ICU (Critical Care) Nurse Resume—Examples & 25 Writing Tips

You’re right in the thick of it, taking patients that come in from EMS and patching them together. Show your trauma, surgery, and disease skills with your ICU nurse resume.

Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, CPRW
ICU (Critical Care) Nurse Resume—Examples & 25 Writing Tips

This ICU nurse resume sample works like an AED for your career.

 

But—

 

The ICU nurse job market is competitive. Every RN wants in.

 

To get hired, your critical care nurse resume has to assess at 100%.

 

You’ve got this. Show the right ICU accomplishments in the right format, and you’ll turn heads like Elizabeth Bridges in the break room.

 

In this guide:

  • An ICU nurse resume sample better than most.
  • How to write job-ready critical care nurse resumes.
  • How to tailor your ICU nurse job description to the position you want.
  • Why you can’t just list ICU nurse skills (and what to do instead).

 

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icu nurse resume templates

 

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ICU Nurse Resume Sample You Can Copy and Use

 

JoBeth Zerkle

ICU Nurse

 

Personal Info

 

Phone: 918-698-6232

Email: jobethzerkle@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/jobethzerkle

twitter.com/jobethzerkle

 

Summary

 

Energetic ICU nurse with 4+ years of experience in a high-volume trauma ward. Seeking to deliver excellent care at LVMC. At SRMC Oklahoma, was rated at 95%+ by trauma surgeons for problem-solving, patient interaction, and attention to detail.

 

Experience

 

ICU Nurse 

Stephen Reed Medical Center, Oklahoma

2016–2020

  • Provided patient care in a busy 12-bed ICU unit serving trauma patients and inpatient surgeries.
  • Monitored patient vital signs and notified attending physicians of changes. Assisted physicians with emergent situations.
  • Administered IV, oral, and injections of medications as directed.
  • Educated family members on patient conditions in a compassionate way. Assisted with conflict resolution in tense situations.
  • Documented procedures, patient conditions, and medication administration with 100% accuracy.
  • Participated in team project to review and improve ICU process guidelines. Result: 25% drop in medical errors.
  • Received Nurse of the Year award as voted by peers.

Key Achievement

  • Rated 95%+ by trauma surgeons on measures of efficiency, patient interaction, attention to detail, and problem-solving.

 

CNA

Stephen Reed Medical Center, Oklahoma

2014–2016

  • Consistently scored at 98%+ by charge nurse for efficiency, collaboration, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Assisted with inventory management project that cut costs 10%.

 

Education

 

Bachelor of Science, Nursing

Oklahoma Baptist University

2012–2016

  • Excelled in patient assessment and record keeping.
  • Pursued a passion for continuous improvement coursework.

 

Certifications

 

  • Registered Nurse—License #00000000
  • BT-C, American Burn Association

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Appear on SAGE nursing podcast monthly to discuss patient care.
  • Walk dogs 3x per month at Pontotoc County Animal Shelter.
  • Weekly yoga sessions as self-care.

 

Hard Skills: chest tubes, ventricular assist patient care, pain management, burn patient care

 

Soft Skills: interpersonal skills, collaboration, communication, time management

 

Do you need an ICU nursing resume or something else? See our guides:

 

Here’s how to write a robust ICU nurse resume:

 

1. Select the Best ICU Nurse Resume Format

 

Which ICU nurse resume format should you choose?

 

That’s simple.

 

Pick the reverse-chronological resume format.

 

It puts your most Johns-Hopkins-worthy accomplishments up top.

 

Follow these resume format tips to do it right:

 

ICU Nurse Resume Format

 

  • Make a 1–page resume for ICU nursing jobs. Add one-inch margins.
  • Use a professional resume font like 11–14pt Didot or Arial.
  • To make it eye-friendly, include some white space.
  • Write resume sections for Heading, Summary, History, Education, and Skills.

Expert Hint: Make yourself clear on all devices by sending a PDF resume. An ICU nursing resume sent as a PDF is readable by the ATS software used by hiring teams.

2. Write a Critical Care Nurse Resume Objective or Summary

 

Here’s a dose of reality:

 

The hospital’s HR staff won’t read your ICU nurse resume.

