Thanks for the question!
Yes it is different to write a resume for nursing than for other jobs. I actually use a Curriculum Vitae (CV). The difference between a resume and a CV is that in a resume, you try to be a brief as possible. It should never exceed one page, although you’ll hear different advice from different people. For a CV, it needs to be as lengthy and intricate as possible, mine is three pages long with 0.4 inch margins. Some people say that you shouldn’t have a CV unless you are in a Masters program—which I am, so that’s not an issue. But I would have had one regardless. I was a medical case manager so I have a ton of training sabbaticals that are relevant to healthcare.
You need to include an objective, your education, work experience, and clinical rotations. Mention which hospitals and which floors you rotated on. To save space, I list all the hospitals in bold in a list, followed by the floors in regular font with the dates on the side (2009-Fall 2012). Then underneath, I discuss the skills acquired during these rotations.
If you have room, you should also list your certifications (BLS, ACLS, PALS) and professional associations (AACN, ANA, ENA, etc). Only add ones that are relevant to healthcare or areas that are also applicable (like education; leave off your certification as a character princess at Disneyland). The same applies for work experience. You will have plenty of space to add your past ten years of work experience on an official job application, so only include relevant work experience. For instance, I never put my many waitress jobs on my CV, I’ll add those come application time.
That is all I can think of for now. I took a resume writing class through a small organization near where I live and it was so worth it. I highly recommend it if there are ones available in your area.