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CV writing for student nurses and newly qualified nurses

Writing a CV can be difficult at the best of times, but if you’re applying for your first ever nursing job it can be even trickier to know where to start. 

If you're a student or newly qualified nurse looking for advice on how to make your CV stand out from the crowd, the RCN's Career Service can help.

Your first nursing CV

Many students and newly qualified nurses worry that they won’t have adequate experience or skills to impress employers and compete with rival candidates. 

First of all, you have got experience, and lots of it. Think about all you’ve learnt at university through your lectures, assignments, research, presentations, studying and your dissertation. Then think about all the knowledge gained during your variety of placements, the coaching and support you received from your colleagues and mentors, and the skills, competencies, and lessons learnt first-hand whilst caring for your patients. What’s more, all this knowledge is fresh in your mind and ready to be put into practice. 

You will bring a positive and enthusiastic approach, along with passion, determination and an eagerness to learn; an asset to any employer. 

There are so many things you could decide to talk about, highlight and showcase within your CV. Let's look at some of them:

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Sample CV for students and NQs (member only)

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Preparing for your first job

Hints and tips on how to prepare for your first ever nursing job.

Personal qualities 

Ambitious
Analytical
Approachable
Articulate
Assertive
Calm
Confident
Conscientious
Creative
Dedicated
Detail orientated
Determined
Diligent
Diplomatic
Dynamic
Efficient
Energetic
 Enthusiastic 
Flexible
Friendly
Hands-on
Hardworking
Influential
 Innovative
Loyal 
 Methodical
 Motivated
 Organised
 Passionate
 Positive
 Practical
 Proactive
 Problem solving
 Professional
 Quick thinking
 Reliable
 Resilient
 Resourceful
 Role model
 Strategic
 Solution focused
 Supportive
Trustworthy
 Warm



Action Words 

 Advocated
Assessed
Coordinated
Centralised
 Championed
Created
Demonstrated
Developed
Established
Evaluated
Fulfilled
Identified
Implemented
Initiated
Introduced
Managed
Negotiated
Organised 
 Trained
 Recognised
 Redesigned
 Represented
 Streamlined
 Supervised


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Students: Thinking About Your Career

Use this resource for guidance on choosing and applying for your first role as a registered nurse.

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