Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume Example & Job Description

You’re always there for your patients when they need you, make sure you look after yourself too with a medical-surgical nurse resume that gives you options. Here’s how.

Bart Turczynski
Editor-in-Chief
Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume Example & Job Description

Abstract: Medical-surgical nurses provide health care to adults who present with a range of medical issues or are preparing for surgery or recovering from it. The purpose of your medical surgical nurse resume is to show your ability to provide excellent patient care in a range of busy healthcare contexts.

Just because so many RNs work in general medical and surgical hospitals—

 

Doesn’t mean that medical-surgical nursing jobs are easy to get.

 

Far from it:

 

You’re not the only one going the medical-surgical route.

 

You’ll need to stand out from the crowd, big time.

 

Do that by showing you’ve got what it takes.

 

And do that with a medical-surgical nurse resume that gets pulses racing.

 

In this guide:

 

  • A medical surgical nurse resume sample better than the vast majority.
  • How to create the perfect medical surgical nurse job descriptions for resumes.
  • How to write a resume for medical surgical nurse jobs that stands out.
  • Expert tips and examples to boost your chances of landing a med-surg nursing job.

 

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medical surgical nurse resume templates

 

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Just getting started in nursing or looking for a different specialization? We’ve got just the guides for you:

 

 

Medical-Surgical Resume Sample

 

Petra Walmsley

Medical Surgical Nurse

 

Personal Info

Phone: 617-376-5864

E-mail: petra.walmsley@reslab.com

linkedin.com/in/petracwalmsley

 

Summary

 

Hardworking medical-surgical nurse with 6+ years of experience working in busy hospital contexts. Seeking to bring compassionate approach and proven prioritization skills to bear on QualMed’s busy wards. At Saint Luke’s, reduced amount of self-administered opiates by up to 20% and shortened time-to-discharge by 3-5% without increased risk to patients.

 

Experience 

 

Medical-Surgical Nurse

Saint Luke’s

2017–present

  • Reduced amount of self-administered opiates by up to 20% by providing alternative pain management using Healing Touchby hospital protocol.
  • Changed 2,000+ dressings, inserted 1,000+ catheters, and started 1,500+ IVs.
  • Consulted with out-of-state relatives via social media, putting them at ease and supplementing patient histories 20% quicker than over the phone.
  • Collaborated on discharge planning with the healthcare team, shortening time-to-discharge by 3-5% without increased risk to patients.

 

Medical-Surgical Nurse

Libre Health

2015–2017

  • Maintained and updated patient files, medical charts, and health records for over 1,000 patients.
  • Monitored patients' vital signs and reported adverse reactions to medications in a timely manner.
  • Managed temporary increases in the numbers of patients of up to 35% by incorporating principles of time management into shift routine.
  • Prepared and administered 200+ different prescribed medications.

 

Education 

 

BS in Nursing, Herzing University, Atlanta, GA

2011–2015

  • Pursued a passion for acute care coursework.
  • Graduated valedictorian.

 

Certifications

 

  • CMSRN, 2017
  • RN (licence no. 123456789)
  • ACLS, TrainMedical
  • BLS, American Red Cross

 

Professional Memberships

 

  • Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses

 

Key Skills

 

  • Wound care
  • Acute care
  • IV therapy
  • Basic life support
  • Infection control
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Prioritization skills

 

Now here’s how to write a med-surg nursing resume that gets results:

 

1. Choose the Right Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume Format

 

Picture this:

 

There’s a desk somewhere with printed-out resumes on it—

 

Ready for further triage.

 

But yours isn’t there.

 

Why?

 

It was haphazardly formatted, cramped, generally off-putting.

 

So use your resume format to make your resume a pleasure to read. Here’s how:

 

Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume Format

 

 

Saving your resume in PDF is great for preserving the layout and general appearance, but if the job ad requires something less stable, like *.docx, then always go with that.

 

Most Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) can handle resumes in PDF these days, but you never know.

Expert Hint: Include your name and surname, telephone number, and email address in your resume header. Optionally, you can add your LinkedIn URL.

