< Back to articles
Andrew Arkley|December 20, 2022

Nursing CV: Our Guide And Example

Article Image

Writing a nursing CV and need a few pointers? We’ve put together a step-by-step guide that runs through how to write a nurse CV to a high standard.

And if you’re looking for nurse CV examples, we’ve included a handy template too.

It can be daunting applying for a job, particularly if you’ve just finished studying. However, according to the NHS, 94% of students are in work within six months, making nursing one of the most employable degrees in the UK.

Also, with close to 47,000 vacancies in the NHS, plus opportunities in private healthcare too, now is a great time to construct your nursing CV and apply for a role.

 As a veteran or a recent graduate nurse, you should have a CV that does justice to all the hard work you’ve put in up until now. 

Here’s our guide to writing a first-rate nurse CV.

Nursing CV basics

From the outset, whether it’s a nurse CV or one for any other profession, there are some essential bits to get right.

Always keep the employer in mind – the best CVs are tailored to each specific role. To hiring managers, a generic CV will stick out like a sore thumb.

While you’ll be assessed in terms of your soft and hard skills, as well as your experience, don’t overlook the importance of keeping your CV error-free. Check it thoroughly before sending.

Submit it as a PDF, not a Word document, to make sure the formatting you’ve chosen will appear the same way when it’s reviewed. If you haven’t written many of them before, or want a quick refresher, here’s our full guide to writing a CV from scratch.

How to write a nurse CV

First, create a master version of your CV with the following sections:

  • Contact details
  • Personal statement
  • Key skills
  • Work history
  • Qualifications and education
  • Interests (optional)

This master CV should contain your contact details, qualifications, education and interests – plus draft text for your personal statement, key skills and work history.

Then, when applying for a role, make a copy of the master CV and start revising its draft sections.

Adding the right skills to your nursing CV

It’s usually a good idea to include the skills you know your employer is looking for on the first page.

Whether in the public or private sector, healthcare employers may be using applicant tracking system (ATS) software. Including the right keywords will help your CV bypass it.

Skills you could mention on a nurse CV will depend on the specific role you’re applying for and your experience. If there is a formal job description for the open vacancy, use it to help you decide what to include.

You may want to write about a mix of hard and soft skills – such as your main clinical skills, qualifications, achievements, areas of expertise, competencies and interpersonal abilities.

Demonstrating your impact

A strong nursing CV features evidence to back up your claims, to help you stand out.

If you can include any figures or statistics, that’s a great way to demonstrate the impact you have had caring for patients. 

If you’ve just finished studying, try to include relevant ones from your degree or any other courses.

There’s a useful method to help frame your thinking. Where relevant – whether you’re describing your best achievement in your personal statement, or your biggest responsibility in your work history section – use STAR.

That means, cover the:

  • Situation: For example – your role or the circumstances
  • Task: The challenges you faced
  • Action: The skills you used
  • Result: The successful outcome, backed up with evidence if possible

However you do it, once you’ve written some draft text about your impact, take a step back and consider the big picture. 

Nurses have a very wide range of skills and can save lives. 

Does your draft nurse CV showcase your extraordinary work and vast potential? Revise it as much as you like until it does. 

If you need to see some nurse CV examples, here’s a template for you with a few sample sentences. 

Use it to see a typical structure, then in each section, reflect on how you could write about your own story so far:

Nurse CV template

Alex Downing

[Address] – [Phone number] – [Email address]

Personal Statement

Use about 6-7 lines to outline who you are, what you can offer and your next career goals. 

Be concise, but explain how you stand out. Here are some sample sentences:

Compassionate registered nurse with 4 years’ experience giving physical and psychological care to patients while receiving very strong positive feedback. Proven track record of successful ward management and treating patients requiring emergency medical care.

Key Skills

Relate your skillset, achievements and areas of expertise to the job description and use bullet points – for example:

  • ICU equipment operation
  • Cardiovascular life support
  • Patient assessment
  • Care plan development
  • Ward management
  • Hospital administration
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Compassion and emotional intelligence
  • Communication and interpersonal skills

Work History

List your previous roles and experiences, in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent position and including the dates. 

Add bullet points to describe your most relevant achievements or responsibilities – for example:

[Role, hospital] [Dates]

  • Delivered high quality care to over 650 patients
  • Gained regular experience of ward management and ICU equipment operation
  • Received highest feedback grade possible from peers in annual review during both years at the hospital

[Role, hospital] [Dates]

  • Co-developed and rolled out a new care plan which was praised by senior staff
  • Increased average patient satisfaction score from 85% to 90% in 2 years
  • Conducted patient assessment while staying up-to-date with new developments in healthcare options and medications

Qualifications and Education

Start by listing your relevant certifications and any extra courses you may have completed, then your education details:

  • [Continuing professional development (CPD) course] [Dates]
  • [Nursing & Midwifery Council certificate of current professional status] [Dates]
  • [University name, degree subject] [Dates]
  • [School name, A-Levels, grades] [Dates]
  • [School name, GCSEs, grades] [Dates]


This section is optional if you’re short of space. Any interests you include should ideally strengthen your overall application in some way – for example:

I enjoy driving – with 6 years’ experience and my own car, I would be keen to drive as part of a community nurse role.

References available on request

Including a cover letter with your nurse CV

In addition to tailoring your CV for every role you apply for, we also recommend including a cover letter.

Take a look at our guide to writing a cover letter if you’re looking for some pointers.

It gives you a better chance to convey your personality than a CV does – it’s also a chance to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job opportunity. Start and finish it with confidence – here is our advice on how to address a cover letter and how to end your cover letter in style.

Final thoughts: how to write a nurse CV

That’s our guide to writing a nurse CV. 

We know there’s a lot to think about, so if you’re not sure where to start, focus on a few key principles and make use of our nurse CV template.

Make sure your CV lists all your best skills or achievements and shows your attention to detail by being free of any simple mistakes.

Then, read it through a few times and revise it until you’re happy. Are there any sentences you could tweak so that they stand out more? Also, consider writing a nurse CV headline.

Check it several times before submitting and save it as a PDF to maintain your formatting. If you need any support, we’re pros at writing CVs – we can write a nurse CV for all experience levels, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for more details.

PurpleCV YouTube Channel Subscription Banner

Related articles

    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.