How To Write a Medical Surgical Nurse Resume

To write an effective medical surgical nurse resume, you must highlight the strongest aspects of your clinical experience and achievements within the health care industry. Focus on showcasing your proven track record of driving positive outcomes, improving patient satisfaction, and delivering patient-centered care. This guide will help you translate your experience into an accomplishment-driven resume.

  • Entry-level
  • Mid-career
  • Senior-level
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1. Write a brief summary of your medical surgical nurse qualifications

A resume profile is a concise, powerful summary that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. In just two to three sentences, describe your expertise, years of experience, and the value you bring to medical facilities. Research the company and job requirements to pull keywords that match the employer’s needs, making your profile stand out.

Focus on highlighting your dedication to providing high-quality care, proficiency in managing complex cases, and ability to thrive in fast-paced environments. To make your profile even more impactful, consider including an impressive statistic that showcases a significant accomplishment. Your profile should leave a lasting impression on hiring managers and entice them to explore your resume fully.

Senior-Level Profile Example:

A certified medical surgical nurse with 10 years of professional experience specializing in patient-centric care, case management, oncology, and hospital operations. A proven track record of leading nursing teams to perform patient assessments and improve clinical outcomes. A strong history of serving as a patient advocate.

Entry-Level Profile Example:

A recent nursing graduate with entry-level work experience, specializing in orthopedics, pediatric care, relationship building, and patient management. Adept at interfacing with patients to support activities of daily living (ADLs) and provide quality care based on empathy and cultural awareness.

2. Add a compelling section featuring your medical surgical nurse experience

Use your professional experience section to demonstrate your value and impact in previous roles. The best way to do this is by taking an accomplishment-driven approach to your writing. Start by quantifying your work history with metrics and numbers whenever possible. For example, discuss the nurse-to-patient ratio, patient satisfaction rates, or the number of successful surgeries you’ve completed. This strategy adds credibility to your claims and shows your abilities in real, measurable terms.

Also, showcase your ability to coordinate with physicians and diverse multidisciplinary teams in high-volume hospital environments. Highlighting your experience providing empathetic care to diverse patients and building relationships will also go a long way in branding you as a leader in the eyes of hiring managers.

Senior-Level Professional Experience Example:

Senior Medical Surgical Nurse Supervisor, Crozer Hospital, Chester, PA

April 2016 – present

  • Deliver patient-centered nursing care to a diverse group of patients across the acute care surgical unit, which includes managing cases, performing assessments, and delivering care based on age, risk factors, and cultural needs
  • Manage a team of nurses in a 250-bed hospital, provide support, and coordinate patient flow, admissions, and discharges to ensure efficiency and quality of care
  • Coordinate with physicians to provide patient care across urology, oncology, gynecology, and colorectal surgical lines
  • Maintain, update, and manage patient medical records, ensure compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards, and improve organizational processes to enhance workflows

Entry-Level Professional Experience Example:

Nursing Extern, UW Medical Center, Seattle, WA

April 2020 – June 2021

  • Monitored patient vital signs, collected blood samples, administered medication in accordance with physician treatment plans, and performed patient testing under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RNs)
  • Assisted patients with ADLs, performed physical examinations, and supported RNs with patient intake and discharges
  • Provided support for the transport of patients and ensured a safe environment in compliance with hospital regulations
  • Created medical reports and documentation of patient symptoms

An academic background provides essential information about your qualifications and expertise, helping employers quickly assess if you meet the requirements for the role. Education and certification sections will showcase your formal training and specialized knowledge in nursing. Starting with your highest level of education, provide the degree name, institution, location, and graduation date.

As a licensed professional, you’ll need to include a separate certification section to list your state license at a minimum. A credential such as Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) may also be necessary for your role. Additional certifications for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) are also often required, so be sure to include them.



  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] [Dates Enrolled]


  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nursing
  • Widener University, Chester, PA June 2007 – June 2011



  • [Certification Name], [Awarding Organization], [Completion Year]


  • Medical Surgical Nurse – Board Certified (MEDSURG-BC™), April 2016

A key skills section is critical to a medical surgical nurse resume, providing employers with valuable insights into your capacity to deliver patient care. Including these skills showcases your proficiency in essential clinical and technical areas, highlighting your ability to handle diverse medical conditions and complex procedures. Your goal is to speak directly to the needs of the medical surgical unit or health care facility you’re applying to with this list of skills. Take a look at our collection of examples below:

