7 Essential Tips for Crafting an Outstanding Travel Nurse Resume

Are you an adventurous soul with a passion for nursing? If so, embarking on a career as a travel nurse might just be the perfect fit for you. Travel nursing offers a unique opportunity to explore different healthcare settings while making a meaningful impact on patients' lives across the country. But before you hit the road, you'll need a stellar resume to land those coveted travel nurse jobs. 

1. Tailor Your Resume to Each Assignment
One of the most crucial tips for resume writing -- especially in the competitive field of travel nursing -- is to customize your resume for each job. Carefully read the job description and highlight the skills, experiences, and certifications that match the requirements of the position. This tailored approach shows your genuine interest and suitability for the role.

๐Ÿ“Œ Takeaway: This is your chance to showcase professional development (e.g., obtaining an IV certification) and if you have experience with specialized equipment or the preferred charting system for electronic health records (Epic, Cerner, Point Click Care).

2. Highlight Your Travel Experience
If you've already dipped your toes into the world of travel nursing, make sure to highlight your experience prominently on your resume. Include details such as the locations you've worked in and any specialized skills you've acquired along the way. Companies that place travel nurses often work within different healthcare settings. Clearly stating the types of healthcare facilities youโ€™ve served will help them find the perfect position for you.

๐Ÿ“Œ Takeaway: List the names of your travel nursing agencies as well as the name(s) of the buildings/hospitals that you worked for, including start dates and end dates. It is also extremely helpful for recruiters when nurses list the setting, unit, or specialty in the "Work Experience" section.

3. Emphasize Flexibility
Travel nursing requires a high degree of flexibility because of the ever-changing environment. Highlight these qualities in your resume by providing real examples of how you successfully adjusted to new roles, protocols, or challenges. Employers look for candidates who can seamlessly integrate into their teams and hit the ground running.

๐Ÿ“Œ Takeaway: Note if you floated to different units during your assignment, or during your full-time staff position as needed โ€“ this is a prime example of demonstrating flexibility and can help you stand apart from other travel nurse applicants.

4. Quantify Achievement with Numbers
When describing your professional accomplishments, use quantifiable metrics whenever possible.  Recruiters and hiring managers will be more drawn to tangible evidence of your impact in previous roles.

๐Ÿ“Œ Takeaway: Whether it's reducing patient wait times, increasing vaccination rates in rural areas, or receiving accolades for outstanding patient care, concrete numbers help paint a clear, concise picture of your contributions.

5. Include Certifications and Licensure
In addition to your nursing degree, make sure to list any relevant certifications and licensures essential for travel nursing. This may include specialties such as Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Basic Life Support (BLS), or certifications in critical care, labor and delivery, or emergency nursing. Having these credentials readily visible on your resume can give you a competitive edge.

๐Ÿ“Œ Takeaway: If you have multiple nursing licenses across several states, it is best practice to list out each one with the license number and the expiration date(s) so that your recruiter can quickly verify your information via Nursys. For example, if youโ€™re a Colorado RN with a compact license and you also hold single-state nursing licenses in Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Illinois, list each of these out under your โ€œLicensureโ€ section like this:

  • RN in Colorado (Compact RN License, #1679123): expires 06/2025
  • RN in Hawaii: expires 07/2026
  • RN in Illinois: expires 04/2025
  • RN in Massachusetts: expires 02/2026
6. Don't Forget Your Soft Skills

While technical skills and clinical expertise are undoubtedly essential, don't overlook the importance of soft skills in the nursing profession. Effective communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and empathy are all critical qualities that employers look for in travel nurses. Use real-life examples to show how you've applied these skills in challenging situations.

๐Ÿ“Œ Takeaway: Provide examples that showcase teamwork, time management, or remaining calm under pressure. For example, mention that you joined the hospital's Rapid Response Team or the Patient Safety Committee. This is also a great place to list out any special achievements or awards, such as receiving a DAISY award for going above and beyond for patients or their families.

7. Proofread Carefully
Last but certainly not least, ensure that your resume is free from grammatical errors, typos, and formatting inconsistencies. A polished and professional-looking resume reflects positively on your thoroughness and commitment to excellence. Consider asking a trusted friend, family member, or colleague to review your resume before sending it to potential employers.

Most importantly, prior to hitting โ€œsendโ€ on your next job application, double check that your contact information is up-to-date! There is nothing worse than being the perfect fit for a travel assignment and missing out on the opportunity because the cell phone number on your resume is old and out of service.

Crafting a travel nurse resume requires customization and a focus on highlighting your unique qualifications and experiences. By following these seven tips, you'll be well on your way to your dream travel nurse job.

Ready to take the next step in your nursing career? Visit our Job Board for a complete list of open travel nursing positions across the country.

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