Do you need one nursing resume for each specialty?
If you wish to maximize your opportunities and land the specialty of your dreams–then, yes, you really do!
Almost every resume that is ‘prepped for makeover operation’ on my desk has been universally written. Meaning that the former writer neither strategically positioned experience, nor promoted most relevant qualifying clinical skills (patient care exposure, disease etiologies, or patient population) based on the specific requirements of the targeted unit.
Please understand that everything listed on your nursing resume must brand you as a top-choice nurse for that particular specialty. You must convince your future employer that you are ready to re-enter or transition into that particular medical field by using the right verbiage, promoting the right nursing skills, and refocusing your nursing resume to align with the nursing philosophy, mission, and tempo of that particular unit.
As you know, all nurses follow some universal practices across most healthcare settings (nursing process, patient education, medication administration, charting, etc.). However, you also know that each specialty is very different, requiring specialized care. Psychiatry, L&D, ICU, Medical Surgical, Telemetry, Home Health, etc. — they all have different patient care focuses and competency requirement that separate them from each other—your resume must address those specific pain points, in a promotional manner!
See examples below. Two examples for very closely related fields:
Labor & Delivery RN
High integrity and compassionate RN who is committed, ready, and passionate about carving a path toward labor & delivery nursing by leveraging 5-year training on a top labor & delivery unit, refining mom-and-child clinical care skills (mom and child bonding, infant assessment, breastfeeding education).
Humbled by the impact of pediatric disease on child development and ready to serve as a pediatric patient advocate through age-appropriate care and by folding family dynamics into care planning.
Remember that your resume is a marketing tool, and must be geared to your target audience.