How to create a proper Nursing CV and Cover letter:  Guide + Templates

Nursing profession has its depth and for some people might be really hard to properly summaries their duties and qualifications. Even though for most of the jobs you will be asked to complete an application form, it is always an advantage to have a proper CV and cover letter in place. 


Creating a good Nursing CV? – Structure

Good CVs have a positive effect on the overall recruitment and selection process, especially if the CV is laid out in a logical and concise manner. The CV should not be longer than two pages. This is mainly because on average recruiters spend one minute on each CV and 30% of hiring managers discard CVs after the first few seconds. They are looking for specific information, not waffling.  If you can make it visually clear and structured in just one page, it would be much more convenient for the reader and will give you better chances of being considered.  

The structure of the CV could vary, however, there are few major elements which should be included for a successful CV. Here are the main aspects which should be present on your CV and brief pointers of what information to include. 

  • Personal Summary (Profile)

Your personal statement or bio should summaries your knowledge and experience in the nursing field. In a few sentences describe what you have been doing in the past few years of your nursing career. This is usually the first thing recruiters skim through so it should include your specialization – are you an A&E nurse, RN etc. and for how long. It is always a good idea to briefly point out your main duties but don’t go in too much detail in your bio as you will do that in your employment bit. Add descriptive adjectives for yourself and your interpersonal skills. ‘A dedicated and compassionate nurse’ before stating your experience or duty will stand out for your advantage! 

  • Education and Qualifications 

In this section, you need to clearly present your nursing qualifications and state when and where you got them. Make sure that your degree course, placement and name of university or healthcare institution are well structured and presented. This part is very straightforward so you should not get into much writing and details. Make sure you also include any additional certificates or training. 

  • Employment

Some people will argue that this is the most important aspect of the CV and they will be partially right. It is crucial to chronologically include your previous work experience in this section, starting with the most recent, including period of time, job title, name of employer. As mentioned above, you can use this part to explain your main duties and responsibilities  for each position. Even though it is arguable whether the recruiters will spend a lot of time reading about your duties, when your CV is moved forward the employers will definitely do so!
If you are a newly qualified nurse, do not worry so much about this part. Your main aim is to explain about the placements you did at university, along with your certifications and gained knowledge.

  • Key Skills or Proficiencies

Clinical and interpersonal skills and competences are good to be present in your CV as well. Think about the qualities you possess and which of them are most impressive and relevant for the employers’ attention.
-Professional

-Caring
-Passionate

-Compassionate
-Organized
.. These interpersonal qualities present you in a good light in front of the recruiter and the employer immediately. 

If you feel that you want to emphasize your proficiencies separately this is the right place. You can do it by bullet points such as:
-Post-operative care

-Basic Life Support

-Intensive Care
-Preventive Care
.. Visually structured and clear they grab the reader\’s attention at first glance. 

  • References

Even though you will probably be asked to fill a reference contact somewhere in your application process, it’s beneficial to have one-two contacts in your CV as well. If you have enough space, choose at least one contact – previous employer, lector etc. which would agree to give you a reference. Of course, you need to be careful that those people have a good impression of you! You don’t want to get a reference from a person who will give bad feedback and ruin your chances of getting employed. 

Additionally, you need to make sure that you provide contact details. It could include your phone number, personal email and LinkedIn account. It makes it easier for recruiters to get back to you without confusion. 

CV Templates for Nurses

These are examples of good CVs for nurses. They are made with the easy to use graphic tool Canva which can be used by everyone! Search for CV Templates in Canva and you will find some free of charge templates which you can work on.

Nursing CV Template – 1
Nursing CV Template – 2

Do and don\’ts –Cover letters 

Cover letters ARE important. They could weigh even more than the CV in certain cases and sometimes they are the final indicator of whether you are moving forward or not with your nursing job. So using it properly could increase your chances and get you noticed. Make sure you make the most of it!

  • Dos:

-Make your research of the institution

-Make it personalized -using the provided information try to play around your cover letter by referring your experience and skills to the company’s requirements and mission. 

-Do it short, structured and clear – only the relevant and important factors 

-Demonstrate excellent writing skills – always check for spelling, grammar and punctuation!

  • Don\’ts:

-Don’t skip writing a cover letter
-Don’t send generalized cover letter for all positions you apply for

-Don’t send a cover letter without proof-reading

-Don’t write novels – keep it up to one page

Cover letter templates for nurses

You can check out those examples of good nursing cover letters and get an idea of how to structure yours. Resume genius provides free templates which you can use to write over. 

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Conclusion

Writing a good cover letter and presenting a well-structured CV are your first step in order to be successful. Nurses have many qualifications, proficiencies and interpersonal skills which they need to clearly present to the future employers. Take this first opportunity to get noticed and get the attention of the reader immediately. This is your first and most important opportunity to ‘sell yourself’ so don’t underestimate it!

Nurses, do you have any personal tips on how to write a good nursing cover letter? We are sure that the most accurate advice to the nurses will come from other nurses!

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