A nursing curriculum vitae (CV) or resume should include several key components. These include sections for education, licenses and certifications, and experience, both student and professional. In addition, if you have several years of nursing experience, you should include awards and honors, professional activities, and notes on any research projects you participated in or manuscripts you've had published. Some nursing CVs also include a professional references section.
As a document designed to market your skills and experience, the nursing curriculum vitae takes time to prepare. Your curriculum vitae should create a positive message about your past nursing experience and be clear, straightforward, and free of any confusing phrases or information. Begin with an outline and work on sections separately before aligning them in a final document. As for format, Microsoft Word documents are easy to update, attach to e-mail, and submit to Internet job search sites.
For your education section, show the names of the schools you attended, the types of degrees you earned, the years you graduated, and any academic honors. In the licensing and certification section, note where you are licensed to practice nursing and any certifications you’ve earned through continuing education. If you currently are working on a certification, include it in your nursing curriculum vitae with a note on when you’ll complete it.
As the heart of your nursing curriculum vitae, the student and professional sections will provide the best picture of who you are and what you’ve done as a nurse. List student positions separately from professional positions, and under each heading, include all positions you’ve held with one to three concise, explanatory sentences. Also include the years you held each position, and list all positions in reverse chronological order so a prospective employer can see what you’re doing now and read backward.
In the awards and honors section of your nursing curriculum vitae, include any scholarships and student honors you received as well as recognition earned while working, such as honors conferred for professional nursing volunteer work. In the section noting professional activities, include memberships in any organizations related to nursing, and note any board positions you’ve held. Finally, in the academics section of your nursing curriculum vitae, spell out by name any manuscripts you have had published and research projects you contributed to. If you've taken part in many research projects or published manuscripts, you can break these into separate sections.
Many job search websites use screening tools to select nursing CVs for closer analysis. When reading a job posting, note the key words found in the employment ad and incorporate them into your nursing curriculum vitae if you can. This will improve the odds that your CV will pass an initial computerized screening. Remember to include all of your contact information, including a street address, phone number, and e-mail address.