Registered Nurses (RN) are on the frontline of the medical workforce who deliver hands-on patient care in a variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, assisted living facilities, medical offices, and other facilities. They provide services which are designed to foster health, prevent illness, and achieve optimal recovery from health problems. These registered nurses can have specialization in a wide range of areas such as cardiac care, pediatric, geriatrics, family practice, labor and delivery and other emergency fields as well.
Are you considering pursuing the fast-paced and challenging work of nursing? If you are, then it demands a right resume to start your career as a registered nurse. Here, we’ll equip you with the right tips through our guide to create a phenomenal resume that can lead to your dream job.
Let’s start with three different formats of an ideal registered nurse resume.
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Job Duties of a Registered Nurse
Registered nurses play a vital role in providing excellent health care to patients and facilitate their speedy recovery for their wellness. They create and maintain patients’ accurate medical records, monitoring side effects, and reporting changes in patients’ conditions. Specific responsibilities may vary depending on your speciality and work environment. They are even responsible to communicate the concerns of the patients to the nurse supervisor. Here are some crucial duties for registered nurse:
Observing and recording patients’ medical reports daily.
Monitoring side effects and changes in the patient’s condition and assessing the requirements to provide right care and advice.
Recognizing different diseases by analyzing patients’ symptoms and taking obligatory actions for recovery.
Assisting physicians and health teams to create, implement, and evaluate tailor-made plans.
Directing and guiding ancillary personnel such as Licensed Practical Nurse and complying with standards of professional nursing.
Maintaining hygiene in the working environment by following all standard health care strategies.
Performing routine procedures such as blood pressure measurement, administering injection and other related and filling in patient’s charts.
Offering psychological, emotional, and spiritual support to patients and relatives by developing a compassionate environment.
Superintending junior nurses and tutoring student nurses.
Modifying health treatment plans, conducting research, and implementing it for good healthcare outcomes.
Administering physical activity, proper diet food, intravenous infusions, and medication of each patient.
Arranging operation equipment and assessing new techniques and equipment to deliver high-quality care.
Updating technical and equipment knowledge by attending educational workshops and conferences.
Registered Nurse Median Salaries
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a registered nurse as of 2020 is at $73,330 per year that represents an hourly wage of $ 35.24. The salary of registered nurses is projected to grow by 7 percent from 2019 to 2029 due to various reasons including increase in rate of chronic diseases, increased emphasis on preventive care, and demands for healthcare services from the baby-boom population.
Top skills for Registered Nurse
As a registered nurse, you will be responsible for analyzing, assisting, and comforting the patients. This requires a set of skills to deliver the best care to patients and thrive in a fast paced healthcare environment. Embodying a combination of technical skills and soft skills is the critical requirement for a registered nurse. Whereas on one hand, you will be managing the records and performing medical screening, on the other hand you should have dedication and patience to take care of patients. Considering the significance of both types of skills, here we have listed some skills that employers look for in prospective registered nurses.
- Knowledge of diagnostic tools: Registered nurses are assigned the role to take care of their patients and assist the physicians during the course of their recovery. During their medical procedures, patients undergo a variety of diagnostic testing and procedures to help medical providers diagnose their conditions. In addition, registered nurses are required during the diagnostic testing to offer assistance and support to physicians and oversee the patients safety and accuracy of results. Also, nurses have to keep checking vital signs of the patients. This all demands the right knowledge of computer and handheld diagnostic tools by nurses such as stethoscopes, otoscopes, windows performance monitor, speccy, and HD tune. Other than that, you can advance with your knowledge of Ai in conjunction with diagnosis by pursuing courses such as AI for Medical Diagnosis.
- Human pathology expertise: Since registered nurses have to perform major responsibilities such as ordering diagnostic tests, treating acute illness, providing medications and many more, the foundation of such is settled by expertise in pathologies. This contributes to clinical effectiveness and also results in good patient outcomes. For example, if nurses are well aware and hold strong command in pathophysiology, they can easily determine the symptoms of heart failure and can take the effective course of treatment. Their expertise can reduce the symptoms and prolong the lives of their patients. To gain this skill, you can easily undertake various pathophysiology related courses available at eDx.
