How to Write a Nursing Cover Letter

portrait of Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC

Keith Carlson

Contributing Writer

Learn about our editorial process .

Updated March 7, 2023

Reviewed by

Shrilekha Deshaies

Contributing Reviewer

Our Integrity Network is committed to delivering content that is objective and actionable. To that end, we have built a network of industry professionals across higher education to review our content and ensure we are providing the most helpful information to our readers.

Drawing on their firsthand industry expertise, our Integrity Network members serve as an additional step in our editing process, helping us confirm our content is accurate and up to date. These contributors:

  • Suggest changes to inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Provide specific, corrective feedback.
  • Identify critical information that writers may have missed.

Integrity Network members typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for as a side project. All Integrity Network members are paid members of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.

Explore our full list of Integrity Network members.

Man typing cover letter on a laptop

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

A nursing cover letter is still crucial in the job application process. It’s often the first impression a potential employer will have of you. A cover letter is a chance to tell your story and call attention to aspects of your resume you want a reviewer to notice.

It’s also a chance to explain to an employer why you want to work for them, what you know about them, and why you’re an ideal candidate. A strong cover letter can tip the balance in your favor, helping you stand out from the competition and land an interview.

In the following guide, we walk you through writing a strong nursing cover letter, mistakes to avoid, and real-world tips that will keep you focused. Check out our downloadable nursing cover letter template and a sample letter to get started. Once you master the process, you’ll be writing winning cover letters in no time.

4 Steps to Write Your Nursing Cover Letter

Writing a cover letter can feel overwhelming for many nurses, especially because it’s difficult to know what to say, how much to reiterate what’s on your resume , and what information to include or not. A cover letter is an opportunity to explain aspects of your professional or personal history that a resume can’t always get across. Your passion and interests come through, along with your ability to communicate clearly. Review the following steps to write a stand-out cover letter. Feel free to use our sample letter and downloadable template. The cover letter is a significant part of convincing employers that they absolutely need to meet you!

Create a Header with Your Contact Information

Introduce yourself and note the position you’re applying for in the opening paragraph, highlight your skills and the reasons you want to work for this employer, write a closing paragraph and restate your interest, 7 mistakes to avoid in your nursing cover letter.

  • Submitting Spelling and Grammar Errors: Nursing requires excellent documentation and attention to detail. Grammatical errors are unprofessional, and they can paint a picture of someone who doesn’t value attention to detail. Many resume reviewers will likely pass on a candidate whose resume and/or cover letter contain errors.
  • Copying Your Resume: Your nursing cover letter can highlight aspects of your resume , but it shouldn’t be a verbatim copy. Find creative ways to underscore your key characteristics, skills, or experiences without repetition.
  • Using Incorrect or Inconsistent Format: It’s best practice for your cover letter and resume to match in terms of design, font, and format. This creates a branded, visually cohesive application package.
  • Forgetting to Tie Your Qualifications to the Position: Your cover letter should be targeted and specific, addressing the position you’re applying for and its qualifications, skills, and responsibilities. If you don't tie your qualifications to the job in question, that makes a weak case for you getting an interview.
  • Failing to Address the Letter to a Specific Person or Department: Many postings fail to provide the name of an individual or a department to address in your letter. If they provide this information, use it. If they don’t, you can use the generic “Hiring Manager” or “Hiring Committee”.
  • Starting Every Paragraph with “I”: Be creative in finding different ways to begin each paragraph (see our sample letter for examples). If two paragraphs begin with “I”, that’s OK, but no more than that.

Tips from Nurses on Writing Your Nursing Cover Letter

Research potential employers, explain relevant skills that meet the position's qualifications, include your soft skills, highlight your best qualities, demonstrate your passion, showcase your ability and willingness to learn, check for errors, frequently asked questions about nursing cover letters, what should a nurse cover letter include.

A nurse cover letter should include a header with your name, credentials, and contact information, plus the receiver's contact information. The body of the letter should specifically address the position you’re applying for, and how you can fulfill the characteristics, credentials, skills, knowledge, and expertise required.

What should a nurse cover letter not include?

Your cover letter does not need to include phrases like, “My references are available upon request”; “Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns”; or “I can be contacted via email at _____________or via phone at _____________.” These are all givens, and if your contact information is in your header, there’s no need to say it again.

What's the difference between a new grad nurse cover letter and an experienced nurse cover letter?

A new grad nurse cover letter can't demonstrate the level of skill, expertise, and knowledge as a seasoned nurse. New grads haven’t accumulated years of nursing experience, but they have their academic and clinical performance, enthusiasm, passion, and related healthcare experience to share, whether paid or volunteer. When employers advertise new grad positions, they understand that new grad resumes and letters can't reflect the resumes of experienced nurses.

Are nursing cover letters necessary?

In these days of online applications, a cover letter may be optional, meaning that applicants can upload a cover letter if they choose to. For some applications, a cover letter will be required. Consider this: if a cover letter is optional, why not go the extra mile and write a strong one? If your resume and experience are comparable to another candidate’s, your cover letter could give you the edge. After all, a resume can’t by nature express much personality, but a cover letter can. So, make a strong impression with a well-crafted letter, whether it’s required or not.

Nursing Cover Letter Template

Download our cover letter template (DOCX, 14KB)

Name and Credentials

Town, State | Phone | Email

Personalized LinkedIn profile URL (optional)

Dept and/or contact person Facility or organization Street Town, State, Zip

Dear ________________:

Paragraph 1: Begin by stating the position for which you are applying. Say something about the organization to demonstrate that you’ve done your homework and understand what they’re all about, and that this letter is not at all “cookie-cutter” in nature.

Paragraph 2: Share select highlights of your career, expertise, experience, skills, or personal characteristics that are directly applicable to this position and/or this employer. You can emphasize something from your resume that you want them to make note of, as long as you don’t use exactly the same language as your resume, which is redundant.

Paragraph 3: This is a good place to highlight some of your “soft skills” (e.g., communication, emotional intelligence, relational intelligence, patient education, compassion, empathy, etc).

Paragraph 4: Here you can call attention to your computer skills, EMR experience, etc., as well as any other tech skills worth mentioning.

Closing paragraph: Tie the letter together, reiterate your interest, and express your enthusiastic desire to have the opportunity to meet to discuss your experience and the position further.

Sincerely, Your name and credentials

Sample Nursing Cover Letter

Miguel Schwartzkoffnian, BSN, RN

Annabelle, HA | 000-000-1000 | [email protected]

April 3, 2023

Department of Nursing Recruitment University of Tabula Rasa Medical Center 301 Rasa Drive Glen Tabularea, MOO 22222

Dear Nursing Recruitment Department:

As a caring and dedicated summa cum laude graduate of Adelphi University’s BSN program, please accept my enthusiastic interest in the Registered Nurse - Respiratory/Intermediate Care position posted on your website. I am both personally and professionally aligned with the values that are a very clear aspect of your organization’s mission. From your “Power of Caring” funding of your expanded Outpatient Care Center to your “Next Generation” initiative, I can clearly see the forward-thinking philosophy underlying UTRMC and its reputation as an innovative facility and community member.

During my education, I thrived in clinical practice where I received positive preceptor feedback following each rotation. I am highly coachable, and as you can see from my resume, I bring more than six years’ related healthcare experience as both an EMT and CNA. I am already well-versed in code blue response, Foley catheter insertion and care, venipuncture, ECG interpretation, and non-complex wound care. Comfortable in new settings, I am not afraid to ask questions to enhance my learning and improve the quality of care I deliver to patients and their families. I thrive in multidisciplinary environments, and I use my highly-developed communication skills and emotional and relational intelligence to foster a sense of camaraderie and collaboration among my colleagues, and nurse-patient relationships built on trust.

