5 Ways to Gain Experience for Your New Grad Nurse Resume

5 Ways to Gain Experience for Your New Grad Nurse Resume

By Sarah Stasik, Contributor

With the nursing job marketing increasing 15 percent in the next few years, there are plenty of opportunities for new grad nurses and experienced RNs alike. But landing your first RN job just out of nursing school can come with some challenges, especially in the experience section. If you haven't worked as a licensed nurse before, how can you show that you have the relevant skills for the job?

Check out the five tips for gaining experience for your new grad nurse resume. 

5 Ways to Add Experience to Your New Grad Nurse Resume

Making your resume longer than it needs to be or filling it with extraneous information are mistakes no new grad nurse wants to make. But you do need to show you have some relevant experience. Here are five ways to do that.

1. Include notable achievements from nursing school

Internships, mentorships and even clinicals all provide some level of experience that prepares you to be a nurse. Highlight these on your resume, and include any awards or special achievements that help you stand out as a new grad nurse.

2. Leverage volunteer work

Volunteer as a nursing student and after you graduate to add valuable experience to your new grad nursing resume.

3. Include any previous work in a healthcare environment

Many people go to nursing school after developing an interest while working in other healthcare jobs. Include those jobs on your resume when applying for new grad nurse jobs to show relevant experience. Past experience manning an admissions desk or handling medical billing provides relevant skills and knowledge such as helping patients and understanding medical documentation and coding.

4. Exploit past work with crossover potential

Healthcare jobs aren't the only positions that prepare you for nursing. Highlight experience that included communication, supervision, attention to detail, teamwork and work with the public.

5. Be willing to take nonclinical work if necessary

Finally, be willing to take work as a nurse in nonclinical jobs that get you closer to the position that you really want. Each milestone you pass as a new grad nurse makes your resume more powerful, and sometimes, getting your foot in the door with an organization lets you move into internal nursing positions quickly.

For new grad nurses seeking a job, the abundant nursing field offers plenty of opportunity. That doesn't mean jobs will simply land at your feet, though. You definitely have to be willing to do the work, gain the experience and spend time creating a resume that will catch the attention of recruiters and employers.

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