Objectives for Nurse Resumes

Effective nurse resumes have strong objectives that grab the reader's interest.

Effective nurse resumes have strong objectives that grab the reader's interest.

Your nurse resume objective clearly describes your experience and qualifications and lets the reader know what kind of position you want. It is a brief statement of one to three sentences that includes work experience, career interests and how you’d like to work. It can be a broad statement if used with a tailored cover letter, or it can be a very specific statement if you are only applying for one type of nursing position.

Incorporate Your Interests

Consider your interests when drafting an objective for your nurse resume and make them clear to the reader from your objective statement. For example, if you decided to study nursing and make it a career after visiting an elderly relative in a nursing home, include “a position working with elderly patients” in your objective and focus on applying to nursing homes, geriatric practices and other institutions that care for older patients.

Highlight Your Experience

Although you will give more detailed information about your skills and experience in the body of your resume, highlight it in your objective. “Recent BSN graduate with intense clinical experience in neonatal care” and “Skilled RN with ten years oncology, radiology and mammography experience” are statements that immediately give prospective employers a clear snapshot of your nursing career experience.


Where you place your resume objective is important. There are many formats for resumes, but an objective should always be on the first page near the top under your contact information. If you are using a headline, place your objective under the headline for maximum effect. Along with your cover letter, the resume objective’s purpose is to get the reader’s attention and make her want to continue reading.

Active Language

Use strong, active, descriptive language when writing your nurse resume objective to catch and hold the reader’s interest and best communicate your career experience and goals. “Dedicated, high-energy RN manager accomplished in improving patient outcomes in recovery from surgery, medication administration and ambulatory care” is more effective than statements such as “Experience in improving patient care.”

Nurse Resume Objective Tip

Use your objective statement as the foundation for talking points during interviews. For example, if your objective states you are an RN with five years experience as a hospital nurse with interests in maternity and well-baby care for an obstetric or family practice, prepare a list of how you’ve cared for maternity and infant patients, and why you want to focus your career in that area.

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Heidi Cardenas specializes in human resources, business and personal finance, small-business advice, home and garden and home improvement. Her professional background includes human resources and business administration, technical writing and corporate communications. She has studied horticulture and business administration, and enjoys guest blogging for publications including Herb Companion Magazine, Natural Home Living Magazine, and Mother Earth Living.

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