 

They’ll triage it.

 

That is—they’ll skim the top, then come back later if they don’t find something better.

 

So—

 

Make the top of your resume shine like Theresa Brown.

 

Do that with a career objective or career summary.

 

Add:

 

  1. An adjective (energetic, enthusiastic)
  2. “ICU nurse”
  3. Years of experience (3+, 5+)
  4. What you’ll do and who you’ll do it for (deliver excellent care at LVMC)
  5. Best resume achievements(rated at 95%+ by trauma surgeons...)

 

See these ICU nurse resume examples:

 

ICU Nurse Resume Summary—Example

Good Example
Energetic ICU nurse with 4+ years of experience in a high-volume trauma ward. Seeking to deliver excellent care at LVMC. At SRMC Oklahoma, was rated at 95%+ by trauma surgeons for problem-solving, patient interaction, and attention to detail.
Bad Example
Experienced critical care nurse, skilled in trauma care and problem solving. Excels at patient interaction and has exceptional attention to detail. Looking for a full-time ICU nursing job where I can use my talents to help people in crisis.

Neither is in distress.

 

But look closer.

 

The second of those ICU nurse resumes samples is tooting its own catheter.

 

The first dishes out external proof. Plus it mentions the hospital by name.

 

“Hey, wait! I just got my bachelor’s in nursing! I can’t say anything like that!”

 

Easy-peasy. See these entry-level resume samples for ICU nurse jobs:

 

Entry-Level Critical Care Nurse Resume Objective

Good Example
Enthusiastic entry-level ICU nurse with 4 years of experience working in medical facilities. Eager to provide excellent care at Warburton Medical. As CNA at SRMC, consistently scored 98%+ in measures of efficiency, communication, and collaboration. Excelled in complex health problems coursework during BS in Nursing at OBU.
Bad Example
Entry-level critical care nurse with skills in patient education and wound dressing. Haven’t yet worked as an RN, but did work as a CNA in a busy hospital. Excels at treating complex health problems in an efficient manner.

Those both get passing marks.

 

But the first of our entry-level ICU nurse resume examples is worth a second look. The medical accomplishments and other details make it healthy.

Expert Hint: Write your ICU nursing resume summary last. Why? It’s hard to write a resume summary or objective when you’re not sure what you’re summarizing.

3. Prescribe the Right ICU Nurse Job Description and Skills

 

What skills work best in an ICU nursing resume?

 

See this resume skills list:

 

ICU Nurse Resume Skills

 

Hard Skills

Soft Skills

Chest Tubes (Pleur-Evac)

Interpersonal Skills

Treating Wounds

Collaboration

Advanced Life Support

Communication

Recording Vital Signs

Time Management

Ventilator & Monitor Operation

Efficiency

IV Application

Attention to Detail

Ordering Diagnostic Tests

Problem Solving

Patient Advocacy

Active Listening

Feeding Tubes

Compassion

Catheterization

Physical Stamina

 

But those are just examples—

 

It’s a fatal mistake to put all those in an ICU resume.

 

Tailor your resume instead, with the exact resume keywords in the nursing job ad.

 

These cardiac ICU nurse resume samples show how:

 

The job wants skills in monitoring vital signs, IVs, documentation, and efficiency.

 

ICU Nurse Job Description for a Resume [Sample]

Good Example

Experience

 

ICU Nurse

Stephen Reed Medical Center, Oklahoma

2016–2020

Provided patient care in a busy 12-bed ICU unit serving trauma patients and inpatient surgeries.

  • Monitored patient vital signs and notified attending physicians of changes. Assisted physicians with emergent situations.
  • Administered IV, oral, and injections of medications as directed.
  • Documented procedures, patient conditions, and medication administration with 100% accuracy.
  • Participated in team project to review and improve ICU process guidelines. Result: 25% drop in medical errors.
  • Received Nurse of the Year award as voted by peers.