As a digital native and quick learner, I am highly competent using the Epic and Cerner EMRs and Microsoft Office Suite, and I have full confidence in my natural curiosity and powers of critical thinking in relation to learning new technologies and digital interfaces.

I have a great deal to contribute as a member of the UTRMC community of clinicians. I look forward to discussing the intersection of my skills and experience with the needs of your inspiring organization that embraces its role beyond the actual facility and into the surrounding community it serves.

Sincerely, Miguel Schwartzkoffnian, BSN, RN

Page last reviewed on February 24, 2023 is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.

Popular Resources

Resources and articles written by professionals and other nurses like you.

Nursing Cover Letter

Craft a standout Nursing Cover Letter with our expert tips & examples. Impress employers and land your dream job with our comprehensive guide.

Bernard Ramirez

What is a Nursing Cover Letter?

A is a crucial document that accompanies a nurse's resume when applying for a job. It serves as an introduction to the candidate and provides an opportunity to highlight relevant skills, experiences, and qualifications that make them an ideal fit for the position.

The purpose of a nursing cover letter is to grab the hiring manager's attention and convince them to review the applicant's resume in detail. It allows the nurse to showcase their passion for patient care, knowledge of healthcare practices, and ability to work effectively in a team.

A well-crafted nursing cover letter includes several key elements. It starts with a professional greeting and an introduction that states the specific position the candidate is applying for. The body of the letter should focus on the nurse's qualifications, emphasizing relevant experiences and skills that align with the job requirements. The nurse can highlight their educational background, certifications, and any specialized training they have received.

The cover letter should also mention notable achievements or awards, such as excellent patient outcomes or recognition for outstanding performance. It's important to convey enthusiasm for the opportunity and a genuine interest in the organization or healthcare facility.

The closing paragraph of the nursing cover letter should express gratitude for considering the application and include a request for an interview. The nurse can provide their contact information and indicate their availability for further discussion.

Overall, a well-written nursing cover letter showcases the nurse's unique qualifications, demonstrates their commitment to patient care, and sets them apart from other applicants. It is an essential tool in a job application, helping nurses stand out and secure opportunities in their desired healthcare settings.

Printable Nursing Cover Letter

Download this Nursing Cover Letter to ensure your next cover letter is a standout.

How does it work?

Using/filling a nursing cover letter template typically involves the following steps:

  • Personalization: Start by customizing the template with your personal information, including your name, contact details, and professional title.
  • Research: Conduct thorough research on the organization or healthcare facility you're applying to. Gather information about their mission, values, and specific job requirements.
  • Introduction: Begin the cover letter with a professional greeting and a concise introduction that states the position you're applying for and how you learned about the opportunity.
  • Highlight qualifications: In the body paragraphs, outline your qualifications, skills, and experiences that directly relate to the job. Focus on showcasing your expertise in patient care, clinical skills, teamwork, and any specialized knowledge or certifications you possess.
  • Showcase achievements: Mention any notable achievements or awards demonstrating your commitment to excellence in nursing practice. Highlight specific examples of positive patient outcomes, leadership roles, or recognition for outstanding performance.
  • Align with the organization: Clearly express your enthusiasm for the organization and why you want to work there. Connect your skills and experiences to the organization's mission and values, showing that you fit their culture well.
  • Closing paragraph: Conclude the cover letter by expressing gratitude for the opportunity to apply and your interest in discussing your qualifications further. Include your contact information and indicate your availability for an interview.
  • Proofread and edit: Carefully review your cover letter for spelling, grammar, or formatting errors. Ensure that the content is clear, concise, and error-free.
  • Submitting the cover letter: Save it as a PDF or Word document, and submit it with your resume through the designated application method, following the employer's instructions.

Nursing Cover Letter Example (sample)

This example template follows the tips of a well-written cover letter to ace an interview and may increase the possibility of getting the role. This sample template is concise and highlights the capability of the applicant to impress the recruiters in considering the applicant for the position. ‍

Download this Nursing Cover Letter Example (Sample) here:

Nursing Cover Letter Example (sample)

When would you use this Template?

You can use a nursing cover letter template when applying for nursing positions. Here are a few instances where this template would be beneficial:

Job Applications: 

When applying for a new nursing job, a cover letter is essential. You can use the template to create a tailored letter highlighting and aligning your qualifications with the job requirements. It helps you stand out from other applicants and demonstrates your interest in the position.

Career Transitions: 

If you are transitioning to a new nursing specialty or moving from a different healthcare setting, a cover letter can explain your motivation for the change and emphasize relevant transferable skills. The template can guide you in crafting a compelling narrative to support your transition.

Nursing Internships or Residencies: 

When applying for nursing internships or residencies, a cover letter is an excellent opportunity to showcase your passion for learning and gaining practical experience. The template can assist you in highlighting your educational background, clinical rotations, and related projects or research.

Networking or Referrals: 

If you have been referred to a nursing position by a colleague or have made a professional connection, a cover letter can help you introduce yourself and express your interest in the opportunity. The template can be a starting point to craft a personalized letter incorporating the referral or networking connection.

Career Fairs or Nursing Conferences: 

You can submit your resume and cover letter to potential employers during career fairs or nursing conferences. Using the template, you can create a professional cover letter that succinctly conveys your skills and experiences, making a strong impression on recruiters.

Remember, while a template provides a solid structure, it is crucial to customize it to match your unique qualifications and the specific job requirements you're applying for. Tailoring the content and personalizing the letter will help you effectively communicate your suitability for the position and increase your chances of securing interviews and job offers.

Using a nursing cover letter template offers several benefits, including:


By using a template, you can save time in formatting and structuring your cover letter. The template provides a ready-made framework, allowing you to focus on customizing the content to match your qualifications and the job requirements.

Professional appearance: 

A well-designed template ensures your cover letter has a polished and professional look. It helps create a positive first impression and demonstrates your attention to detail.

Comprehensive guidance: 

The template guides what information to include and where to place it in your cover letter. It ensures you cover all critical sections, such as the introduction, qualifications, achievements, and closing, resulting in a comprehensive and well-rounded letter.


Using a template ensures consistency in formatting and style throughout your application materials. This consistency helps create a cohesive presentation of your skills and experiences and makes it easier for recruiters to review and assess your qualifications.

Showcasing key points: 

The template prompts you to highlight key points such as your qualifications, skills, and experiences. It encourages you to tailor these points to match the specific job requirements, increasing the relevancy of your cover letter.

Keyword optimization: 

Templates often incorporate industry-specific keywords and phrases that are relevant to nursing positions. Using these keywords strategically in your cover letter can help your application pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS) and increase the likelihood of your letter being noticed by recruiters.

Hints & Tips

When writing a nursing cover letter, consider the following hints and tips to enhance its effectiveness:

Research the employer: 

Conduct thorough research on the organization or healthcare facility you're applying to. Gain insights into their values, mission, and specific job requirements. Incorporate this knowledge into your cover letter to demonstrate your genuine interest and alignment with their goals.

Customize your letter: 

Tailor your cover letter to each specific job application. Highlight the qualifications and experiences most relevant to the position. Instead, Avoid generic statements and focus on showcasing how your skills match the employer's needs.

Keep it concise: 

Be concise and to the point, keeping your cover letter within a single page. Use short paragraphs and bullet points to make it easy to read. Highlight your most significant accomplishments and qualifications that make you a standout candidate.

Use a professional tone: 

Maintain a professional and enthusiastic tone throughout your letter. Be confident in your abilities, but avoid sounding overly boastful. Emphasize your passion for nursing and patient care.

Showcase relevant experiences: 

Highlight your nursing experiences that directly relate to the job requirements. Discuss clinical rotations, internships, or specialized training you have completed. Provide specific examples of how your skills and experiences have positively impacted patient outcomes or contributed to a team's success.

