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Should my clinical rotations be included on my resume?

Thursday August 23, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I am compiling my resume and have conflicting opinions from professors and RN friends on whether it should include my clinical rotations and/or my experience. Some say the clinical rotations are expected with nursing education, so they should be omitted. What is your opinion?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Compiling,

I say it depends — if you are a new nurse with relatively no work experience, then listing your clinical rotations serves to provide some substance. Yes, everyone knows you did clinical rotations, but recruiters can look at where you did those rotations and whether or not any of them were at one of their facilities, or at well-known facilities, etc. It can provide some conversation and context. Listing a few major areas of experience with those clinicals can do the same.

If you have prior work experience as a nurse's aide, LPN or other significant healthcare experience, you don’t need to list student clinicals. But you still might want to, in some cases.

There are some elements of resume writing that are not hard and fast. Varying opinions exist, but you have to be careful from whom you take advice. Some people are well-meaning, but not in the know with what works, current resume-writing trends or what recruiters are seeking. With many things, such as these issues, it needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Here's an article you may find helpful: “FAQs about student nurse résumés” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/StudentResumes). Also, I discuss student nurse and new grad resumes at length, along with samples, in “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses” (www.Nurse.com/CE/7250).

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.