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Acute care Case management
Electronic medical records (EHR) HIPAA
Medication administration Patient advocacy
Patient-centered care Patient discharge
Patient intake Patient management
Pediatric care Physical examinations
Post-operative (post-op) care Pre-operative (pre-op) care
Surgical care Wound care
Team management Telemetry
Trauma care Treatment plans

How To Pick the Best Medical Surgical Nurse Resume Template

Before you finalize your resume, you’ll need a solid template that will make your nursing abilities shine. The best resume template for a medical surgical nurse is simple, clean, and organized. The design should emphasize your most relevant professional experience and skills without detracting from the content of your resume. Avoid overly decorative templates and flashy graphics that may distract readers. Opt for those that offer a professional design and classic fonts to enhance readability. Make it easy for hiring managers to scan and capture all your most essential professional information by selecting the right template for the job.

Medical Surgical Nurse Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Entry-level
  • Mid-career
  • Senior-level

Jennifer Robinson
(123) 456-7890
[email protected]
123 Your Street, New York, NY 12345


A Certified Medical Surgical Nurse with seven years of professional experience, specializing in surgical care, patient education, and treatment plan development. A strong background of collaborating with interdisciplinary healthcare teams to deliver patient-centered care within high-volume acute surgical environments.

Professional Experience

Medical Surgical Nurse, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY
April 2017 – Present

  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to analyze patient data, evaluate diagnosis, and implement treatment plans based on symptoms, age, and mental health needs
  • Deliver patient-centered care in a 50-bed hospital with 1:6 patient ratios and educate patients and families on prognosis, treatment plans, and at-home care
  • Administer medication, perform physical examinations of patients, collect blood samples, deliver IVs, and perform EKG testing

Medical Surgical Nurse, New York City and Health Hospital, New York, NY
June 2014 – April 2017

  • Conducted patient assessments, coordinated triage, documented and evaluated patient symptoms, and developed treatment plans with physicians and interdisciplinary medical teams to provide high-quality care in a 35-bed hospital unit
  • Ensured compliance with infection prevention procedures and hospital safety guidelines
  • Administered medication, supported physicians during invasive procedures, non-invasive procedures, and exams, and conducted medical testing


Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nursing
University of Syracuse, Syracuse, NY September 2010 – May 2014

Key Skills

  • Patient-centered Care
  • Acute Surgical Care
  • Orthopedics
  • Pediatric Care
  • Patient Triage
  • Electronic Health Records (EHR)


  • Medical Surgical Nurse – Board Certified (MEDSURG-BC™), April 2016
  • Registered Nurse (RN), State of New York, License #12345678, June 2014
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification, June 2014
  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) Certification, June 2014

Frequently Asked Questions: Medical Surgical Nurse Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for medical surgical nurse resumes?-

Using action verbs on your resume helps you demonstrate your proactive approach to patient care and showcases your ability to take initiative in various medical scenarios. Consider using some of these powerful words to enhance your medical surgical nurse resume:

Action Verbs
Administered Analyzed
Conducted Coordinated
Collaborated Delivered
Developed Diagnosed
Enhanced Identified
Implemented Improved
Led Managed
Oversaw Performed
Provided Resolved
Supported Treated
How do you align your resume with a medical surgical nurse job description?-

Employment for nurses is projected to grow by 6% between 2021 and 2031, creating more than 195,000 new jobs over the decade. Even though the demand for nurses remains high, you’ll find no shortage of competition for the most desirable roles. You must align your resume with the job description to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Start by thoroughly analyzing the job posting and requirements to understand the needs of the organization you’re applying to. For example, if a hospital emphasizes patient advocacy, feature your background in delivering empathetic care based on your patients' emotional, cultural, physical, and spiritual needs. This will show prospective employers you have a strong background in patient-centered care.

What is the best medical surgical nurse resume format?-

The reverse chronological resume format is generally the most effective choice for medical surgical nurses. This format emphasizes your work history, showcasing your progressive experience and growth in the field. It allows you to highlight your medical expertise, specialized skills, and relevant accomplishments in a clear timeline. Functional resumes are not recommended by recruiters, even at the entry level, as skill-based formats don’t provide a structure for detailed bullet points. In this situation, you could reorder your sections and emphasize your experience during your nurse externship or academic program.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume

Increase your chances of securing an interview by crafting a powerful cover letter. Customization is key to creating a compelling document that complements your resume and speaks to the employer's needs. Learn how to craft your medical surgical nurse cover letter with our comprehensive guide. For additional inspiration, check out our other cover letter guides for nurses and surgical technologists.

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