Proofread and edit: 

Avoid spelling and grammatical errors by thoroughly proofreading your cover letter. Use editing tools or ask a trusted colleague to review it. A well-written and error-free letter demonstrates attention to detail and professionalism.

Address potential concerns: 

If you have gaps in your employment history or other potential concerns, briefly address them in your cover letter. Provide a concise explanation and focus on the skills and experiences you gained during that time.

Follow the application instructions: 

Carefully follow any application instructions provided by the employer. Submit your cover letter and resume in the requested format (PDF, Word, etc.) and through the preferred method (email, online application portal, etc.).

Why use Carepatron as your  Nursing Cover Letter app?

Carepatron is the ultimate Nursing Cover Letter app that offers a range of features and benefits, making it the best platform for creating top-notch nursing cover letters. 

Carepatron makes it easy for nurses to create professional cover letters with its user-friendly interface and customizable templates. Nurses can personalize the templates to match their information, saving time and effort. The platform also incorporates industry-specific keywords to optimize cover letters for applicant tracking systems and hiring managers' attention. 

Carepatron offers comprehensive guidance, including tips and examples, to effectively highlight qualifications and ensure all necessary sections are included. It covers formatting elements, giving cover letters a polished and professional look. 

Carepatron helps nurses save time and focus on content by streamlining the writing process. The web-based platform is accessible from any device, allowing nurses to use it conveniently anytime and anywhere.

Clinical Documentation Software

Commonly asked questions

Absolutely! Carepatron offers a wide selection of customizable nursing cover letter templates. You can personalize them by adding your information, adjusting the formatting, and making necessary modifications to tailor the letter to your needs.

Yes, we take data security seriously. Carepatron implements robust security measures to protect your personal information. We adhere to strict privacy policies and utilize industry-standard encryption to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of your data.

Yes, Carepatron is a web-based platform, which means you can access your cover letters from any device with an internet connection. Whether you're using a computer at home or a mobile device on the go, you can conveniently access and work on your cover letters whenever and wherever you need to.

Related Templates

Postpartum depression handouts.

Explore comprehensive Postpartum Depression Handouts from Carepatron. User-friendly, informative & designed to help you manage postpartum depression effectively.

Height Weight Charts

Learn about height-weight charts and their use in healthcare practice. Find out your ideal weight and stay healthy!

Progress Notes For Nursing Template

Take comprehensive and organized notes in your style using our progress notes for nursing template.

Nursing Notes Template

Enhance the quality of your notes by incorporating our nursing charting notes template. Say goodbye to copious administrative tasks, and say hello to a clean, organized progress note format.

Normal Troponin Levels

Secure a copy of the normal troponin levels charts template to bring out when monitoring your patient’s condition post-heart attack.

Blood Differential

Discover the importance of Blood Differential Tests in healthcare. Learn about their uses, results, and significance in diagnosing medical conditions.

Low Blood Sugar Levels

Explore a comprehensive low blood sugar levels chart for effective healthcare management. Understand ranges and symptoms for better monitoring.

Heart Healthy Diet

Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve health outcomes with our evidence-based heart-healthy diet plan based on AHA recommendations.

Iron Levels Chart For Adults

Download an Iron Levels Chart for adults - a comprehensive tool for tracking and interpreting iron-related test results. Ensure optimal iron health.

Medical Power of Attorney Illinois Form

Get access to a Medical Power of Attorney Illinois Form and a free sample to designate a trusted individual to make medical decisions on a patient's behalf.

Pain Journal

Discover how to effectively track and manage your pain with our comprehensive guide on Pain Journals. Download our PDF for free to elevate pain management and work towards improved health.

The PDL1 Test is a crucial tool in cancer care. Explore its history, usage, and significance in personalized treatment.

Case Management Intake Form Template

Streamline healthcare with our Case Management Intake Form—efficiently gather crucial patient data for comprehensive, personalized care.

VA Disability Award Letter Template

Unlock your benefits with the VA Disability Award Letter – an essential document for veterans, confirming entitlements and compensation. Secure your rights now.

Chart Method EMS

Efficiently document patient encounters in emergency situations with the Chart Method EMS Template. Ideal for accurate EMS reporting.

Caring For Aging Parents Checklist

Ensure the well-being of your elderly loved ones with our comprehensive Caring for Aging Parents Checklist Template.

Cystic Fibrosis ATI

Explore the Cystic Fibrosis ATI Template for comprehensive CF management and education, enhancing learning and patient care in medical settings.

Edema Nursing Care Plan

Streamline edema management with our Edema Nursing Care Plan Template - efficient, user-friendly, and secure for optimal patient care.

Corrective Action Plan

Get a healthcare Corrective Action Plan template for quality improvement. Meet regulatory standards, streamline processes, and enhance patient care.

Pregnancy Resting Heart Rate Chart

Explore Carepatron’s Pregnancy Resting Heart Rate Chart: Monitor changes in resting heart rates throughout pregnancy stages with our detailed free PDF chart.

EMS Patient Care Report Narrative

Use the EMS Patient Care Report Narrative Template for accurate, swift documentation. Elevate your emergency medical response with the free download!

Genogram Template

Genogram Template: Easily visualize family relationships and medical history with our detailed Genogram Template. Ideal for professionals and personal use.

Sex Age Chart

Explore comprehensive Sex Age Chart for healthcare insights, analyzing health trends across genders and ages to enhance personalized well-being strategies.

Nursing Pain Assessment Template

Learn about the importance of nursing pain assessment and how it is carried out in healthcare settings. Download a free PDF example to understand the process better.

Enhance your EMS Reports using our EMS Report Template! The template saves time by structuring all of the information necessary for a high-quality report.

Medication Administration Record (MAR)

Efficiently manage patient medications with our Medication Administration Record system, ensuring accurate tracking and enhancing healthcare workflow.

Nurse Brain Sheet

Optimize patient care with Nurse Brain Sheet – streamline information, enhance communication, and boost efficiency in healthcare settings.

Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment

Discover a comprehensive geriatric assessment template to evaluate older adults' holistic health needs. Easily adaptable and user-friendly, this template enables efficient evaluation of diverse domains.

Nursing Skin Assessment Checklist

Download a free Nursing Skin Assessment Checklist for accurate skin health evaluation. Get the PDF template and example here.

Weight Loss Ear Seeds Chart

Utilize a weight loss ear seeds chart template to guide you when practicing acupressure on your client. Click here for a free template copy.

EMT Vital Signs Chart

You can quickly refer to an EMT Vital Signs Chart when evaluating your patients during emergencies. Click here for a downloadable template copy!

Ornish Diet Plan

Discover a structured guide for a heart-healthy lifestyle featuring a detailed schedule of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and more for optimal wellness.

Flow Cytometry Test

Unlock the power of Flow Cytometry with our comprehensive guide and template. Master the essentials for accurate and efficient analysis.

GI Review Of Systems

Access a comprehensive GI Review of Systems Template for accurate patient assessments. Streamline your practice with this user-friendly and efficient resource.

Lund And Browder Chart

Have a valuable tool like a lund and browder chart template on hand to assist you in assessing and managing your burn patient’s condition.

Dr Now Diet Plan

Explore the Dr. Now Diet Plan, a 1,200-calorie regimen by Dr. Younan Nowzaradan for rapid weight loss, emphasizing high protein, low carbs, and fats.

Underarm Temperature Chart

Discover our comprehensive Underarm Temperature Chart, which is ideal for accurately monitoring temperature variations for better health management.

Optavia Diet Plan

Explore the Optavia diet plan template and example for effective weight management. Learn how to create your own plan with a free PDF download.