2. Start With a Winning Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume Profile

 

Start your medical-surgical nurse resume with the right kind of resume profile.

 

What’s right for you?

 

Easy:

 

Got nursing experience?

 

Then a resume summary statement is for you. 

 

It should show fast how unfazed you are by hospital chaos.

 

Use:

 

  1. One adjective (efficient, reliable, compassionate)
  2. Job title (Medical-Surgical Nurse)
  3. Years of experience (4+, 5+)
  4. What you can do for your employer (provide excellent patient care)
  5. Two or three of your most impressive nursing achievements (administered 200+ different medications, worked on a 20-bed ward)

 

These medical-surgical nurse resume examples show how:

 

Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume Summary

Good Example
Hardworking medical-surgical nurse with 6+ years of experience working in busy hospital contexts. Seeking to bring compassionate approach and proven prioritization skills to bear on QualMed’s busy wards. At Saint Luke’s, reduced amount of self-administered opiates by up to 20% and shortened time-to-discharge by 3-5% without increased risk to patients.
Bad Example
Caring medical-surgical nurse with 6 years of experience working in hospitals. Seeking to broaden skill set on QualMed’s busy wards. At Saint Luke’s, reduced amount of self-administered opiates and shortened time-to-discharge without increased risk to patients.

Feel the difference?

 

The first example is concrete, dealing in facts and figures:

 

It’s this kind of putting numbers to your resume achievements that really makes them pop.

 

But what if you’re writing a resume with no experience?

 

There’s a profile for that:

 

Start with a resume objective statement and focus on achievements from non-nursing jobs, hospital internships, and especially volunteer work.

 

Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume Objective

Good Example
Hardworking recent nursing graduate, seeking to bring compassionate approach and proven prioritization skills to bear on QualMed’s busy wards as a medical-surgical nurse. During studies, pursued a passion for acute-care coursework, graduated valedictorian.
Bad Example
Inexperienced nurse fresh out of college. Some placement work experience, looking forward to gaining more real-world, hands-on experience.

The first example is clearly the better one.

 

Most importantly, it’s focused on what the candidate can do for the employer, not the other way around.

 

Feeling a bit overwhelmed?

 

That’s understandable, here’s a neat trick:

 

Write your medical-surgical nurse resume profile last.

 

It’ll be much easier after you’ve done your job descriptions and skills section.

Expert Hint: To make a resume ATS-compliant, in your resume profile use the name of the company you’re applying to.

3. Prepare the Perfect Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume Job Descriptions and Skills Section

 

Here’s the prescription for success:

 

The best way to show you can do the job—

 

Use your resume work history section to show that you’ve already done it—

 

And done it well.

 

How to write a medical surgical nurse resume job description:

 

  1. Take a load off for a couple of minutes and re-read the job ad.
  2. Identify the med-surg nurse skills and duties in it.
  3. Brainstorm times you’ve used those skills to deliver amazing patient care.
  4. Write resume bullet points that describe those times, with numbers.

 

These medical surgical nurse resume examples show how:

 

Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume Job Description

Good Example

Medical-Surgical Nurse

Saint Luke’s

2017–present

  • Reduced amount of self-administered opiates by up to 20% by providing alternative pain management using Healing Touchby hospital protocol.
  • Changed 2,000+ dressings, inserted 1,000+ catheters, and started 1,500+ IVs.
  • Consulted with out-of-state relatives via social media, putting them at ease and supplementing patient histories 20% quicker than over the phone.
  • Collaborated on discharge planning with the healthcare team, shortening time-to-discharge by 3-5% without increased risk to patients.
Bad Example

Medical-Surgical Nurse

Saint Luke’s

2017–present

  • Provided alternative pain management using Healing Touchby hospital protocol.
  • Changed dressings, inserted catheters, and started IVs.
  • Consulted with out-of-state relatives via social media.
  • Collaborated on discharge planning with the healthcare team.

Who would you rather have with you on the ward?

 

The first example puts numbers to achievements—

 

It helps the candidate to both stand out and impress.

