I get asked this question a lot, so I thought I’d try and put together a few short instructions about how your CV should look as a newly qualified nurse.
You first need to decide which type of CV you will need, and there are two types of NQ nurse CV – those whose first career is nursing, and those who are changing career to nursing. Your CV should be presented according to which of the two options above you are. If nursing is your first career, then you can probably check out my other post on how to put together a nursing cv.
If you’re changing career to nursing, then a slightly different layout is required. The best way to think of the order of priority is to remember that the CV you’re about to create is for a nursing position, so it should be primarily focused around the skills, education and experience you have in that industry. You will undoubtedly have skills from your previous career that can be applied in nursing, and it’s those that you should include with a greater priority than those which won’t be of any use. Eg knowledge of accounting procedure might not be so valuable but attention to detail and a logical approach definitely are.
So my advice is to start with (after your contact details obviously, which should always be at the top) your nursing qualification, information about the placements completed with particular reference to those that are relevant to the position you are applying for, and information about the practical and personal skills you have acquired. Make sure you highlight any previous healthcare experience in this section. You should then include your personal statement, which should be focused towards why you are suitable for the position, a summary of your learning outcomes achieved during your course and your goals for the future if you were to be offered the position.
Once you’ve got everything that’s related to nursing and healthcare included, you can then move on to your previous employment experience and qualifications. Make sure you tailor as much of it as possible towards your new career and explain how your background has given you the ideal grounding to be a nurse. It doesn’t matter what your previous experience is, as long as you can show why you’re committed to being a nurse and how your past experience makes you ideal for the role, you’ll be in with a good chance.
If you prefer a visual description of a nursing CV, click this link to take you to a previous post showing an example CV.