Baby feeding chart

Track your baby's feedings with a helpful chart. Ensure proper nutrition. Download a free PDF example and learn effective usage.

Newborn Reflexes: Nursing Assessment

Ensure a healthy start for little ones with the Newborn Reflexes Assessment. Download it now for free!

Waist To Hip Ratio Chart

Discover your health risk with the Waist to Hip Ratio Chart. Use our easy template to calculate and interpret your ratio for optimal well-being.

Normal Review Of Systems

Looking for a template and example of a normal review of systems? Download our free PDF and see how it’s used in medical evaluations and assessments.

Join 10,000+ teams using Carepatron to be more productive

  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to footer

Incredible Health

Empowering healthcare professionals to find and do their best work.

cover letter

Writing a Successful Nursing Cover Letter With Examples and Templates

' src=

Jul 01 2022

Career Resources / Job Searching / Nursing Cover Letter

Reviewed by: Kiley Griffin, R.N.

Writing an effective nursing cover letter may seem unnecessary–trust us: it’s not. Roughly 45% of job seekers send resumes without a cover letter . Yet, a majority of employers prefer cover letters to go with a resume. 

When looking for a new job , nurses often spend the most time developing their resumes . Sometimes they neglect their cover letters or don’t write one at all.  

Whether you are a new grad nurse or a nurse veteran, a good cover letter is a great way to separate yourself from the pack. Even if a hiring manager only skims it, it can mean the difference between you and another candidate getting the job if something catches their eye.

In this post, we will explore the following:

  • Examples and a Template for a Nursing Cover Letter

When Nursing Cover Letters Are Required

  • Benefits to Writing a Cover Letter
  • Steps for Writing a Cover Letter
  • Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Cover Letter

Get job matches in your area + answers to all your nursing career questions

free nursing cover letter template

Let's get started

What's your current role?

Nursing Cover Letter Examples and Templates

With the right care and effort, you can craft a professional nursing cover letter that helps distinguish you from other candidates.  

We’ve provided two sample nurse cover letters and a template to help give you an idea of what to write.

free nursing cover letter template

Nursing Cover Letter Template

Hiring Manager name Nursing Recruitment 1234 Any Place Road Sometown, California 11111 (999)999-9999 June 16, 2021 Your Name Title Current Employer Mailing Address Phone Number Email Address Dear Hiring Manager, I am pleased to learn of this opportunity, as I found the qualities you are seeking for this position to be an excellent match for my skills, education, and experience. I have a robust background and leadership experience in emergency nursing, trauma/critical care, change leadership, and a commitment to providing high-quality care through standardizing workflows to align with best practices. It is in response to similar challenges that I have excelled during my career as a manager, director, and clinical leader.  Also, I am particularly interested in [the company] because of your excellent reputation, community engagement, and focus on delivering high-quality care to patients. My current role primarily includes providing strategic direction to the clinical operations of the Emergency Department, Trauma Base Hospital, and Crisis Stabilization Unit. I also establish and enforce policies and procedures for the hospital. Additionally, I ensure that financial targets are met within my scope of responsibility. Moreover, I am confident that I can support your strategic objectives of the ICU and provide stability in the department with regard to achieving quality outcomes, staff development, and meeting financial targets. I look forward to discussing in detail with you the ways in which my experience and determination will make further significant contributions to your organization. Respectfully, [Your Name]

Here are the most common scenarios when a nursing cover letter is required:

  • Applying directly to a specific person: Suppose the job posting invites applicants to apply to a particular individual instead of a general application system. In that case, it is appropriate to include a cover letter and address it to the individual . This is especially important for new grad nurses with less experience.
  • Referral for a position: Don’t skip the cover letter If you apply for work based on another professional or mentor’s recommendation. Use the cover letter to explain that someone referred you to the job and specify whom. This allows hiring managers to see that someone they value as a trusted professional in the healthcare industry believes you are qualified for a position.
  • When requested in a job listing:  Some job listings specifically request candidates to submit a professional cover letter with their application. Following job listing requirements to include a cover letter shows hiring managers that you follow instructions and have an eye for detail. Both are essential qualities in the nursing profession.

Benefits to Writing a Nursing Cover Letter

Knowing you are the best candidate for the job and proving it are two different things. You may have an impeccable nursing resume ; however, 20 other candidates are applying for the same position.

Nursing careers are in demand , but that does not mean there isn’t competition for specific nursing positions such as a nurse practitioner or nurse educator .

Resumes are neatly spun packages of information about a candidate’s education, job history (when applicable), and professional certification . They leave little room for information about who you are as a candidate. 

That is where a good cover letter comes in. With the proper cover letter format, your cover letter will offer several advantages and is a great way to showcase your nursing skills.

Identify your intent

Resumes indicate your worth. Cover letters reveal your intent . Outline how your desires and skills align with the job you are applying for. This shows the hiring manager you are interested in the position.

Hopefully, it’s not going to be just another job for you. It will become part of your mission and vision as a nursing professional . For instance, if a position will help grow your leadership skills and prepare you for an advanced nursing career, state that as part of the intent. 

Provide a more in-depth description

Your education and credentials make up only a small portion of who you are as a nursing professional. How someone looks on paper is not an indicator of how they will perform. It does not accurately gauge their character.

In that sense, a cover letter provides a sample of what the hiring manager will expect in the interview.

Using a cover letter to honestly explore your strengths, weaknesses, experiences, interests, and perspectives is an asset. Maybe your resume includes a certification or award you are proud of. Expand on it in the cover letter. 

Pro-tip: Using some of the traits and terms found in the job’s job description is a great way to stand out as a candidate, as it shows you have the qualities the employer is looking for.

What makes you proud of that achievement and how does it make you the best candidate for the position?

Explain the gaps

Hiring professionals suggest resumes span one page for new nurses and those with less than 10 years of experience. Due to length limits, it is hard to explain any gaps in work history. Also, resumes leave out room for detailing why you may have shifted gears from an earlier career into nursing. 

A cover letter provides the perfect opportunity to explain these situations.

Establish a willingness to work

Cover letters add an extra touch to a job application. As stated, nearly half of all job applicants fail to include a cover letter with their job applications unless requested.

Going that extra mile shows a hiring manager that you are willing to put the work in to get the job done right. That is a desirable quality for any business or industry, especially in nursing and other healthcare careers.

Remember that a cover letter should focus on a resume’s highlights, fleshing them out in a more meaningful way.

These are key purposes of a nursing cover letter.

Include only information that falls into one of the four benefits listed above to get the most mileage out of your cover letter.

Top nurse jobs on Incredible Health

🏥 cath lab nurse (rn).

Secaucus, NJ | $65,560 to $100,870 /year

🏥 Operating Room / Surgical Nurse (RN)

Fresno, CA | $65,000 to $145,000 /year

🏥 Registered Nurse – Ambulatory

Boston, MA | $75,000 to $161,000 /year

🏥 Registered Nurse – Behavioral Health

Bridgeport, CT | $61,340 to $120,000 /year

🏥 Registered Nurse – Infusion

Cleveland, OH | $61,790 to $98,160 /year

Get matched with these and thousands more permanent jobs on Incredible Health.

Steps for Writing Your Cover Letter

The nursing field requires structure and proper etiquette .

You wouldn’t walk into a patient’s room and say,

“hey, Adam, what’s up, man?” 

The same need for etiquette and structure applies to writing a cover letter. 

Accordingly, we have provided steps to writing a successful nursing cover letter. 

1. Create a header

When a nurse injects a patient with a vaccine, they clean the area first with an alcohol wipe. They don’t just stick the needle in. In the same vein, you need to start by listing your name, phone number, email, and residential address . 

Make sure you put the date under that information. 

Last, include the recipient’s contact information as well. 

