Sample Resume: Critical Care Nurse

Cherie Brown was trying to get into a Nurse Practitioner program. She turned to University of Montana career counselor and resume writer Cheryl Minnick for guidance on how to craft a resume that would make her a desirable candidate for this highly-competitive program. Cherie had several obstacles to overcome and Minnick created a strategy to address them all.

According to Minnick, it took her four years to obtain a two-year AS Nursing degree from a community college. During that four-year period of time, she remained unemployed - purposely. Because of a learning disability, she took her time with only a partial credit-load, and no job, so that she could excel in her academics. Her disability is not something she wishes to be made known to hiring directors or college admissions directions, as it does not affect her work performance.

Additionally, because she has only an AS in Nursing, rather than a BS, Minnick highlighted Brown's certifications, trainings, and core competencies.

There is a hidden-in-plain site red flag -- for a nurse, to work two years for two temporary agencies (2006-2007), rather than moving directly into employment, could cause inquiry. She was simply waiting for an army nursing position to open, yet simultaneously gaining more experience in different settings with different populations of patients.

The resume was submitted for admission to a Nurse Practioner program - she was told that provided her test scores were high enough, based solely on her resume - she would be offered provisional admission. She is now in the first month of her studies.


405 1st Avenue Southwest • Missoula, Montana 59803
Home Phone: (406) 123-4567 • Email:

Critical Care Nurse

Dedicated, compassionate, knowledgeable healthcare professional with fourteen years' experience providing high quality care to patients presenting diverse medical conditions. Specialized practice in cardiovascular surgery, post-operative recovery, and intensive care at a state prison, army medical center, oncology services offices, and primary-stroke center hospital. Highly respected by physicians and staff for ability to remain calm in emergency situations, collaborative in team settings, and exhibit superior competency in complex medical procedures.

Experience in:

Balloon Pump PlacementStents and AtherectomiesCode Procedure Protocol
Vigeleo and AquaphoresisMedication AdministrationCatheters and Lines
Respiratory VentilationOpen Heart RecoveryRapid Response
Chemotherapy AdministrationIntravenous TreatmentInjury Assessment
Ejection Fraction CalculationsTrauma and Wound NursingLaboratory Draws

Education | Certifications | Training

AS, Nursing, Missoula Community College, Missoula, Montana, 2002

AS, Invasive Cardiovascular Technology, Spokane Community College, Spokane, Washington, 1991

AS, Electronics Engineering Technology, ITT Technological College, Spokane, Washington, 1987


OR Surgical Nurse Residency (12-week) and ICU Residency (12-week)

Seattle General Hospital, 2002

License and Certifications

Nursing License #RN00123456, August 2002

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), American Heart Association, February 2009

Basic Life Support (BLS), American Heart Association, August 2009

Trauma Nursing Course Certified (TNCC), Emergency Nurses Association, November 2009

Conscious Sedation Certified, Madigan Army Medical Center, 2007–present

Chemotherapy and Biotheraphy Provider Certified, Oncology Nursing Society, 2008

Professional Career Chronology

Critical Care Nurse, Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis, Texas, 2007–present

Critical Care Nurse, Emerald City Medical Staffing & Cascade Health Services, Seattle / Tacoma, WA, 2006–2007

Chemotherapy Infusion Nurse, Northwest Medical Specialists, Tacoma, Washington, August–December 2006

Cardiovascular OR Nurse, Multicare Medical Center - Tacoma General Hospital, Tacoma, Washington, 2002–2006

Invasive Cardiovascular Technologist, St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington, 1991–1998

Professional Nursing Experience

Critical Care & RAPID RESPONSE Nurse - Intensive Care Unit
Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis, Texas, 2007–present

State-of-the-art level II trauma center military hospital with 160,000 soldier, family member and military retiree beneficiary population and staff of 4,000, including civilian and military doctors, nurses, residents, and interns.

  • Plan, manage and assess care, administrate medication and treatment, maintain record of codes and care.
  • Direct open heart recovery care; balloon pump, aquaphoresis and Vigeleo set-up, placement and monitoring.
  • Start IVs, monitor patients' respiratory ventilation, pulse oximetry, assist with intubation, respond to all codes.
  • Set nasogastric & dobhoff feeding tubes, foley & swan ganz catheters, central & arterial lines, temp pacemakers.

REGISTERED NURSE - Critical Care, Clinical Care & Department of Corrections
Emerald City Medical Staffing & Cascade Health Services, Seattle-Tacoma, Washington, 2006–2007

High-quality medical service providers of extensively-screened temporary healthcare professionals for hospitals, clinics, medical centers, surgery centers, drug detox treatment facilities, schools and correctional facilities.

  • Provided inmate care at McNeil Island medium security prison, including recovery and injury care; supervised prison clinic, administered medications, drew labs, assessed injuries and transferred inmates to off-island hospital.
  • Aided conscious sedation of patients undergoing heart catheterizations, angioplasties, liver biopsies, peripheral vasculature runoff studies, as well as interventional radiology work at St. Francis Hospital.
  • Offered progressive and rapid response care in Capital Medical Center ICU and Progressive Care Unit.

Northwest Medical Specialists, Tacoma, Washington, August–December 2006

Provider of state-of-the-art, cost-effective coordinated medical oncology, hematology and infectious disease care.

  • Offered comprehensive cancer care to patients ages 18-80, including determining patients' body surface areas (BSA), accessing ports and starting IVs for chemotherapy, intravenous therapy and administration of antiemetics.
  • Managed lab services for different cancers, including running chemo labs (CBCs and Creatinine clearances).

Multicare Medical Center - Tacoma General Hospital, Tacoma, Washington, 2002–2006

Level II 391-bed trauma center owned by nonprofit integrated health organization with 15,000 yearly admissions.

  • Cared for critically ill patients, changed wound dressings, aided with ventricular placements, drilled burr holes, placed chest tubes and wound VACs, monitored arterial and central lines; served as preceptor for students.
  • Cared for GI bleeds, open-heart, neurovascular, and head trauma pre- and post-operative patients; monitored pleurovac drainage, ran labs and swan ganz catheter readings; floated to Cath Lab and ER as needed.
  • Prepared patients and OR for surgery, including draping, warming, tubing, counting instruments and sponges, and communicating with families regarding surgical updates of their loved ones.

St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington, 1991–1998

A 320-bed regional medical center, home to the largest heart and vascular facility and a level II trauma center.

  • Performed diagnostic heart and blood vessel exams, clinical procedures and therapeutic interventions per physician request, including various cardiovascular/peripheral vascular diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
  • Aided with angioplasty stent and balloon pump placements, permanent pacemaker insertions, pericardial centesis, athrectomies, electroctrophysiology studies involving coronary ablation within a three-member team.
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