ICU Nurse Resume Example & Writing Guide

Use this ICU Nurse resume example and guide to improve your career and write a powerful resume that will separate you from the competition.

Intensive care units are some of the most high-pressure environments in healthcare. Nurses working in critical care units are tasked with monitoring and administering care for patients who are critically ill or injured. They must be prepared to handle a wide range of situations, from stabilizing a patient after surgery to managing a life-threatening asthma attack.

As an ICU nurse, you might work in a large hospital or a smaller acute care facility. You might work in a specialty area like cardiology or pediatrics. You might even travel to different facilities on a regular basis to provide care for patients who are being transported between hospitals.

No matter what type of setting you work in, you’ll need an exceptional resume that highlights your experience, skills, and achievements. Here are some tips and an example to help you write a stellar ICU nurse resume that will get you noticed by recruiters.

James Smith
Chicago, IL | (123) 456-7891 | [email protected]

Dedicated ICU nurse with 10+ years of experience providing critical care to patients in life-threatening situations. Proven ability to manage a team of nurses, prioritize patient care, and maintain a positive attitude in high-stress environments. Seeking an opportunity to use my skills and experience to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

University of Illinois at Chicago Jun '10
B.S. in Nursing
Company A, ICU Nurse Jan '17 – Current
  • Assessed, monitored and responded to patient’s vital signs including blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation levels.
  • Documented all assessments in the electronic medical record (EMR) as well as any interventions or changes in care plans for each patient.
  • Communicated with physicians regarding patients’ status and needs and provided education to patients/families about their illness/condition and treatment plan.
  • Collaborated with other members of the healthcare team to ensure optimal outcomes for our patients such as performing post-surgical dressing checks, administering medications, starting IVs when needed etc..
  • Maintained a clean work environment by adhering to infection control policies and procedures which included hand hygiene before entering the room of a patient who is known to be MRSA positive or VRE positive among others.
Company B, ICU Nurse Jan '12 – Dec '16
  • Communicated with physicians and other nurses to ensure the best possible care for patients
  • Documented patient information in medical records, including vital signs, symptoms, and progress notes
  • Prepared sterile equipment and supplies before administering treatment or drawing blood samples
  • Followed all infection control procedures while maintaining a clean environment for patients
  • Ensured that each patient received adequate nutrition by monitoring their intake and output
Company C, Nurses Assistant Jan '09 – Dec '11
  • Assisted patients with activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting.
  • Transported patients to and from various appointments, tests, and procedures.
  • Maintained a clean and safe environment for patients, staff, and visitors.
  • Registered Nurse License
  • Critical Care Nurse Certification
  • Certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

Industry Knowledge: Triage, EKG, Blood Pressure Monitoring, CPR, Sterilization, Urinalysis, Phlebotomy, HIPAA
Technical Skills: EPIC, Cerner, Meditech, McKesson, Allscripts, Microsoft Office Suite
Soft Skills: Critical thinking, Problem-Solving, Decision Making, Teamwork, Communication, Empathy, Leadership

How to Write an ICU Nurse Resume

Here’s how to write an icu nurse resume of your own.

Write Compelling Bullet Points

Bullet points are the most important part of your resume because they’re the first thing recruiters will read. And they’re the best way to showcase your experience and qualifications.

But many applicants make the mistake of using generic bullet points that don’t really tell a story or provide any context. For example, rather than saying you “provided patient care,” you could say you “provided critical care to a trauma patient suffering from gunshot wounds, resulting in a successful recovery.”

The second bullet point is much more interesting and provides more detail about what you did and the outcome of your work.

Related: What Is an ICU Nurse? How to Become One

Identify and Include Relevant Keywords

When you apply for a job as a critical care nurse, your resume is often sent through an applicant tracking system (ATS) that scans it for certain keywords. The ATS looks for keywords related to the position, like “ICU” or “intensive care unit.” If your resume doesn’t include enough of the right terms, the ATS might discard your application before a recruiter ever sees it.

To increase your chances of getting an interview, make sure to include relevant keywords throughout your resume. You can add them into the work experience, skills, summary, and education sections. Here are some of the most commonly used critical care nurse keywords:

  • Nursing
  • Basic Life Support (BLS)
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Patient Safety
  • Hospitals
  • Acute Care
  • Inpatient Care
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Healthcare
  • Healthcare Management
  • Nursing Education
  • Patient Education
  • Emergency Nursing
  • IV Therapy
  • Medication Administration
  • Heart Failure
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) Training
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Acute Care Nursing
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Adult Critical Care
  • Family-Centered Care
  • Medical-Surgical
  • Patient Assessment
  • IV Fluids
  • Nursing Management
  • Vital Signs
  • Clinical Research

Showcase Your Technical Skills

As an ICU nurse, you need to be proficient in a variety of software programs and systems in order to provide the best care for your patients. This might include familiarity with electronic health records (EHR) systems, patient monitoring systems, and medical devices. Additionally, you need to be able to use technology to communicate with other members of the healthcare team, including doctors and nurses.

Some of the programs and systems that ICU nurses are typically expected to be proficient in include: EHR software, patient monitoring software, and medical devices.

Related: How Much Does an ICU Nurse Make?

Remember The Basics

As you draft your resume, you’ll want to keep a few basic guidelines in mind.

Make Your Resume Easy to Scan

There are a few things you can do to your resume to make it more readable and understandable. Try to left-align your text, use a standard font size and type, and keep your bullets to 2 lines or less. Additionally, use formatting sparingly and make sure it is consistent throughout the document. Finally, leave some white space on the page to make the document less overwhelming.

Be Concise

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the length of a resume. However, a one-page resume is generally a good rule of thumb for recent graduates and those early in their careers. For more experienced candidates, a two-page resume may be more appropriate. When deciding on the length of your resume, it’s important to focus on including the most relevant and important information. Brevity is key, so be selective in what you include.


Proofreading your resume is an important step in ensuring that it is effective and error-free. Spell checking is a must, as are punctuation and grammar checks. It is also helpful to have someone else proofread your resume for you, as they may catch mistakes that you have missed. Beware of easily confused words, and make sure that your tense is consistent throughout the resume.

Use a Summary

A resume summary statement can be an extremely useful way to orient a recruiter to your experience and goals. It should be succinct, no more than 3-4 sentences, and should highlight your most relevant skills and experiences. Additionally, a well-crafted summary can show that you are acutely aware of what you have to offer and what you are looking for in a new role. If you can, try to tailor your summary to the specific position you are applying for.

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