2. Use a professional greeting

professional greeting

This is your first impression – show respect. Using “Dear” will work when sending a formal cover letter. If you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, simply write “Dear hiring manager.” 

3. Write your opening paragraph

Your first paragraph serves as the bait or pitch to get the hiring manager’s attention. Don’t bother placing a fishing lure of fluff to try and get their attention. It’s essential to lead with honesty and earnestness. 

While writing this paragraph, make sure you include the title for the position you’re applying to. If you’re applying to work as an RN , state that. Next, articulate why you applied for this job to begin with and your overall excitement to obtain this role.

Make sure that you key in on specific details about the position and how they interest you.

Here’s an example of a stellar opening paragraph:

I am thrilled at the opportunity to apply at St. Joseph’s Hospital as an ICU nurse. As an ICU nurse with over six years of experience, I have gained the necessary skills to perform my role excellently. Specifically, I am excited about the opportunity to work on a 35-bed unit with the demands it requires. I think that my experience, passion, and skill set make me an ideal ICU nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

4. Write your background paragraph

Dedicate this paragraph to your career in nursing up to this point. You want to include all the most applicable skills that pertain to this position. Be specific. Include the detailed duties that you performed that correspond to this new role. 

If you’re applying to work in oncology, but have training in wound therapy, maybe don’t lead with that. Try including only relevant examples. 

Next, include any measurable achievements you’ve had in other jobs that relate to this role. Keyword: measurable . 

Here’s an example of a job posting for an ICU nurse:

free nursing cover letter template

Now, here’s a great way to respond to such a job posting:

My experience as a CVICU nurse has allowed me to develop the necessary skills to provide exceptional nursing care through a continuously evolving education. One of my greatest achievements is training 10 CVICU nurses to handle the CVICU and work with external pacemakers and post-cardiac surgery care. By working alongside a variety of health care providers at all levels, I have been able to establish outstanding collaboration and delegation abilities. Through my education, a strong emphasis on patient advocacy and ethical decision-making has been incorporated. Therefore, I have learned to place patient care at the utmost importance. I have developed strong assessment and critical thinking skills. This allows me to deliver the highest quality patient-centered care.

5. Expand on qualifications

Try adding a few short stories that can highlight your primary achievements. This is a great opportunity to highlight your soft skills as well. 

Some potential soft skills include:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work under pressure

6. Craft a conclusion

In your concluding paragraph, circle back to why you’re the best candidate for this role. Try to expand on your eagerness to obtain the position. End the paragraph with a call to action . A call to action expresses your desire to hear from them soon with next steps regarding the hiring process.

7. End your letter formally

Just like you began your letter, conclude your letter professionally with a “Sincerely” or “Respectfully,” followed by your name. Ending your letter this way helps it end on a high, formal note. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Cover Letter

In the nursing profession, a mistake can lead to a lawsuit. When writing a nurse cover letter a mistake could lead to you not getting a job. Below are some of the common mistakes to avoid when writing your cover letter.

  • Typos: The nursing profession has a lot of difficult and wonky spellings. For example, you may be proficient at Arrhythmia management , but do you know how to spell it? Having typos within your cover letter sends the message to your hiring manager that you might not be detail-oriented and that’s one of the most important traits in a nurse.
  • Focusing too much on yourself: According to Forbes, this is another common mistake to avoid . Often people try to list all their accomplishments in ways that don’t directly tie into how they can help the company . You want your cover letter to be strategic and it’s imperative to list ways that you can help the employer.
  • Lying: This should be obvious but it’s crucial that you tell the truth in your cover letter. The truth will eventually come out. The best policy is to just practice honesty.
  • Addressing the letter to the wrong person: This is a critical mistake. The recruiter or hiring manager probably will just stop reading at that point.
  • Re-writing your resume: Unfortunately, this is a common error when writing a cover letter. As explained earlier: resumes explain your worth, cover letters show your intent. They are two separate documents and a hiring manager will know if you attempt to merge them.
  • Using a different font than your resume: It may seem like a small detail, but using the same font on your resume shows that you pay attention to detail.

You’ve made it. Congratulations!

Writing a cover letter on its own separates you from the pack. However, writing a strong cover letter makes you an even more intriguing candidate. A nurse wouldn’t leave a stitch when sewing up a wound and neither should you leave a job unfinished when applying for a job.

Nursing Cover Letter FAQs

Your nursing cover letter shouldn’t be longer than a page. The recruiter should be able to read it quickly and get a good idea of what you offer the company. Anything longer than that and you risk the recruiter tossing your letter.

It’s best to use either Times New Roman or Arial when writing a nursing cover letter.

The cover letter should expand on information found in the resume. It should provide insight into your skills, qualifications and background.

  • Browse jobs
  • Free nursing CEUs
  • Interview questions
  • Job search guides
  • New nurse graduates
  • Nurse advice Q&A
  • Nurse specialty quiz
  • Nurses blog
  • Nursing degree guides
  • Personal finance
  • Resume guide


  • Los Angeles
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • Washington, DC
  • Why Incredible Health
  • How it works
  • Employers blog
  • Free consultation
  • Inside Incredible Health
  • Contact & support

Download on the App Store

5+ Nursing Cover Letter Examples and Templates  for 2023

5+ Nursing Cover Letter Examples and Templates for 2023

Home » Cover Letter Examples » 5+ Nursing Cover Letter Examples and Templates for 2023

Nursing Cover Letter

Looking for inspiration to write your nursing cover letter? Discover expert tips, examples, and templates to create a compelling cover letter that lands you your dream nursing role.

Nursing Cover Letter

Are you a passionate nurse looking to take the next step in your career? A well-crafted nursing cover letter can make all the difference when applying for a new position. It allows you to showcase your skills, experience, and passion for patient care, giving potential employers insight into why you’re the perfect fit for their team.

In this guide, we will delve into the art of writing a captivating nursing cover letter. We will provide you with examples and templates tailored specifically for the upcoming year – 2023. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your nursing journey, this comprehensive guide will equip you with all the tools you need to secure your desired nursing position.

So, let’s unravel the secrets of a standout nursing cover letter.

Nursing Cover Letter Examples and Templates

1. nursing cover letter example.

Dear [Employer’s Name],

I am writing to express my strong interest in the nursing position at [Company Name], as advertised on [Job Board or Company Website]. With a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and [X] years of experience in various healthcare settings, I believe I possess the skills and qualifications necessary to contribute to your team.

In my previous role as a Registered Nurse at [Hospital Name], I gained extensive experience in providing compassionate care to diverse patient populations. I have a proven track record of effectively collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to develop and implement individualized treatment plans. Additionally, my strong communication skills enable me to build trusting relationships with patients and their families, ensuring their needs are met and concerns are addressed.

I am highly skilled in clinical procedures, including medication administration, wound care, and patient education. Moreover, I am proficient in electronic health record systems and possess a strong attention to detail that enhances patient safety.

I am eager to join [Company Name] as I am impressed with your commitment to providing patient-centered care and your reputation for excellence in the healthcare industry. I believe that my passion for nursing, combined with my clinical expertise, will allow me to make a positive impact on the lives of patients at your facility.

I have attached my resume for your review. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experiences align with the needs of [Company Name]. Thank you for considering my application.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

2. Short Nursing Cover Letter Sample

I am excited to apply for the nursing position at [Company Name] advertised on [Job Board or Company Website]. With a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and [X] years of experience in acute care settings, I believe I am well-equipped to contribute to your team.

In my previous role as a Registered Nurse at [Hospital Name], I developed expertise in assessing and managing patients with complex medical conditions. I am skilled in administering medications, providing patient education, and coordinating care with interdisciplinary teams. My compassionate nature allows me to establish rapport with patients and support them through their healthcare journey.

