Landing a Job as a Registered Nurse (RN)
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 26 percent increase of jobs for registered nurses is expected between the years 2010 and 2020, faster that the increase of other occupations. Part of the increase is due to the aging “baby boomer” generation that will demand more healthcare services as they live longer, active lives. Registered nurses should be capable of communicating well with patients and doctors, and they should have excellent critical thinking skills. They also benefit from emotional stability and the ability to focus on the task at hand without becoming distracted. If you are seeking a job as a registered nurse, it is important to create a resume that clearly states your skills and accomplishments to portray you as the best candidate for the job.
Job Description of a Registered Nurse (RN)
Registered nurses work with doctors and other healthcare professionals in a hospital setting to perform diagnostic tests, analyze results and record a patient’s medical history and symptoms. They may set up a plan for a patient’s treatment, administer medicine and operate medical equipment. Registered nurses also observe patients in a hospital setting and record the results. When a hospital patient is ready to be released from the hospital, the RN teaches patients, and often their families, about managing their illness by explaining what to do at home. Some registered nurses may have the responsibility of overseeing nursing assistants and aides.
RN’s may also educate the public about disease and run health screenings and immunization clinics. Others do not deal directly with the public, and work as public policy advisors, researchers or hospital administrators.
A registered nurse may specialize in a particular area of medicine. Neonatology nurses care for newborns, and nurse practitioners may serve as primary or specialty care providers in a doctor’s office. Nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia, and addiction nurses deal with patients who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Other RN specialties include critical care nurses who work in intensive care units, genetics nurses who screen and counsel patients with genetic disorders, and cardiovascular nurses who treat patients who have had heart surgery.
Occupational Outlook and Salary for Registered Nurses
The 26 percent anticipated growth rate in registered nurse positions in the ten years ending in 2020 is the result of an aging population and because of technological advances that allow for treatment of many health issues. The expected growth rate is also related to a greater emphasis on preventative healthcare. Outpatient centers that provide same-day procedures and services also require RN’s. Because of the great need for registered nurses, some nursing positions are offering signing bonuses, subsidized training and family-friendly work schedules. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, In 2010 the median annual wage of a registered nurse was $64,690.
The Path to Becoming a Registered Nurse
Individuals interested in becoming a registered nurse can take courses leading to a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), which takes four years to complete; get an associate degree in nursing (ADN), which takes two to three years to complete; or obtain a diploma from an approved nursing school. After completing the state requirements, candidates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN, to become licensed. After landing an entry level nursing job, an individual with a two year associates degree may take advantage of tuition reimbursement to complete a BSN program. Individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field can complete a master’s program to become a registered nurse.
Resumes for Registered Nurses
Whether you are sending along your resume by email or mailing it, make sure it has a professional look. That means, for most people, fitting it onto a letter-sized 8.5 inch page and using a businesslike font like Times New Roman or Arial in a 10 -12 point font size and black ink. Leave a 1-inch margin all around the page, top, bottom and sides. Consistency is important. Be sure to use italics and bolding for comparable elements, and list company names, location, your position and your responsibilities in a consistent way. If you list the company name in italics first, all companies should be listed that way. Use bulleted lists and phrases instead of sentences.
The Resume Format
If you are an experienced professional with an uninterrupted job history, you can consider a chronological resume which lists the companies you worked for and the positions you held in reverse chronological order. Recent graduates, people changing careers and those who have been out of the workforce for one reason or another can consider a functional resume which includes a Skills section to highlight experience and abilities. These skills may have been acquired on the job, as a volunteer or as part of an internship. The functional resume may not go into where the skills were acquired.
Updated Resume Format
Resumes are changing, along with everything else. Employers no longer want to see only a long list of your previous jobs. They are more interested in what skills you can bring to the job at hand. Instead of listing a career objective, which can be limiting, write a brief Career Summary or Profile under your letterhead with your name, address, email and phone number. In two or three brief sentences, tell the story of your accomplishments to date. You can then list your skills in bullet format under the heading Skills Summary. Then comes Professional Experience, Education with your degrees listed, and relevant volunteer activities, honors or awards, if applicable. Feel free to emphasize any portion of the resume to make it suit your particular credentials.
Sample Resume for a Registered Nurse
Richard Jones, RN
1234 Sunny Drive, Anywhere, NY 123456 444.444-4444 firstname.lastname@example.org LinkedIn URL
(career summary or profile)
Experienced and qualified registered nurse with experience in acute and long-term patients. In-depth knowledge of latest medical equipment to diagnose, treat and monitor conditions. Compassionate nature with the emotional and physical strength to provide support for patients and families. Exceptional ability to mulit-task. Adept at community outreach programs
(list as many as you can)
- Excellent skills for caring for patients with long-term illnesses
- Proficient at prioritizing workloads
- Administer injections and medications to patients
- Experienced in providing information and support to patients and caregivers
- Contribute to a multidisciplinary team for patient treatment
- Provide assistance with tests and evaluations
(list in reverse chronological order)
Registered Nurse, XYZ Corporation, Bayshore, New York, 2013-present
Education and Certifications
(list in reverse chronological order)
ABC College, Farmingdale, New York: BSN, 2004
National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), 2004