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How to Build Your NP Resume

Do you ever get the feeling that when you apply for a job and submit your resume, it just gets lost in the abyss? We totally get it. We know you’re great. You know you’re great. But how can you make sure that greatness comes across on your resume so that you can get that interview and dream job?

Writing a resume can seem intimidating, especially if you’re in a career transition such as going from an RN to an NP. In this post, we’ll outline the key sections of your NP resume and how to present yourself on paper in a professional way to get you noticed.

Here’s how to build your NP resume. 

9 Tips for Building Your NP Resume

1. Pick your resume style.

First things first, you need to decide the general style you want your resume to be in. The main styles are chronological and functional.

Chronological Resumes

Chronological resumes list your work history and experiences in chronological order, starting with your current or most recent employer and then working backwards. This is the most common style and works well if you have had a consistent work history.

In this style, you’ll list each employer, including the dates, position title, general skills, and responsibilities. This approach allows for an easy-to-read history of your employment.

Functional Resumes

Now a functional (or skills-based) resume could be a good option for you if there are gaps in your work history. You’ll highlight your skills from different job positions first and then briefly list your employment history.

This type of resume places greater emphasis on your skills, which can help put you ahead of the competition when there are a lot of applicants.

2. Include a summary statement.

After listing your name, credentials, and contact information at the top of the page, you can start off your resume with a summary statement. Some people say this is “old-school,” but when done well, it can really grab the reader’s attention and make them want to find out more about you.

You can either change the summary statement for each position you apply for, or you can create one that applies to multiple applications. You’ll want to highlight what type of position you’re seeking and also what makes you qualified for it.

When writing your summary statement, ask yourself the following: What skills do I have? What kind of impact have I had in previous positions? For example, do you have any leadership or administrative experience, or do you possess great communication and teamwork skills? If so, those are things you definitely should mention.

By definition, your summary statement shouldn’t be that long. Keep it to just a few sentences, because the rest of your NP resume should provide further details. 

3. List your skills.

Briefly listing important skills you have is another thing that can enhance your NP resume. You can include this in addition to your summary statement, but just be careful not to sound repetitive.

Skills to list include both cognitive and emotional skills like clinical reasoning and taking initiative, as well as clinical skills like reading ECGs or doing injections. 

4. Clearly summarize your employment history.

Next up is your employment history! You’ll want to include your position title, employer, and location. Then, follow that up with a brief description of your role and responsibilities.

You can just write a few lines for each and touch on the most important highlights, especially any skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

5. List your education history.

Similar to your employment history, your education history is listed in chronological order starting with the most recent. You should only focus on your college education (and not include information about high school).

You’ll want to list your college/university name, location, and the years you attended. Under that, include your degree and specialization, and if you have the space any awards or honors.

6. Include your licenses, certifications, and training.

Next, you’ll want to include your licenses, certifications, and relevant training. For example, your RN and NP licenses (include date and state), NP board certification (include date and organization), and any other certifications (BLS, ACLS, forensic nursing, critical care nursing, etc.).

7. Consider some additional sections for your NP resume.

Don’t be afraid to show off your other accomplishments and credentials! Here are some additional NP resume sections you can add:


An example could be your master’s thesis or DNP project. Or, did you do a poster presentation or write an article? Add it here!

Continuing Education Highlights 

You don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty with all continuing education credits, but did you attend a relevant conference, or complete continuing education in an area specific to this job?

Community Service Projects 

These demonstrate a commitment to the community at large, while also potentially showcasing transferable skills to the job you’re applying for.

Honors / Awards

Are there any accolades you’ve earned that you could showcase?


Are you proficient in a language other than English?

Professional Memberships 

Which nursing organizations are you an active member of?

8. There are some things you shouldn’t include on your NP resume.

Here are some things not to include on your resume:

Your Social Security Number

You don’t know exactly who will be seeing your resume and how they may or may not protect sensitive information. Don’t include your social security number on your resume.

Age or Date of Birth / Political or Religious Affiliations / Marital or Relationship Status

They aren’t pertinent to the job, plus you will increase the likelihood of bias by the reviewer of your resume. 


While you may have some really exciting hobbies, keep your resume to professionally relevant topics. 

9. Take note of these general formatting tips.

So, now that we’ve gone over all the sections of your resume, let’s talk about some general formatting guidelines. We recommend the following: 

Keep it simple!

As much as you want your resume to stand out, don’t embellish it with fancy fonts or highlighting and a ton of italics, bolding, and underlining. Keep the formatting simple. There are lots of free resume templates you can use. Check out this resource from AANP

It should be 1-2 pages.

Short, sweet, and to the point! A resume is really just the highlights of your career, education, and training. Provide enough information to paint an accurate picture, but remember that you’ll also have time during interviews to go into more detail as needed. 

Use action words.

Avoid saying “I did…” Instead, use action words to start sentences or statements like facilitated, collaborated, developed, demonstrated, etc. 

Watch verb tense. 

Use past tense for past jobs, and present tense for your current job.

Avoid cliches.

Avoid statements like “real go-getter” or “team player.” Instead, use specific examples of how you exemplify those traits.

Looking for more?

Embarking on the job search journey can seem daunting, and the first step is making sure your NP resume captures all of your amazing skills and experiences. We hope this post gave you some useful tips on how to build your resume as a real deal NP!

Looking for more in-depth help with building your NP resume? SMNP’s Job Hunt Course includes help with resume writing, contract negotiation, interviews, and more!

Remember, you’ve got this! Good luck with your job search and be sure to reach out if you need help.