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  • 23 April 2020
  • 4 min read

What skills should I list on my nursing CV?

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"Just to summarise, the best tip I can give is always use the person specification and job description."

Adult nurse, Claire Carmichael, details what to include on your nursing CV as well as a few things you should leave out.

Topics covered in this article

What to add to your CV

What not to add to your CV

My final tip

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What to add to your CV

Use the person specification and job description to write your CV

Use these to include the essential criteria needed for the role and add them to show you have right skills needed to fulfil the role.

Just like the cover letter, the CV needs to target the trust / company you’re applying for.

Adjust each one to the place you’re applying

Personal information

Your name, address, email, phone number, website (if you have one, I add my LinkedIn as well).

I add all this at the top the page, my name being the ‘title'.

Personal profile

No more than a couple of sentences.

Write what you’re doing now, your particular skills and experience for that role and what you are now seeking.

For example: ‘I am a newly qualified nurse (third year student nurse) with experience as a GP nurse ambassador and previously had a placement within GP and fell in love and now seeking a long fulfilling career as a GP nurse’

Skills section

Each part you list give a brief example alongside it.

Read the person specification and use this to use subheadings and show examples to show you meet their criteria for the post.


from GCSE’s to your university degree details.

Nursing experience

For student nurses, I listed my placements here and what I learnt (clinical skills included) on each one.

Work experience

I added my paid employment here.

Just brief role, place and dates to and from.

I only added nursing related roles here, anything else I added a sentence below.

"I also worked in hospitality as a waitress, receptionist and housekeeper from 2001 – 2005".

Purely because they aren’t relevant to the role I am applying to but the placements and care home experience is.

This helps to keep the word count down too.


You can also add an achievements section if you have done anything extra such as won an award in or outside of university.


You can write ‘references available on request’ to save space and word count.

What not to add to your CV

Don’t add ‘Curriculum Vitae / CV' as your heading at the top (use your name instead).

Don’t list every single job you have had - it’s not needed.

Don’t write anything that isn’t related to the role you’re applying for.

Don’t tell them your life story Don’t add training and skills that are not relevant to the role.

Don’t repeat yourself.

Don’t waffle.

Just to summarise, the best tip I can give is always use the person specification and job description.

Have it up in the background or copy and paste their essential criteria and use these as subheadings to structure your CV (remove the headings afterwards).

If you hit all these points, there is no reason they shouldn’t be calling you for the job!

Unless you don’t meet the criteria, then maybe find something that fits you.

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My final tip

My final tip is, always get someone to check it; go to your university careers team or if you are with the RCN they have a careers team who will look at your CV for you.

You can also look at online examples of CV’s and use templates to help you out; have some for you to guide you.

These are all very useful places to use and abuse and help you bag that job you want.

Goodluck everyone, go smash it, you’ve got this!

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About the author

I am a Registered Nurse with over 12 years healthcare experience including: elderly care, orthopaedics, sexual health / family planning, qualified GP nurse, transgender healthcare and now in my new role as an assistant lecturer (as of Nov 2022). I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

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