5 Accomplishments to Make Your Nurse Resume Stand Out

If you google "Nurse resume template", you'll find a lot of resume models filled with roles and responsibilities such as:

  • Assess patients' physical and mental status.
  • Assisted RNs and MDs with treatments, therapies and interventions to improve mobility, social/cognitive skills, respiratory functions and cardiovascular health.
  • Documented patient information obtained from interviews.
  • Collaborated with nurses, doctors and move-in coordinators on client needs and health assessments.
  • Encourage independence and individuality for each resident.

That seems about right, no? But there's a problem. A huge problem, actually. Think of the nurses that you know. How many of them have done similar things? Probably most of them. Because that's pretty much what being a nurse is all about. There are differences here and there, but roles and responsibilities will often overlap. So if your resume is very close to a typical "nurse resume template", how is that helping you get interviews? After all, the best resumes are distinctive. They make you stand out, not blend in! So here's a little something to help you make your resume stand out. It's based on the 3 Laws of Resume Writing. And it's not material that I made up. I found it by carefully studying good nurse resumes.

5 Nurse Accomplishments to Make your Resume Distinctive

  1. Acts as surgical first assist for group of three surgeons to perform advanced laparoscopic surgery and pediatric general surgery.
  2. Managed a Nursing Department of 16 employees for a fast-paced infusion company.
  3. Member of Hospital Improvement team, with a key role in improving patient flow.
  4. Improved cervical cancer screening rates by 90 percent.
  5. Established policies and procedures governing the Nurse Practitioner role in the clinics, to improve staff accountability and clarify decisionmaking process.

The benefit is the key component of each accomplishment: improved operations, more money, demonstrated leadership and reliability, ... Accomplishments like these are the most critical pieces of your resume. Now read that last sentence again, because that's the best resume advice you'll get this month. If you're a fantastic employee but your resume is silent on many of your accomplishments, you'll end up behind a good employee whose accomplishments are all clearly laid out. And for that matter, an average employee with weak accomplishments better know how to network, since the resume alone won't pull its weight. (Actually, networking skills are critical to everyone's job hunt. But let's stick with the topic, if you don't mind.) Accomplishments are where it's at. When you solve a problem, reduce costs, make something better/simpler/faster, when you show initiative, it has to be on your resume, without being drowned out by too many roles and responsibilities (i.e. the "we've-all-done-it" resume template material). In my view, half of the energy and time spent on your resume should be focused on your accomplishments. To write good accomplishments, you need to think of what your potential employer is thinking about (problems solved, better results, and so on) and emphasize that. If you go through 20 resumes of your peers, you'll certainly find great accomplishments that you could adapt on your resume. I truly believe that is time well spent.

Many More Accomplishments, Just for You

However, I've already done that research... The 5 ideas above are just a glimpse of the full list of accomplishments I've assembled. If you'd like that well-rounded, unique list of real-world nurse accomplishments, for just a few dollars, check out our e-book, Nurse Resume Hacking, on Amazon. You can read it even if you don't have a Kindle device.