Andrew Wettengel / Monday, July 20, 2020 / Categories: Work World


Have you ever wondered what it takes to land your dream travel nursing assignment? While your credentials and experience are what make you a great nurse, you need a stellar resume that sets you apart from all of the other candidates.

At OneStaff Medical, we have helped countless travel nurses land their dream roles. For our nurses, we offer a variety of services, including resume help. To create a travel nursing resume that will get noticed, you need to include specific details. This is where we can help you! Here are our tips for creating an impressive travel nursing resume that will help you land your dream assignment.

How to Get Started Writing a Resume

As you get started building your travel nursing resume, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Start by looking at other examples of travel nursing resumes. This can help you get a feel for what you need to include on your resume. When you work with a staffing agency, you can speak to your recruiter about sample resumes and resume help. You can also see what other nurses in your specialty include on their resumes. 

When looking for a travel assignment, our OneStaff recruiters will reformat your resume into our standard layout, so you can start building your resume with whichever format you prefer.

However, you should use an easy-to-read font that looks professional and polished, like Arial or Times New Roman. Avoid frilly, hard-to-read fonts altogether. Bullet points can help you showcase your skills in a manner that allows a staffer to see very quickly what you can do. All of these things will make a staffer’s job easier. 

Must Haves of Travel Nursing Resume

When applying for travel nursing assignments, there are certain things that we always recommend you incorporate into your resume. “This information helps us get to know you as a nurse better, making our job easier to match you to the right job,” says one of our staffers Denise Christensen. Let’s take a look at the must-haves of travel nursing resumes.

1.     Details of Past Assignments

The top thing to have on your travel nursing resume is information about past assignments. For each assignment, you should list the following information:

  • Hospital name with city and state
  • Trauma level of the facility
  • The nurse-to-patient ratio of the facility
  • The unit you work on
  • Dates of each assignment
  • Computer charting system

You should include the city and state of each job or assignment because many hospitals have the same names but are across the country from one another. Be clear about the facility at which you were employed. On your resume, describe what you did on your unit and the expectations of your job with the facility. This information will tell the recruiter more about your qualifications to find the perfect new assignment for you. You may also touch on specific cases you worked on within your past travel nursing assignments, too.

Lastly, the trauma level and patient ratio of the facility is critical information because the staffer and the hiring manager at the hospital can see what type of environment you can manage. 

2.     Nursing Specialties

Many travel nursing positions are in specialized parts of the industry, so be sure to highlight any specialties you may have. If you have experience in a particular area of medicine, be sure to note this on your resume. Including the hospital floor that you worked on for each assignment is one way to touch on your specialty without explicitly listing it. However, feel free to highlight it on your resume, as well. 

Common nursing specialties include surgery, neonatal, ICU, oncology, dialysis, anesthetist, trauma, pediatric, and geriatric. 

3.     Nursing Licenses

Travel nursing may require you to obtain additional nursing licenses. While temporary licenses are always an option, you should be sure to mention the state in which you are licensed on your resume. If your home state participates in the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact, you can accept assignments in any of the 34 states that participate without needing any additional licenses. Listing which state or states you are licensed in will help our staffers make sure you have everything you need before your next assignment starts. 

For more information about the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact, check out our Travel Nurses’ Guide to Multi-State Licensing

4.     Nursing Certifications 

Nursing certifications will help you stand out among other candidates, which means they should always be listed on your nursing resume. There are over 100 different certifications from accredited institutions across the country. Each one has a different acronym, so check to make sure yours is listed correctly on your travel nursing resume. You should also include when your certifications expire.

Listing all of your credentials on your travel nursing resume will ensure that our staffers can find an assignment that you are qualified for, and that fits your requirements. 

If you don’t happen to have any nursing certifications, you may consider earning one. They are a great way to learn new skills, enhance the ones you already have, and provide better care to your patients. Nursing certificates also make you more competitive for positions, which is always a bonus.

Sins of Travel Nursing Resumes

Our recruiter Denise Christensen says that the biggest sin of travel nursing resumes is not listing work history in chronological order. In fact, the resumes that are in order by date are her favorite ones. She says, “To me the most important thing is having your dates correct and putting your jobs in chronological order—that helps us out a ton!”

You should always include information regarding your education, including the institution as well as the month and year you graduated. 

You also want to be sure to cover all the necessary information. Don’t forget to include when assignments begin and end. Not including all hospital information is also a bad habit. Be sure to touch on every single detail about each assignment. If you omit any details, the staffer will likely need to look it up, which only takes time away from finding your next assignment. 

Other Tips for Putting Together a Travel Nursing Resume 

In addition to the nursing-specific details you MUST have on your resume, we want to share some last tips for putting together a travel nursing resume. 

You can better target your resume for each position that you apply for by referring to the job listing. Since each position will be unique, you should make your resume specifically for the job to which you are applying. In theory, every resume that you send out should be slightly different than the last.

To do this, you should research the hospital and the specific unit in which you would be working. Find the buzzwords that the hospital or medical facility is using and include them in your summary of qualifications, which should be prominently featured on your resume.

At OneStaff Medical, we include cover pages in addition to resumes when matching nurses to the hospitals we work with. These cover pages include more details about yourself and experiences than we usually include in the formatted resume we create for you.

Don’t forget to edit! Errors on a resume can be embarrassing, so save yourself the frustration down the road by editing your resume and asking someone else to check it over for you, too. Be sure all certifications and credentials are listed correctly. An error-free resume will show our staffers that you have put a lot of time and care into crafting your resume.

If you are a nurse interested in transitioning to the travel RN life, reach out to our OneStaff recruiters at 877-783-1483. We can help you create a travel nursing resume that is sure to land you the assignment of your dreams. 

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