I am attracted to [Company Name]’s commitment to delivering high-quality, patient-centered care. I am confident that my clinical knowledge and dedication to excellence align with your organization’s values.

Please find attached my resume for your consideration. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experiences would benefit [Company Name]. Thank you for considering my application.

3. Nursing Cover Letter for Job Application

I am writing to apply for the nursing position at [Company Name], as advertised on [Job Board or Company Website]. With a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and [X] years of experience in various healthcare settings, I am confident in my ability to contribute to your team and provide exceptional patient care.

Throughout my nursing career, I have gained valuable experience in different clinical environments, including hospitals and long-term care facilities. I have honed my skills in patient assessment, care planning, medication administration, and collaboration with interdisciplinary teams. I am adept at managing complex patient cases and ensuring the highest level of care is delivered.

What sets me apart is my passion for patient advocacy and holistic care. I prioritize building rapport with patients to establish trust and empower them in their healthcare decisions. I am also skilled in providing emotional support to patients and their families during challenging times. My empathy and strong communication skills contribute to creating a compassionate and supportive environment.

I have researched [Company Name] and I am impressed by your commitment to patient-centered care, innovation, and community involvement. I believe that my clinical expertise, dedication to continuous learning, and alignment with your values make me an ideal candidate for the nursing position.

Please find attached my resume, which provides more detailed information about my qualifications and experience. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills and background align with the needs of [Company Name]. Thank you for considering my application.

4. Nursing Cover Letter for a Position with No Experience

I am writing to express my interest in the nursing position available at [Company Name]. Although I do not have direct experience in a healthcare setting, I have recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and I am eager to embark on a fulfilling career in nursing.

During my clinical rotations, I had the opportunity to work in various healthcare settings, including medical-surgical, pediatrics, and geriatrics. These experiences have provided me with a solid foundation in nursing skills, such as medication administration, patient assessment, and collaborative care. I have also developed strong communication and critical thinking skills necessary for providing safe and effective patient care.

I am highly motivated to learn and grow as a nurse, and I am confident that my dedication, enthusiasm, and willingness to adapt to new challenges will make me a valuable asset to your team. I am committed to delivering compassionate and patient-centered care, and I am eager to contribute to [Company Name]’s mission of providing exceptional healthcare services.

Please find attached my resume, which further outlines my education and relevant skills. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss how I can contribute to the success of [Company Name]. Thank you for considering my application.

5. Sample Application Letter for Nursing with Experience

I am excited to apply for the nursing position at [Company Name], as advertised on [Job Board or Company Website]. With [X] years of experience in acute care settings, I am confident in my ability to contribute to your team and provide high-quality patient care.

In my previous role as a Registered Nurse at [Hospital Name], I have gained valuable experience in triaging and assessing patients, administering medications, providing wound care, and coordinating multi-disciplinary care plans. My ability to effectively communicate with patients and their families has allowed me to build trust and provide compassionate support during their treatment journeys.

I am highly skilled in utilizing electronic health record systems, adhering to strict infection control protocols, and ensuring patient safety at all times. I am committed to staying updated with the latest nursing practices through continuous professional development, attending workshops, and pursuing additional certifications.

Having researched [Company Name], I am impressed by your organization’s reputation for excellence in patient-centered care and commitment to innovation. I am confident that my clinical expertise, dedication to quality, and alignment with your values make me a strong candidate for the nursing position.

Please find attached my resume for your consideration. I am available for an interview at your convenience, and I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experience can contribute to the success of [Company Name]. Thank you for considering my application.

Sincerely, [Your Name

How to Write a Nursing Cover Letter

Objectives of a nursing cover letter.

When drafting your nursing cover letter, keep in mind the following objectives:

  • Grab the reader’s attention and make a lasting impression right from the start.
  • Convey your enthusiasm and commitment to patient care.
  • Highlight your relevant experience and skills.
  • Showcase your understanding of the organization and how you can contribute to their mission and goals.
  • Encourage the reader to review your resume and ultimately invite you for an interview.

Key Components for Nursing Cover Letters

A well-structured nursing cover letter should consist of the following key components:

  • contact information
  • introduction
  • body paragraphs highlighting your skills and experience
  • closing paragraph expressing your interest and thanking the reader
  • complimentary close
  • your name and signature

Now, let’s explore each component in more detail:

1. Contact Information:

Ensure your cover letter begins with your contact information, including your full name, phone number, and email address. You can include this information in a header at the top of the page.

2. Salutation:

Address the hiring manager or the person responsible for reviewing applications with a professional salutation. If possible, address the individual by name for a more personalized touch.

3. Introduction:

In your introduction, briefly explain the purpose of your cover letter, mention the specific position you are applying for, and express your enthusiasm for the role.

4. Body Paragraphs:

Use the body paragraphs to highlight your relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments. Be specific and provide examples of how you have effectively utilized your skills in previous roles. Tailor your content to match the requirements stated in the job description.

5. Closing Paragraph:

In the closing paragraph, express your continued interest in the position and reaffirm your commitment to patient care. Mention that you have attached your resume for their review and thank them for considering your application.

6. Complimentary Close:

Use a professional and respectful closing phrase, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards.”

7. Your Name and Signature:

End the cover letter with your full name and a legible signature if it’s a physical document. If submitting electronically, you can print your name instead.

Once you have these components in place, it’s time to explore the various nursing cover letter formats.

Nursing Cover Letter Formats

When crafting your nursing cover letter, you can choose from several different formats based on your personal style, industry norms, and the specific job you are applying for:

  • Traditional Format: This format follows the standard business letter structure, with your contact information, salutation, introduction, body paragraphs, closing paragraph, and complimentary close arranged in a coherent and professional manner.
  • Email Format: If you are submitting your application via email, adapt your cover letter to include your contact information in the email signature, a concise subject line, and a brief yet impactful opening paragraph.
  • Creative Format: Depending on the organization and position you are applying to, you may choose a more creative format that allows you to infuse your unique personality into the cover letter. However, exercise caution and ensure it remains professional and appropriate for the healthcare industry.
  • Grammy Winning Format: Highlight your achievements and accolades differently in the cover letter called the Grammy Winning Format. Mention accomplishments, awards, and recognitions to show your excellence as a nurse.

Remember, your cover letter should be tailored to each specific job application. Take the time to research the organization and its values, incorporating relevant information into your cover letter for a more personalized and impactful touch.

Tips for Writing Your Nursing Cover Letter

Crafting a winning nursing cover letter requires deliberate attention to detail and a professional approach. Consider these tips to make your cover letter shine:

  • Research the employer: Familiarize yourself with the organization’s mission, values, and any recent initiatives they have undertaken. Incorporate this knowledge into your cover letter to demonstrate your genuine interest in working for them.
  • Tailor your letter: Customize your cover letter for each position you apply for. Highlight relevant skills, experience, and qualities that align with the job description and requirements.
  • Showcase your achievements: Highlight your standout accomplishments, awards, and recognitions to showcase your expertise and dedication to the nursing profession.
  • Use keywords: Review the job description and incorporate keywords and phrases pertinent to the role and organization. This helps your cover letter align with the employer’s priorities and increases the chances of it getting noticed by applicant tracking systems.
  • Quantify your achievements: Whenever possible, quantify your achievements to provide tangible evidence of your skills. For example, mention how many patients you have cared for, any improvement milestones, or successful projects you have been involved in.
  • Be concise and clear: Keep your cover letter concise and to the point, avoiding unnecessary details or lengthy paragraphs. Use clear and straightforward language to effectively communicate your qualifications and suitability for the role.
  • Proofread carefully: A single spelling or grammar error can detract from an otherwise well-written cover letter. Proofread carefully and consider asking a trusted friend or colleague to review it as well.
  • Maintain a professional tone: Use a professional tone throughout your cover letter, avoiding overly casual or informal language. Demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to patient care.
  • Include a call to action: End your cover letter with a call to action, such as expressing your eagerness for an interview or stating that you will follow up shortly to discuss your application further.
  • Follow standard formatting: Format your nursing cover letter appropriately by using a professional font, consistent spacing, and appropriate margins. Ensure your cover letter is visually appealing and easy to read.

