What to Include in a Nurse Practitioner Resume
The information you decide to include and highlight in your resume will vary widely depending on the type of job you’re applying for, the nature of the clinic or facility where you’ll be working, your level of experience and certifications, and your long-term career path. As you’ll notice, the practitioner resume samples presented here vary by everything from clinical skills to clinical specialty to experience and education.
So in short, there’s no single correct way to create a resume and cover letter in this field. But as you can see from reviewing these nurse practitioner resume samples, there are a few universal sections and details that you’ll need to include. Don’t consider your resume complete unless it contains each of these:
- Resume summary Section
- Education Section
- Work History Section
- Skills Section
A few tips and guidelines for creating each of these sections can be found below, but before you begin to draft each section, you’ll have a choice to make: you can use the classic chronological resume layout, or you can opt for the functional layout. You can also create a hybrid of these two styles if you wish.
For a more detailed breakdown of the three layouts, see the work history subheading below. But in short summary, the chronological format, which is the most common format, will present each of your previous positions as a separate entry in chronological order. This is best for those who have no employment gaps and who have followed a traditional career path.
If you decide to use the functional format option instead, you’ll be highlighting your special skills and areas of experience, not the details of your former jobs. Take a look at the practitioner resume samples in order to understand what this means.
The functional resume may be a better fit for your needs if you have any long employment gaps or career shifts in your history that may confuse your readers.
How to Write the Nurse Practitioner Resume Summary Statement
As you’ll notice while reviewing the nurse practitioner resume samples, effective resumes typically begin with brief summary of the candidate’s most important credentials, qualifications, and goals. The summary for a nurse practitioner resume can be as long as necessary to send a clear message, but ideally, this opening statement should not exceed about five lines of text. Find a way to condense your experience into a short, concrete and specific lead-in that hits the most important points and forecasts the information that will follow.
In addition to those found in nurse practitioner resume samples, here are a few example summaries:
Board Certified Nurse Practitioner with 10 years of experience in patient care, health promotion and disease prevention. Expertise in laboratory diagnostics including the evaluation of blood work results, scans and x rays. Committed to patient advocacy and holistic healthcare.
Experienced nurse practitioner and patient education expert with clinical management experience. Familiar with leadership, education, and patient support across all aspects of the healthcare channel, including community outreach. Create and execute regular population health campaigns in partnership with city council and community leaders.
- Computers & Technology
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- Food & Beverage
- Most Popular Resources
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How to Write the Nurse Practitioner Education Section
As you complete your education section, take a look at the nurse practitioner resume samples and notice how many of these applicants break this section down into two distinct parts: One for degrees, and one for certifications and licensure. Both of these aspects of your education will need to show up in your document, and if you arrange them in this way, your readers and reviewers will have an easier time finding the specific information they’re looking for.
In the first section, list each of your degrees separately, followed by the institution that granted each one, the location of that institution and any supporting information you choose to add, including completion dates, honors, and areas of specialty.
Follow this section with a new heading to distinguish your certifications and licenses, including your board certification granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and your RN and LPN certifications. Add dates to these distinctions.
How to Write the Nurse Practitioner Work Experience Section
As mentioned in the introduction above and demonstrated by the nurse practitioner resume samples, you’ll need to make a key formatting choice as you begin drafting your work experience section. If you choose the chronological layout, you’ll list each of your previous positions in the reverse order in which they occurred, with the most recent position first.
Within each of these entries, provide your job title, your employer, and the dates on which you began and ended your tenure. You can also add a short bulleted list of your responsibilities and the special distinctions you achieved or earned in each position.
If you choose the functional format, break your work history section into two distinct subheadings. In the first section, provide a clear, bulleted list of each of your clinical skills, specialty areas, and most important and relevant potential contributions to your target employer.
Follow the first section with a second subheading in which you briefly list each of your past positions with optional supporting detail, including dates.
Either format will work, as you can see in these nurse practitioner resume samples. But you’ll need to choose the style and presentation that best represent your previous experience and the abilities you’ll be able to provide to the clinic, facility or hospital that brings you onboard.
Action Verbs to Include in Your Nurse Practitioner Work Experience Section
How to Write the Nurse Practitioner Skills Section
After your work history section, you’ll create a special subheading for your skills, affiliations, and additional information your readers and reviewers may need. Since your clinical skills have been discussed at length in the earlier sections of your resume, this section won’t focus on these details exclusively. You’ll also mention your leadership experiences, the initiative and programs you’ve launched and led, and the professional societies and organizations in which you participate.
You’ll also have a chance in the section to list key skills that aren’t directly relevant to your role as a nurse, including coding skills, foreign language skills, and any books you’ve written or journal articles you’ve published.
Do keep in mind that the skills section should still mirror the requirements spelled out by the job description. So if you have an ability an employer needs, make sure to communicate this.
Should I Include References in my Nurse Practitioner Resume?
If your employers have specifically requested references at this early stage of the application process, by all means send them. But your references may not be necessary until a later point, in some cases weeks or even months down the road. If you do decide to send them, submit your list of names and contact information in a separate document; don’t include this information in the actual text of your resume.
Your references can include anyone who has worked closely with you and speak directly about your skills and your approach to the nursing process. But ideally, you’ll want to choose managers, supervisors, and clinic or hospital administrators.
Nurse Practitioner Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
Use these nurse practitioner resume samples as a guide and as you create your own document, watch out for these common mistakes.
Length Issues: Your resume should take up a full page or two full pages. Try not to exceed three, since even at this high level of nursing practice, readers may lose their ability to process and retain this much detail in one sitting.
Missed Opportunities: Be careful to include every detail of your background that can help you stand out as a respected healthcare provider, a leader in your field, a diagnostician, an educator, and a community and population health expert. Don’t undersell any aspect of your background that can help you shine.
Buried Leads: Be careful not to hide key information more than halfway down the page, and don’t allow important details to be overlooked because they aren’t positioned where employers expect to find them.
Job Prospects in the Nurse Practitioner Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of available positions for nurse practitioners will increase by about 31 percent between 2012 and 2022. This far exceeds the average growth rate across all positions and industries. But if you’re about to enter this field or launch your job search, conduct some research to assess demand and job availability in your own geographic area, since opportunities vary widely by region.