 

Writing a resume but low on work experience?

 

Use the same kind of accomplishment statements to pull in relevant achievements from non-nursing jobs you’ve done.

 

And then:

 

Remember to include a resume skills section.

 

But—

 

Don’t swamp your medical-surgical nurse resume with random nursing skills.

 

Let the job ad guide you as to what’s desirable—

 

And stick to skills you’ve actually demonstrated at work.

 

The lists below are just an example.

 

Skills for a Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume

 

Hard Skills

 

  • Wound care
  • Acute care
  • IV therapy
  • Basic life support
  • Infection control
  • Medication administration
  • Post-operative care
  • Pain management
  • Blood collection
  • MEDITECH software
  • Computer skills

 

Soft Skills

 

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Prioritization skills
  • Assessment skills
  • Detail orientation
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Diligence
  • Interpersonal skills

 

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. Your Education Is Important—Treat It as Such

 

There’s no way into nursing that doesn’t include a formal education—

 

And that’s probably for the best.

 

Your education wasn’t easy to come by, so do it justice in your medical-surgical nurse resume.

 

Include:

 

The degree (with major), school name, and years attended.

 

And then:

 

Add bullets that point to key nursing skills.

 

This medical-surgical nurse resume example shows how:

 

Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume Examples—Education

Good Example

BS in Nursing, Herzing University, Atlanta, GA

2011–2015

  • Pursued a passion for acute care coursework.
  • Graduated valedictorian.

Short on nursing experience? 

 

Expand your education section by including bullet points with projects, classes, and activities that demonstrate medical-surgical nursing skills.

 

5. Enrich Your Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume With Added Sections

 

The problem:

 

A huge proportion of qualified nurses move into meg-surg nursing.

 

The treatment:

 

Stand out from the crowd by adding extra sections to your resume.

 

Anything that’s relevant to the job is fair game:

 

 

These two medical-surgical nurse resume examples show yes vs no:

 

Medical-Surgical Nurse Resume Sample—Extra Sections

Good Example

Certifications

 

  • CMSRN, 2017
  • RN (licence no. 123456789)
  • ACLS, TrainMedical
  • BLS, American Red Cross

 

Professional Memberships

 

  • Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses
Bad Example

Certifications

 

  • CMSRN
  • RN
  • ACLS
  • BLS

 

Hobbies

 

  • Hiking
  • Shooting (pistols, indoor)
  • OCR

Yes vs no indeed.

 

Hobbies, activities and personal interests are fine on a resume, but they—like everything else you mention in your resume—have to be relevant to the job ad.

 

Almost there—

 

You just need a cover letter to go with your resume.

 

A cover letter is as much a part of the job application process as scrubs are a part of preparing for surgery.

 

The only excuse for not including one is having been asked not to.

 

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

 

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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

 

For a medical-surgical nurse resume that gets interviews:

 

  • Use the medical-surgical nurse resume template up above. It’s as clean and organized as a controlled substances cupboard.
  • Put medical-surgical nurse achievementsin your summary, work experience, and education sections to show you can handle the workload.
  • Select the right medical-surgical nurse skills. The job ad will show you in black and white what those are.
  • Write a medical-surgical nurse cover letter. Use it to showcase your passion and experience.

 

Were some of your medical-surgical nurse resume-writing questions left unanswered? Leave us a comment down below and we’ll be sure to get back to you.

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Bart Turczynski
Bart Turczynski is a career expert and the Editor-in-chief at ResumeLab. His career advice and commentary has been published by Glassdoor, The Chicago Tribune, Workopolis, The Financial Times, Hewlett-Packard, and CareerBuilder, among others. Bart’s mission is to promote the best, data-informed and up-to-date career advice on ResumeLab’s blog as well as through numerous online communities and publications. At ResumeLab, Bart manages a large team of career experts and editors in delivering top-quality, unique content. Bart’s life-long passion for politics and strong background in psychology makes all the advice published on ResumeLab unique, accurate, and supported by detailed research.

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