- Efficacy in treatment planning and goal implementation: Registered nurses should have effective treatment planning skills as treatment plans work as a roadmap for the illness and provide a patient and nurse with a way of measuring whether the treatment is working or not. The treatment planning should be a clear assessment of a patient's physiological, psychological, sociocultural, and economic datas as well as lifestyle factors. The nurses should pen down every possible detail to ensure timely recovery. Registered Nurses can gain the knowledge of this skill from nursing schools, working under senior nurses, or from online resources that provide templates, video tutorials, and whatnot!
- Health promotion and maintenance: Health promotion and its maintenance stimulates an individual to live a healthy life. Registered nurses are on the frontline of preventive care as they are aware of the patient’s disease, strengths and their needs, and recovery transition. Therefore, it is necessary for registered nurses to promote health and aware the patients with its maintenance through various activities such as healthy eating, physical activity, stress management, sleep hygiene, and maintaining healthy relationships. With their effective tips, most of the patients live an optimal life after their discharge from the hospital. RN can effectively perform this activity by developing sensitivity towards patients and mentorship ability.
- Excellent administrative insight: Registered nurses should perform their activities in an organized manner. They should perform different duties like administrative and clinical tasks at a time. These include filing medical charts, accurate records or medical history of patients, allocating medicine, collaborating with medical teams, doctors, and delivering the best treatment for each patient. Registered nurses can easily develop administrative insight by working under professionals in the healthcare field with long term experience or undergo related training in the hospital itself.
- Proficiency in infection control and wound care: During the course of treatments, the patients come across situations where they have to undergo regular dressings. Due to this, there are high chances of spread of infection and leading to serious illness. Registered nurses should be adept with infection control practices as it can limit down disease transmission and occupational exposures. Not just this, they should be well aware of the best product for a specific situation to offer right wound care as it can speed up the healing process with less scarring. To ensure infection control, nurses can wear proper PPE kit followed by performance of hand hygiene whereas for wound care, they can even undergo Wound Care Training.
- Impressive command on critical thinking ability: A registered nurse, expertise in clinical knowledge or patients’ care, can easily recognize patients’ problems. Critical thinking facilitates a nurse to analyze and evaluate a situation and make appropriate decisions immediately. The registered nurses can develop this trait by suspending judgment and demonstrating open-mindedness, investigating a problem or situation, look up for a mentor with more experience, or join any professional organization to gain experiential knowledge.
- Empathy: During the time of admission to the final treatment, patients keep their trust on the nurses. This empathy helps them to build a strong connection and promotes effective communication as nurses are well aware of their patient’s disease, how they are feeling, coping, and looking forward to getting treated. Therefore, registered nurses should have an empathetic attitude towards their patients to calm the anxiety and improve health outcomes.
- Good communication: Communication takes place among the people even before speaking it out. The ideal example can be of a nurse and patient. Registered nurses should have strong verbal and oral skills to ask the questions respectfully and understand the patient's responses. This further supports accurate assessment and even leads to fast recovery. To maintain good communication, registered nurses and others in the healthcare sector should understand Peplau’s interpersonal Relations Theory. According to them, the communication should take place in three phases: Orientation Phase, Working Phase, and Resolution Phase. By following these three phases, the nurses can easily decipher the patient’s problem and derive a possible solution for better outcome.
Registered Nurse education and certifications
DegreeIf you want to become a Registered Nurse (RN), there are major pathways available for this position. You need to undertake pre-licensure nursing programs firstly before, either associate degree, bachelor’s degree or a diploma program which qualifies you for National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). These pathways are discussed here is details:
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): This is an advanced degree which is recognized as the fastest and less expensive way to become a registered nurse. This is a 2 years degree where you build a strong foundation for future registered nurse roles. This degree of hands-on practice in various healthcare settings under the supervision of a professional nurse with long years of experience. There are many universities and colleges offering associate degrees in nursing such as American National University, Care Hope College, and Herzing University.
- Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing: Candidates who are willing to attain comprehensive training can go for Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. This degree eis usually pursued by individuals with associate degree or diploma degree as it prepares you for leadership roles in a complex healthcare setting and provides in-depth knowledge of patient care. It usually takes 4 years for completion, but candidates with licensed RN can choose to go for accelerated programs which are completed within 14 months. This is offered by Adelphi University. This course equips students with various skills such as administrative, critical thinking, and leadership to go for an advanced position in the field. There are many courses available for bachelor’s in Nursing such as Bachelor's in Community Health, Bachelor’s in Research, Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management, and Bachelor's of Science in Health Science.
- Diploma in Nursing: Candidates can choose to go for a diploma in nursing which typically takes 2-3 years to complete, depending on the student's enrollment status. This nursing diploma prepares students to pass NCLEX-RN examination by educating the students with various concepts such as lifespan nursing concepts, nursing informatics, and basic pharmacology and psychology.
- Master’s of Science in Nursing and Doctorate in Nursing: These two are advanced degrees in which a candidate chooses a tiger to pecilie in a particular field or to pursue a career in research oriented sectors. Both degrees usually take 2-3 years to complete. Students enrolled for Master’s of Science in Nursing need to complete a practicum of 500 hours where with Doctorate, it takes 1000 hours. Master’s in Nursing will be a stepping stone to advances nursing practice. With this you can easily acquire the position of Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Anesthetist the highest paying advanced practice nursing job role. The master and doctorate comes with a wide variety of advanced positions and knowledge. They will even provide you the authority to treat the patient and prescribe the medicines for treatment.
Licensure:To acquire a position in this profession, registered nurses need to obtain licensure. The requirements for being licensed vary from state to state. All candidates need to undertake the National Council Licensure Examination(NCLEX) to pass the eligibility criteria. When you graduate from the program, you need to apply to, National Council of State Boards of Nursing(NCSBN) to register for the exam. Administered by NCSBN, NCLEX exam covers various topics for the examinations such as health promotion, infection control, screening and other related topics.
There are various states where the rules and regulations for licensure vary. For example, in Washington state, they don’t participate in nurse licensure compact. Furthermore, they even expedite the licensing process for those who are spouses of the military personnels. Likewise in New York, the nurses should be licensed by the office of professions. They list out various requirements to become a registered nurse in New York. You can easily gain an in-depth overview of various states in the U.S that looks up the candidates with different Nursing License Information requirements.
Certifications:Being a Registered Nurse (RN), there is a wide range of certifications available in specific specialization. Here is the list of universities, non-profit companies, for-profit companies offering certifications.
- Member Associations: The American Association of Critical Care Nurses offers a specialized CCRN Adult Certification, CCRN Pediatric Certification and CCRN Neonatal Certification for Registered Nurses. These certifications equip the candidates with the knowledge of providing direct to patients regardless of their physical location. Other than this, there are other associations as well such as California Nurses Association and American Nurse Association that provide various recognized purses for the upliftment of the candidate.
Along With this, there are many associations that have their own certification and education programmes such as American Psychiatric Nurses Association, American Holistic Nurses Association, Alzheimer’s Association, and American Radiological Nurses Association.
- Universities and Colleges: Since registered nurses can pursue courses in various fields which include research, critical care, health promotion, management, emergency, mental health, education and many more. Considering this, there are multiple universities offering courses in any of the fields such as The Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing,The University of Sydney, and many others. Similarly, there is Centennial College which offers a Fitness and Health Promotion Certificate. This certification offers hand-on practical learning in the laboratory and helps you in developing related knowledge to promote health concerns among patients.
- Online educational companies: Here are many companies like American Institute of Health Care Professional that offer multiple certifications for registered nurses. Their major certification includes Nursing Management Certification which helps in improving management skills and promotes better understanding of the structure of the organization.
- Non-profit or voluntary organizations: The organization namely Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing offers various courses for registered nurses such as Trauma Certified Registered Nurse, Certified Transport Registered Nurse, and Certified Flight Registered Nurse. These certifications are highly demanded by the candidates in the situation of emergency. Similarly, American Nurses Credentialing Centre also offers various courses in multiple fields that can be pursued by registered nurses to offer specialization in a particular field. The time period of this certification varies from course to course.