Key Achievement:

  • Rated 95%+ by trauma surgeons on measures of efficiency, patient interaction, attention to detail, and problem-solving.
Bad Example
  • Provided patient care in a busy critical care unit serving trauma patients and inpatient surgeries.
  • Notified attending physicians of changes to patient conditions. Assisted physicians with emergent situations.
  • Administered medications by multiple routes.
  • Educated family members on patient conditions in a compassionate way. Assisted with conflict resolution in tense situations.
  • Participated in team project to review and improve ICU process guidelines.

Wow.

 

The second of those ICU nursing resume examples is DNR. But—

 

We made it from the first by slicing out the keywords from the job ad.

 

Next, are you an entry-level critical care nurse?

 

A no experience resume can still pull through.

 

See these entry-level ICU nurse resumes examples. They’re for a job that wants efficiency, teamwork, and inventory management.

 

Entry-Level ICU Nurse Resume Job Description [Sample]

Good Example

CNA

Stephen Reed Medical Center, Oklahoma

2014–2016

  • Consistently scored at 98%+ by charge nurse for efficiency, teamwork, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Assisted with inventory management project that cut costs 10%.
Bad Example
  • Assisted nurses with care of patients.
  • Facilitated cleaning and room preparation and turnover.
  • Interacted with patients and escalated concerns to nurses.

The difference?

 

The second of those entry-level ICU nurse resume samples only works to get a CNA job.

 

The first connects you to the position like a Newport ventilator.

Expert Hint: A study in Dimensions in Critical Care Nursing reveals that medication errors cost $3.5 billion every year. They also cause 10% of all death and serious injury in hospitals. Can you point to numbers, achievements, or commendations that show attention to detail? Facts like that can fast-track your critical care nurse resume.

The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.

 

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Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.

 

4. Enliven Your Education Section

 

Wondering how to show education in a critical care nurse resume?

 

Simple.

 

List your school’s name and degree. But—

 

Take your resume education section to the next level with critical care skills.

 

See this cardiac ICU nurse resume sample:

 

ICU Nurse Resume Example—Education

Good Example

Education

 

Bachelor of Science, Nursing

Oklahoma Baptist University

2012–2016

  • Excelled in record keeping and documentation classes.
  • Pursued a passion for patient assessment coursework.

Perfect.

 

That puts documentation and assessment in your ICU nursing resume.

Expert Hint: Was your schooling a long time ago? Make your education resume section shorter. If you just graduated, stretch it out to make it pop like a defibrillator.

5. Add More to Your ICU Nurse Resume

 

So many good RNs want this ICU nursing job.

 

Your critical care nurse resume has to outperform them all.

 

So—add bonus material to your ICU resume.

 

Choose from:

 

See these ICU nurse resume examples:

 

ICU Nurse Resume—Other Sections

Good Example

Certifications

 

  • Registered Nurse—License #00000000
  • BT-C, American Burn Association

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Appear on SAGE nursing podcast monthly to discuss patient care.
  • Walk dogs 3x per month at Pontotoc County Animal Shelter.
  • Weekly yoga sessions as self-care.
Bad Example
  • Ice skating
  • Taking long walks

Notice—

 

The first of those ICU nurse resume samples has Cedars-Sinai-level details.

Expert Hint: Write a cover letter for your ICU nursing resume. Communicate your passion for critical care nursing, and the top 2–3 facts that make you hirable.

Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

 

create your cover letter now

 

CREATE YOUR COVER LETTER NOW

 

Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

 

Key Points

 

Here’s how to write an ICU nurse resume: 

  • Start with an ICU nurse resume template. Inject it with your best ICU nurse attributes.
  • Include ICU nurse skills like endotracheal tube management or documentation. Add numbers to energize the hiring team.
  • Write a critical care nurse resume objective with a cocktail of your best healthcare moments.
  • Add bonus material like an AACN membership, fitness pursuits, or certifications.

 

Got questions on how to write good resumes for ICU nurse jobs? Wondering how to put ICU nurse on a resume? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Career Writer at ResumeLab
Tom Gerencer (CPRW) is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. Tom has been featured on BBC News, NBC, The Economist, Business Insider, Fast Company, and dozens of other outlets. His insights, commentary, and articles reach over a million readers every month. With inside knowledge of key industry players and in-depth research, Tom helps job seekers with advice across all professions and career stages. Tom holds a degree in English from Colby College.

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