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    Nursa Staff

    How To Build a Resume With PRN Work


    For those who wish to work in the nursing field, you may already know that crafting a great resume is the first step to landing your dream job at a hospital or medical setting. Saying that, think of a resume as the first impression you make when invited to an important social gathering. Only this time, your resume will serve as the initial presentation for a potential employer. 

    You may be asking yourself, ‘but what if I am a Per Diem nurse that has picked up contract work in the past, does this affect my viability when applying to new jobs?’ Yes, but in a great way! As a matter of fact, showcasing your PRN work can demonstrate to a future full-time employer that you are flexible and able to adapt to a range of fast-paced environments within the healthcare industry. 

    Therefore, don’t be afraid to list PRN work or pick up new gigs when needed. In fact, PRN jobs can be the perfect way to break into the professional nursing scene. 

    So how can a PRN nurse land a competitive and professional nursing job? By showcasing your hard PRN work by building a robust and impressive resume. The best way to write a great resume as a PRN nurse is to make it short, sweet, and succinct. Below are a few tips on getting started and a few approaches to stand out by listing per diem work on your resume.

    Go Ahead And Show Off Your PRN Work!

    In the past, longevity and dedication to one place of employment showed potential new employers that a candidate was capable of commitment. Sure, maybe your grandfather or mother worked the same job up until retirement, but times have changed. In fact, one study showed that up to 78 million Americans have dabbled in the gig economy. On the same token, per diem nursing has become an accessible and convenient way for CNAs, LPN/LVNs, and RNs who are looking for flexibility to also gain new skills within the field of nursing.

    But how can a clinician highlight their per diem work and show their commitment to the field? Well, the first step to landing any job is to write an excellent resume. When writing a resume as a PRN nurse, it requires a few organizational strategies that will help highlight your contract work and snag that first interview.

    How to Draft A Resume Showcasing Per Diem Nursing Work

    Did you know that listing PRN work on your resume is actually a great way to show versatility as an employee? Believe it or not, there is a way you can organize your resume that demonstrates exceptional adaptability to new positions. Not sure how to list all your past contract work on your resume? Follow the steps below for tips on grabbing your future employer’s attention with a stellar PRN resume. 

    1. Make a concise first objective statement at the beginning of your resume, directly under your name:

      Your objective statement would be like the first words that come out of your mouth when trying to impress a potential employer. Many times it’s the only part an employer reads. Because of this, make it count. Make sure to point out that your a PRN clinician which in turn means you're adaptable, dependable, and comfortable with changing environments.

      Also, highlight the key skills that will be specifically required for the job you are applying to. Keep the objective summary under three sentences and remove any filler or fluff sentences. You can check out some awesome objective summaries from nurses here.

    2. Identify an overall theme that tailors to the gig or per diem nursing job you are applying to:

      When writing a PRN resume, always tailor your tone to the specific position you are applying to. For instance, an employer looking for a hospice or psychiatric nurse may look for applicant traits that exemplify empathy, warmth, and compassion. It's important to spotlight key skills particular to the position that you hope to land by highlighting the PRN shifts you've taken where you've utilized those skillsets.

    3. Combine similar work:

      Try not to get caught up in the details of how short or long your past PRN nursing gigs were. Just focus on keeping your resume organized and highlighting your skills and expertise. List both long-term and short-term jobs in reverse chronological order. Include “Per Diem” in the job title when applicable, along with a range of when you started and ended the PRN work, and the type of work you focused on.

    4. You can write your resume in the first or third person, as long as you are consistent:

      Resumes are often written in the first or third person (implied) meaning, and the pronouns are dropped. So instead of “I maintained accurate, complete health reports of patients,” it would read, “Maintained accurate, complete health reports of patients.” Either way works as long as you stick with one way throughout your resume.

    5. Showcase your accomplishments:

      You've worked hard to get where you are so make sure you list all those accomplishments. Schooling, credentials, and any certifications you've earned should be listed in reverse chronological order. 

    6. The standard phrase “references available upon request” is unnecessary:

      Employers know that when they want to review references for a candidate, they need only ask. Omit this part on your resume. If you do get asked to provide a reference for your PRN work, don't be afraid to ask the DON or scheduler at places you've taken shifts with to write you one.

    7. Keep your resume to one page and make it visually appealing:

      Making a full circle back to first impressions, it’s also important that you “dress up” your resume, which means making sure that font, style, and white space are even throughout. Also, keep in mind that hiring managers may only skim through your resume. Therefore, most professional resume writing resources recommend you stick to one page when showcasing your experience. 

    In summary, keep it simple, keep it short, keep it sweet. When writing a resume as a PRN nurse, try and keep it as simple, concise, and organized as possible. Leave out the fluff, and highlight the nursing skills tailored to the position you are applying for. Quality over quantity is what you are aiming for. 

    Are you currently working as a per diem CNA, LPN/LVNs, or RN? What tips can you offer to other nurses to show off your best PRN work experience on your resume? Drop a comment and your pointers below. 


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