LVN, CNA, and RN Skills You Need To Add In Your Resume

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To succeed in healthcare, a good resume will go a long way. Healthcare hiring is quick, competitive and oftentimes brutal. Your resume is your first impression with your prospective facilities, and it has to be a good one. Nowadays, companies simply will not spend a long amount of time looking at someone’s resume, before they have made their decision. They are looking for a precise list of qualifications and skills that best suits their current vacancies. Though it may differ on a case by case basis, most facilities look for a handful of core skills when they are enlisting LPNs, RNs, and CNAs. To get you started on writing an eye catching resume, this guide will highlight some of the most on-demand skills in the healthcare marketplace.


Communication skills

CNAs have to stay on the same page with their patients, supervisors and fellow HCPs. They need to coordinate their efforts while providing patients with both education regarding their condition and treatment, as well as emotional support during a potentially difficult time in their lives.  This requires a great deal of verbal, nonverbal and written communication skills. Not only should you be able to talk to them with compassion, you also need the empathy and awareness to read between the lines. A good CNA can note their mannerisms and tics, to figure out what they are not saying. From there they can adjust their approach to make the process more comfortable.

Attention to detail

Nonverbal tics are not the only details that CNAs must pay attention to. To be an effective CNA, you need to have an eye for detail no matter what you do. Nurse aides are expected to watch over their patients, and report any sudden changes in condition. Some of these shifts are immediately apparent while others are more subtle, and require both knowledge and a sharp eye to notice.

HCPs may also be asked to hand out medications. In these instances, they are given precise instructions by a physician as to what exactly they have to give out. As a mistake can be fatal at the worst of times, CNAs must pay attention and be sure they are providing the correct dosage, type of medication, and at the right times.

Checking vital signs

On a basic level, every HCP (let alone CNA) must know how to do this. Checking vital signs is the quickest way to monitor a patient’s current condition. You can tell a lot about their status from their breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and more. This is a crucial step with regards to evaluating the effectiveness of the current treatment plan, seeing if there are any sudden changes, and keeping track of the pace of their recovery.


Clinical skills

Compared to CNAs, LVNs take on a greater deal of clinical responsibility. It is important to list your clinical skills, to highlight your ability to thrive in such a setting. This includes monitoring vital signs, which was mentioned earlier, dressing patient wounds, drawing blood, operating IVs, administering catheters and more. LVNs take on a broad list of responsibilities in the medical workplace, and you need to make it clear that you are ready for them.


Healthcare is a volatile profession. From patient condition, to facility funding and workload, everything is subject to change at all times. This is why HCPs like LVNs have to be calm under pressure. They need to show a capacity to adapt with a changing environment, and stay calm in the middle of high pressure situations. In case they ask you about this point during an interview, be sure you have an example in your mind where you were presented with a high-stress situation, and handled it calmly and appropriately.

Time management

It is not uncommon for LVNs to be tasked with multiple cases at a time. You could be assigned a number of cases or tasks that seem impossible to finish within a single shift. That is why facilities want LVNs with the stamina and time management skills to multitask efficiently, while maintaining a certain level of productivity and composure. As with adaptability, be sure you can draw an example from your prior work experience of you displaying the kind of time management that is needed to succeed in healthcare.


Critical thinking

Registered nurses take on greater responsibilities in clinical settings, compared to their LVN and CNA counterparts. They have a direct hand on creating care plans, evaluating their effectiveness, and making necessary adjustments. While important on all levels of healthcare, it is especially important that RNs possess the critical thinking needed to navigate complex situations and solve difficult medical problems that do not have immediate issues. It is one thing to possess medical knowledge, but it is a different matter entirely to apply it effectively.

Patient and family education

Though briefly mentioned with ‘communication,’ RNs are crucial with providing patient education. They inform both patients and patient families on their current condition and alternative treatment plans, in the simplest and most easy-to-understand terms possible. Medical jargon can be overwhelming at the best of times, so “merely’ simplifying things is a skill unto itself. In addition, RNs need to do all this without overwhelming their patients. Even if they have bad news, it must be given in the gentlest way possible.

EHR Proficiency

More and more, facilities are moving towards digital health records. This makes it easier for RNs to access vital patient information that is securely stored in a cloud server. This is why proficiency with Electronic Health Record (EHR) software will be on high demand in the coming years. You can talk about your general proficiency with EHR, but if you worked with certain EHR software in the past, do not be afraid to list them all on your resume.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions and Examples


CNAs are often in charge of keeping records about patients. This will include writing things like the treatment your patient has received, when they received it and how they reacted to it. Being able to keep detailed records will allow doctors and nurses to provide the best care to patients.

In many work environments, you won’t be the only person taking care of a single patient. This makes it especially important that the records kept on that patient are accurate. It will help provide other caregivers with information such as what medications the patient is on. If you’re diligent and detailed in keeping records, this is a good skill to list on your CNA resume.

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