- Resource Group Associations: The National Association of Hispanic Nurses and National Black Nurses Associations offers educational opportunities to candidates based on ethnicity and other identity markers. Admission and recognition from such associations promotes your chances of hiring as they educate on the concepts like global health, violence reduction, breast milk programme to save premature babies, and men’s health awareness. Also, along with this, you even get to lead, promote, advocate the professional and leadership opportunities.
Registered Nurse Resume-Writing Tips
An attractive resume creates a positive impact on the selection process or to crack an interview. Recruiters get resumes in distinct styles from different candidates. The most outstanding resume entails all the major elements of a registered nurse such as technical and soft skills, accomplishments, certifications, and whatnot!. But writing an attention grabbing nursing resume is a daunting task. Here, we provide you some resume writing tips to create an impressive resume for a Registered Nurse and crack your interview.
- Summarize degrees and certifications in proper order: Employers like to evaluate resumes with chronological order for a quick scan. All degrees and certifications should be brought up in the correct order beginning with the most recent one. Last degree, licensure, certificate, and specialization name should project at the top.
For example, if you have an MSN degree, it should be brought up first, with a specialized subject, BSN or ADN mentioned afterward. Similarly, if you are applying in particular specialization, list your related certification at the top and then present your other related certifications. This practice will assist you in catching the eye of the hiring manager and secure your place in the shortlisted list of candidates.
- Showcase your clinical experiences as a nurse: All clinical experience of a nurse can boost your chance for the selection process. Clinical experiences can work as a roadmap to patient care decisions and professional development. Your experience should be able to demonstrate your ability to handle the job and provide optimal patient care to patients in the future.
For example, if a recruiter needs a registered nurse, a candidate should provide experiences; related to the medical field like medical screening, patient monitoring, diagnostic tool experience, documenting vitals, and team supervision.
- Provide concise detail with eye-catching information: As the introduction part of every writing grasps-attention of every reader, similarly, the best professional summary statement always attracts recruiters’ attention. In this way the candidate should draft an eye-catching professional summary which will be a synopsis of a candidate's degrees, certifications, work experiences, best skills, achievements, and awards. This summarized statement enhances the chances of getting selected.
For example, If candidate has an extensive experience of years with an expertise in particular area, they can come up with a summary statement like:
“Professional registered Nurse with 10 years of experience in delivering quality care to patients. Possess a bachelor's in science along with certification in CPR through American Heart Association.”
- Highlight your socialized quality: Nursing is a social work. Registered nurses should socialize enough to serve sick people and pose kindness towards their families. Nurses should have socialized qualities like kindness, empathy, patience, interaction, and compassion. These qualities increase your chance for selection as a registered nurse.
- Add numbers to demonstrate your ability: When adding numbers to your resume, it provides context to your resume achievements. While giving a snapshot of your patients you took care, hours you work per rotation, nursed you worked or trained with, and other aspects, add numbers to it. These numbers will picture the impact you’ve made in your position. Also, this makes your data seem substantial and proves you as a serious candidate for the job.
What is the career trajectory of a registered nurse?
Experienced registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees may advance to other supervisory roles such as chief nursing officer or clinical nurse managers. Other than this, they can choose to go for specialist roles such as critical care nurses, labor and delivery nurses, cardiac care nurses, and patient educators.
In case, candidates choose to go for a master's degree, they can even acquire the position of certified nurse specialist or nurse practitioner. After gaining immense knowledge from bachelor’s and master’s degree, the candidate can choose to go for a doctorate as well to advance in their career.
How does a registered nurse increase their pay in the nursing field?
To increases your salary as a registered nurse, consider the following points:
- Addition of Managerial Duties: Take the leadership role in your hand by undertaking supervisory or managerial actions along with daily duties and responsibilities.
- Higher Education: You can choose to go for higher education in terms of bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, or adding cereal certifications to your hat. Additional point is that candidates with doctorate degrees tend to be the highest earners.
- Repeated Shifts: Undergo various shifts in terms of overnight, weekends, holidays, float pools, or other possible opportunities.