How to Write a Nursing Resume Objective (Examples Included)

By Mike Simpson

When you’re trying to land a nursing job, a nursing resume objective can be a powerful tool in your application arsenal. Standing out from the crowd is essential. Otherwise, you might miss out on your perfect opportunity.

Alright, we know you’re wondering, why do you need to stand out when demand for nurses is so high? After all, the need for registered nurses alone is going up by 12 percent between 2018 and 2028, creating a shocking 371,500 new opportunities. If companies need that many nurses, is going the extra mile necessary?

While it may seem like any nurse can just waltz in off the street and get a job, that isn’t the case. You still need to showcase yourself as a great candidate. If you don’t, even a nurse can struggle to find a job.

How can a nursing resume objective make a difference? Let’s take a look.

What Is a Resume Objective?

Alright, let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, many people think that a resume objective is a bit antiquated. If you mention that you use one, your friends, family, or colleagues may sprain their eyes from rolling them so hard.

But, the trick is, when you use a nursing resume objective right, it can work in your favor. It lets you show the hiring manager what you bring to the table. Plus, it can answer questions a traditional resume doesn’t answer.

So, what exactly is a resume objective? In the simplest terms, it’s a brief overview of your career and accompanying goals.

Usually, a standout statement includes details about how you enjoy applying relevant skills, as well as how you intend to use them if hired. If you’d like to learn more, we’ve covered it in-depth before. But, that’s the gist of what a resume objective is all about.

What is Unique About a Nursing Resume Objective?

In most cases, nursing resumes have a lot in common. Usually, each applicant brings something very similar to the table. Their education and certifications could be near identical. The nature of their work experience might be closely aligned.

This happens because nursing is incredibly technical. The requirements for a role are often ridiculously rigid. That means every person you are up against more or less looks like you on paper. If you don’t find a way to stand out, your resume might get lost in the pack.

That’s what can make a nursing resume objective so unique. It gives you a chance to do something extra, as long as you approach it the right way.

The most critical thing to understand is when to use one. Generally, a nursing resume objective is a smart addition if you are a recent graduate looking for their first nursing job, transitioning from another job into this kind of nursing role, or have a specific role target in mind. In those cases, this statement lets you highlight relevant skills or achievements as well as assert why this opportunity caught your eye.

MIKE'S TIP: With a nursing resume objective, quantifiable details are your best friend. Including the number of patients you saw daily, the number of beds you were responsible for, or the number of minutes or hours a new approach you created saved is a smart move. Digits stand out in a sea of letters. Plus, that information gives the hiring manager context about your capabilities, and that can help you stand out.

If you already have nursing experience in a similar position, then you might want to go a different route. The resume summary statement may be a better choice for you, so see what that’s all about and choose the approach that’s the best match.

Common Mistakes When Writing a Nursing Resume Objective

As with all parts of a resume, nursing resume objective mistakes are pervasive. Many people misunderstand how to use these statements effectively, and that costs them opportunities.

You don’t want to end up in that boat, right? Didn’t think so. Luckily, we have your back.

First and foremost, whatever you do, don’t say that you “want the job.” You applied, so that’s already clear. It’s a nothing statement that provides zero value to the hiring manager.

Another common misstep is a lack of specifics. You want an objective to align with the role you want to land. If it’s so generic it could apply to any nursing position (or be true from any nurse), you’re missing the mark.

3 Tips for Writing a Nursing Resume Objective

If your goal is to create a winning nursing resume objective, here are three tips that can help you do just that:

1. Explain How You Want to Use Your Skills

Since a resume objective involves discussing your goals (and you don’t want to say that your goal is to get the job), then your best bet is to explain how you want to apply your skills to the role. For example, stating that you want to utilize your expertise “to enhance patient care at ABC clinic” could work, suggesting that it is one of your goals.

2. Be Specific to Highlight Your Value

When you create a nursing objective statement, be as specific as possible. Highlight individual skills, accomplishments, and goals that are highly relevant to the role. That ensures you showcase your value, which can make a significant difference.

3. Don’t Go Overboard

Your nursing resume objective shouldn’t be a massive wall of text. Ideally, you want to keep it to four sentences or less. If you don’t, there’s a decent chance it is unfocused or unrefined. That’s an immediate turnoff for hiring managers. Ultimately, brevity is your friend, so embrace it.

3 Nursing Resume Objective Examples

Okay, you have a solid understanding of how to create a standout objective. Would you like to see exactly what the end results can look like? Yeah, thought so. For your enjoyment, here are three examples, with one each focused on registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and licensed practical nurses.

1. Registered Nurse

“Recent RN graduate with well-developed interpersonal skills and strong fundamentals seeking to bring acquired knowledge into a fast-paced, patient-oriented environment. Proven ability to thrive under deadlines while remaining professional, upbeat, and empathetic. Open-minded, enthusiastic, and eager to learn.”

2. Nurse Practitioner

“Nurse practitioner with 3+ years of experience and proven record of thriving in a results-oriented environment. Advanced knowledge of medical techniques and a long-standing history of performing routine nursing services of the utmost quality. Empathetic and patient-focused, consistently striving to provide the highest level of patient care. Seeking out an opportunity in a growing practice where improving the lives of patients is a priority.”

3. Licensed Practical Nurse

“Licensed practical nurse with 5+ years of experience looking to apply highly developed phlebotomy, infection control, and patient care skills in a small clinic setting to enhance the patient experience. Aiming to bring a positive attitude and empathetic mindset into an environment where the quality of patient care remains a top priority, enhancing the workplace and assisting with the organization’s primary goals.”

Putting It All Together

Alright, you now know not just what a nursing resume objective is, but when and how to use one. When properly deployed, these statements can be powerful resume additions, helping you stand out from the sea of other applicants.

Just bear in mind that it isn’t the only approach. In some cases, a resume summary might be a stronger option. Take a look at them both and see which best meets your needs. That way, you can craft your ideal resume, increasing your odds of landing your perfect job.

Good luck!

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About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.