How Long Should a Nursing Cover Letter Be?

Ideally, a nursing cover letter should be one page in length. This allows you to provide sufficient information without overwhelming the reader.

Keep your writing concise and prioritize the most relevant and compelling details. A well-structured and focused cover letter will make a stronger impact.

How Do I Write a Nursing Cover Letter with No Experience?

If you’re a new or transitioning nurse with limited professional experience, focus on emphasizing your relevant coursework, clinical rotations, internships, volunteer work, and transferable skills.

Highlight any transferable skills from other roles or personal experiences that relate to the nursing profession, such as strong communication skills, empathy, teamwork, and attention to detail.

Additionally, demonstrate your passion for the field and your willingness to learn and grow. Express your enthusiasm for contributing to the healthcare industry and emphasize your dedication to delivering exceptional patient care.

Key Takeaways

Crafting a captivating nursing cover letter is crucial for landing your desired nursing role. Keep these key takeaways in mind as you begin to write your own cover letter:

  • Customize your nursing cover letter for each job application.
  • Highlight your skills, experience, and accomplishments relevant to the role.
  • Tailor your cover letter format to match your personal style and industry norms.
  • Research the employer and incorporate their values and initiatives.
  • Focus on quantifiable achievements and use keywords.
  • Keep your cover letter concise, clear, and professional.
  • Proofread carefully for errors.
  • End with a call to action and follow standard formatting guidelines.

By following these tips and utilizing the examples and templates provided, you can create a standout nursing cover letter that sets you apart from the competition and lands you your dream nursing position. Good luck!

Career Expert Tips:

  • If you're stepping into the professional world, understanding the basics is crucial. Learn What is a cover letter and its role in the job application process.
  • How to start a cover letter can be a challenging task. Get a comprehensive guide on how to kickstart your cover letter and make a strong first impression.
  • Looking for inspiration to draft your own cover letter? Browse through these Cover letter examples to find a style that fits your profession.
  • Why start from scratch? Use these Cover Letter Templates tailored for various professions to simplify your job application process.
  • How long should a cover letter be : The length of a cover letter is vital in conveying your message concisely. Discover the optimal length to make sure your cover letter is not too short nor too long.
  • Ensure that you know how to write a resume in a way that highlights your competencies.
  • Check the expert curated popular good CV and resume examples

Privacy Overview

The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Resumes in 2024

How to write a nurse resume, nurse resume research, nursing resume readers & robots, choose a nurse resume format, nurse resume format & design, writing your nursing resume, common resume mistakes, nursing resume templates, nurse resume faqs.

The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Resumes by

Expert Reviewed by: Amanda Guarniere, NP, Founder of the Resume RX

In 2024, a vague, uninspiring nursing resume just won't cut it. Recent years have fostered growing competition for the best nursing jobs , creating a greater need for nurses to learn how to write exceptional nursing resumes. With vast opportunities and diverse requirements from various employers, every nurse must put their best foot forward to market themselves for the best positions. 

However, this ever-changing world of online applications and robotic resume readers makes it more complex for nurses to get to the first rounds of interviews. This article will help you tackle the daunting task of writing a nursing resume that stands out. We'll help you build a better nursing resume by giving you an inside look at how robotic resume readers work and providing tips on how to make your resume, things you should and shouldn't include, and provide examples and templates.

Find Nursing Programs

Youtube video

Think of your job search as your own personal marketing campaign. And the product is you! Your resume is an advertisement for your professional nursing brand. A brand is more than a logo - it’s the overall impression you give your audience. In this case, your audience is a potential employer. 

As with any advertisement, the goal of your nursing resume is to pique your audience’s interest in a limited amount of time. It’s commonly said that hiring managers will spend less than ten seconds reading your resume. And in many cases, it has to first be screened by a resume-reading robot before it reaches human hands.

So, you must carefully curate your brand for these employers. Captivate them with your professionalism, unique skillset, experience, and personality using your nursing resume. These tactics may help get your foot in the door for an interview, where you can close the deal by impressing them in person.

The first and most important step in any marketing campaign is the research phase. The more you learn about potential employers, the better you can tailor your registered nurse resume to their requirements.

Initial Employer Research for Nursing Resumes

Before you begin tailoring your resume for specific jobs, take some time to answer the following questions about each company:

  • Who are they?
  • What is their company culture?
  • What do they struggle with as an organization?
  • What qualities are they looking for in a potential candidate?
  • Which of their desired qualities do you possess?

Researching Company Culture and Values

The internet has made it fairly easy to hop online and start your research right now from your mobile device. Employers' websites and social platforms will give you an inside glimpse at their culture and values.

Instead of simply reading a job posting, take a few extra steps to investigate the employer's online presence:

  • Check out the company website - what does their mission statement say?
  • See what they tweet about
  • Investigate what photos they post on Instagram
  • Learn about the articles they share on Facebook
  • Check their LinkedIn - do you have any connections at the company?
  • Look at their Google ratings

>> Related: New Graduate Nurse Resume Examples + Free Templates

Examine Required vs Preferred Nursing Qualifications

The research phase isn't just about investigating the company - you also need to understand the job description. Specifically, understanding the difference between "required" and "preferred" qualifications will help you build a tailored resume for each job:

Required Qualifications

These are just what they say - requirements. Those who do not possess these qualifications will not be considered. 

Preferred Qualifications

Skills that are desired but are not deal-breakers for the employer. You may still be considered even if you do not possess these. 

As you personalize your nursing resume to different opportunities, these qualifications will, in part, guide what you do and do not include. You should include any and all required qualifications if you want an employer to consider your candidacy. 

If you do not possess some or all of the preferred qualifications, you can apply anyway and still be in the running. However, including the ones you do possess on your tailored nursing resume is always the best practice.

Build a Master Resume

You may want a solid starting point from which you can use your research to build a dedicated resume for each position you apply for. Queue the "master resume," a comprehensive working document that highlights everything you've accomplished and every skill you've fostered as a nurse thus far. 

We recommend starting with a foundational nurse resume so that you can alter it for each role you apply to. This way, you won't be rewriting a new resume for every single position. But you'll also avoid submitting "cookie-cutter" resumes that employers won't bother looking at twice.

Use Research to Personalize Your Nursing Resume

Dale Carnegie once said that “A person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Personalizing your RN resume matters, with both how you mention and address the future employer and how to include your specific qualifications that match what they are looking for.

Using your research and leveraging your professional brand and personality to target your nurse resume could lead to the interview of your dreams. Not targeting it, however, could lead you on the fast track to nowhere.

The internet revolution transformed the hiring process, impacting the entire labor market in a very short time. 15 years ago, printing your resume on off-white linen paper and hand-delivering it to employers was the status quo. But as little as five years later, doing so might only get you some perplexed looks and urges to apply online.

Technological advances will continue shaping the job market in 2024.  USC Annenberg reports that up to 55% of companies are making investments in AI recruiting measures. But even now, many employers screen online applicants using resume-reading robots. 

This section explores how these bots impact the hiring process and how to get your nursing resume past them and into a real person's hands.

What Is a Resume Reading Robot?

How to get around resume reading robots for nursing jobs

ATS systems are highly technical but can only do what their program says, unable to come close to human discretion. So, knowing how ATS systems work can help you write a resume that passes their screening.

