume templates & Tips

A career in nursing can be both challenging and incredibly rewarding. Registered nurses, or RNs, provide hands-on care in medical or community settings. That can include hospitals, provider offices, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, in-home care and others.

RNs see patients every day and help manage their care, control patient safety, promote and maintain the health of their patients, provide basic care, and possibly offer different types of therapy (such as physical or occupational). They may also oversee a team who also provides patient care.

Here’s a list of several hard and soft skills a registered nurse should have on their resume, qualities a good RN should have, and skills you’ll learn and improve once hired for the role. 

What skills should I put on my resume for a registered nurse position?

As an RN, you may help get patients ready for exams, treatments, or procedures, record their medical histories, symptoms, and concerns, administer medicines and treatments, provide education to patients and help set up long-term plans of care. All of these duties require a number of different skills in order to be successful.

Hard skills for a registered nurse resume

  • Urgent and emergency care knowledge. Even if you’re not working in an emergency room or urgent care facility, you should be able to quickly analyze a patient and respond to their medical issues or concerns. You’ll often find that you need to apply basic urgent or emergency care skills regardless of where in the hospital you work.

  • Basic nursing skills. One of your regular duties will likely entail checking on and monitoring patients and their vital signs. This includes heart rate, blood pressure, O2 stats and temperature, as well as any pain they are experiencing and how they are doing overall. Vital signs will provide you with important information for how a patient should be treated, how a treatment is working, or inform what other decisions need made for the patient. 

You should also be able to see a patient and help diagnose the problem so that the patient gets the quickest and most effective care and treatments possible.

  • Education skills. You should have the ability to inform the patient and their family about their diagnosis, treatments, and how to care for themselves once they are discharged and go home. This requires several other soft skills, such as communication and patience, but also extensive knowledge about the different diagnoses and treatments your patients have and need.

  • Patient safety. Maintaining the safety of your patient is critical, so knowing how to properly and safely care for your patient is important. This includes creating an overall safe environment for patients and their families to minimize the risk of injury and protect the hospital or medical facility and staff from liability concerns.

  • Technology knowledge. Nurses often use medical equipment to care for their patients. This includes using technology for collecting intake information, monitoring vitals, accessing and maintaining patient records, and developing care plans. Electronic medical records systems are used to record notes and information and keep other medical professionals updated on your patient. You should feel comfortable with this equipment and these technologies. 

Soft skills for a registered nurse resume

  • Communication. Other than the medical knowledge you need to provide proper care, communication skills are one of the most important skills you can have. Communication skills for an RN encompass verbal, non-verbal, and written communication, and you should be strong with active listening, observation, and speaking skills.

Not only will you need to communicate effectively with patients, but also their families, doctors, and other medical staff. Your patients and their families may be confused, scared, or emotional, and communicating in a way they understand is critical.

  • Problem-solving. You’ll likely face several “problems” in your day-to-day duties, and you should be able to solve those issues effectively and efficiently. It’s important to make informed decisions and solve issues quickly when your patient’s health is on the line. 

You should be able to make quick conclusions about a patient’s condition and decisions about necessary care and next steps for care, and also know how to deal with difficult patients.

  • Time management. RNs have several responsibilities to handle during their shifts. In addition to caring for patients, you’ll have charting, planning, and other duties. You should be able to prioritize your tasks and manage your time effectively to complete all of your tasks each shift. 

  • Stamina. RN’s also work long hours in sometimes high-pressure or high-stress situations. Even so, you should be able to maintain a positive demeanor and remain calm. Sometimes you’ll have limited breaks, be on your feet for long periods, and care for multiple patients, so physical strength and stamina can be beneficial.

  • Confidentiality. Because you’ll be working with the personal health information of your patients, you should have strong confidentiality skills to ensure you uphold patient standards and protect sensitive and personal medical information.

  • Dependability. Your patients, their families, and doctors, and other medical staff should be able to depend on you to properly care for patients, communicate effectively, and complete necessary tasks. Your team and your patients should be able to rely on you in any situation you face.

  • Teamwork. Because you’re working with so many other medical professionals, like doctors, other nurses, therapists, pharmacists, hospitality staff, and more, having strong teamwork skills is important for RNs. This helps ensure patients get the care they need and deserve, protects patient safety, and ensures success each day.

  • Leadership. RNs often oversee certified nursing assistants or CNAs, so leadership skills can help ensure success with your teams. In a supervisory role, you should be able to lead your team, provide the support they need, and be available for problem-solving and education.

What are the qualities of a good registered nurse?

Registered nurses work all day with patients, patient families, and other medical professionals. You should have a strong sense of ethics to help with your decision-making and caring for patients. Great RNs also are trustworthy, and their patients and colleagues should be able to trust them to protect their information and care for them appropriately. 

Other great qualities include compassion and passion. You should be passionate about caring for others and providing exceptional medical care for your patients, and compassionate toward them. Empathy is a strong quality that helps you to relate to the patients, understand their fear or emotions, and still provide great care. 

What skills do you learn as a registered nurse?

In addition to the skills above that you may have listed on your resume, there are additional skills and information you’ll be able to learn as an RN such as: 

  • Observation skills. 

  • Medical expertise. 

  • Charting. 

  • Leadership.

  • Diagnostics and treatments.

  • Assisting in medical procedures.