Here's a brief overview of how employers use ATS software to screen nursing applicants:

1. Knockout Questions

Recruiters can use an ATS to scan for keywords or "knockout questions" like "Do you have an active Washington State Nursing License?" These functions help them swiftly eliminate unqualified candidates.

2. Disqualifying Statements

They may also configure the ATS to include “disqualifying statements.” An ATS searching for these statements will automatically reject nursing resumes with certain keywords or phrases. 

For example, an ATS screening for bachelor's-trained nurses might reject resumes that mention an associate's degree. If you have both, consider listing only your BSN.

3. Keyword Screening

Finally, recruiters may use the ATS to find resumes with exact keywords or phrases. These may include qualifications listed in the job description, degrees, or skills. They can program the ATS to reject any application that does not include their specified keywords.

How Does ATS Work?

Not all ATS systems are created equally. They vary greatly in their functionality and behavior. Most ATS systems are programmed to score resumes according to keywords. However, they can be configured to search and score resumes based on various other criteria.

The results are imperfect. Some ATS systems can't differentiate between titles, such as Clinical Nurse II and Registered Nurse, or distinguish between the terms BLS and Basic Life Support. So how do you navigate these intricacies in your nursing resume?

Best Practice:   R ead the job description and use the exact wording for the qualifications listed that you possess.

If you use acronyms and abbreviations, make sure to spell out the entire word, followed by the shortened version. It would be disappointing to have all the requested qualifications but be filtered out by the ATS because you used only the acronyms when the robot was programmed for the full phrases spelled out.

What Are the Shortcomings of ATS?

The problem is that ATS does not ‘read’ a resume as a human would - it simply collects data. It doesn’t care about aesthetics, either. It is programmed by an employer to search for the right keywords, in the right order, on the right part of the resume.  

Also, the system can get confused pretty easily. For example, if the font is too fancy or if it encounters unrecognizable symbols, it may score the resume as ‘unqualified’ and move on to the next resume. It does what it is configured to do, nothing more and nothing less.

While ATS has streamlined the hiring process for employers, it’s also made job search extremely challenging for the job seeker. In fact, 94% of hiring professionals say that ATS has positively influenced their hiring goals, while 80% of job seekers say that their online job search is stressful.

What Other Hiring Technology Might I Encounter?

Recently, some employers have started to use artificial intelligence in a different way - during the interview process. Rather than having strict ATS filters, they offer more candidates the opportunity to interview, but there is a catch.

You don't interview with the employer but with a computer. In these one-way or “on-demand” interviews, you essentially get the opportunity to record your video response to interview questions. After you submit it, hiring managers or recruiters review the video responses before choosing the candidates for formal interviews.

Does Every Employer Use ATS?

While many employers use ATS, there are definitely employers who still rely on human resource professionals to screen resumes. In those instances, a human resources professional usually skims the resumes and invites the most qualified candidates in for an interview.

The problem here is that most employers will receive hundreds of resumes for a single opening. To get through the resumes quickly, the HR professional may resort to a simple scan of the resumes knowing that even qualified applicants may not make it. It’s simply a way to reduce the number of applicants.

In either case, the goal of the modern resume is to ‘sell’ yourself in an organized, targeted manner for a specific role. The best way to design an effective, attention-grabbing resume is by making strong assertions in the beginning followed by supporting evidence.

How to Get Past the ATS

  • Target your resume to the specific position. Do this by reading job descriptions and selecting keywords noted in the descriptions - competencies, skills sets, education, and experience.
  • Match individual experiences to keywords/key skill sets found within the job posting.  
  • Research the employer and target the resume based on the facility's values and culture. 
  • Make strong assertions within the top ⅓ of the resume.
  • Follow those assertions with supporting evidence.
  • Include a “ Professional Summary ” if you are an experienced Nurse.
  • Only apply to roles that you match 100% of the “Required Qualifications.” 
  • Use simple fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri.
  • Never use smaller than 10-point font. See Part 5 for more styling suggestions. 
  • Use simple black bullet (dots) points, not special bullet symbols.
  • Save your resume as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf format.
  • If using an abbreviation, always spell out the words followed by the abbreviation or acronym. You never know how the abbreviation was entered into the ATS. 
  • Use standard, simple section headers such as “Work History” or “Education.”
  • Settings you’ve worked in 
  • Patient demographics
  • Policies/procedures
  • EMR/EHR used
  • Medications administered
  • Equipment used
  • Don’t use the same title as at your current employer if it is different from the title in the job description. Use the title in the job description. 
  • Don’t overload your resume with keywords. Use them appropriately. Overusing keywords will flag a resume and could cause the ATS to lower your score.
  • Don't forget to support the keywords you use with evidence throughout your resume.
  • Do not put your contact information in the header section because ATS will not see it.
  • Do not include tables because most ATS can’t read them. Other ATS can only read them if their operator programmed them to do so. 
  • Do not use creative section headers such as “Where I’ve Worked” because the ATS likely doesn’t understand what that means.
  • Don’t include a headshot, graphics, special fonts, photos, colored fonts, or unique bullets. 
  • Do not state, “References available upon request.” It takes up too much space and is unnecessary. If employers want references, they’ll ask. 
  • Don’t place skills at the bottom of the resume. Many ATS systems only scan the top ⅓ of the resume for keywords. If you have important keywords at the bottom, the ATS may not see them and could disqualify your resume. 
  • Don’t use “I” statements; resumes should be written in the third person. 
  • Do not rely on resume builder software. Stay in control of your registered nurse resume.

How to Spot an ATS

If you’ve ever visited a job posting and seen an “APPLY NOW” button, you’ve encountered the elusive resume-reading bot. ATS requires candidates to enter data on the front end. 

Maybe you’ve gone through the steps to create a login, complete the application and upload your resume. Perhaps you didn’t realize at the time that you were entering your information into an applicant tracking system.  

Raise your hand if you never heard back from an employer after applying online. Raise your other hand if you received an automated response “thanking” you for your interest and never heard back!

Now, keep in mind that it can be difficult to stand out when you are applying for a job online, especially when there is an ATS involved. As you consider your overall job search strategy, try to think of other ways that can increase your chances of getting a job. Don’t be afraid to ask your network connections for referrals and recommendations, or let friends and family know what type of position you are looking for and where. While your resume is absolutely important, it isn’t the only tool that can lead to you getting a job.

Creating a resume as a new grad with no nursing experience or with non-nursing healthcare experience can be challenging. Don’t worry, has two templates for you to choose from - depending on if you have healthcare experience or not. 

free nursing cover letter template

By clicking download, you agree to receive email newsletters and special offers from You may unsubscribe at any time by using the unsubscribe link, found at the bottom of every email.

Your request has been received. Thanks!

Show Me RN-to-BSN Programs

Prior to ever typing words onto your resume, it’s important to first decide on a resume format. There are three types of resume layouts. While we highly recommend the reverse-chronological layout for most nursing professionals, we’d encourage you to make the best choice for yourself.

Here’s a breakdown of the three most popular types of resume layouts: 

1. Reverse Chronological Nursing Resume

This layout focuses on career history and lists jobs in reverse chronological order. We recommend this type of registered nurse resume for the majority of healthcare professionals and will focus the details of this article on the format. It is best suited for:

  • New nursing graduates
  • Nurses with fewer than 5 roles within the past 5-7 years. 
  • Travel Nurses with <10 completed assignments
  • Nurses with experience in only 1-2 specialties
  • Nurses applying for a similar role
  • Nurses wanting to show vertical career progression 

free nursing cover letter template

2. Functional Nursing Resume

This nurse resume layout places emphasis on skills and deemphasizes work history. However, it does not pass the ATS test well, and hiring managers overall do not prefer it. We recommend against this layout for the majority of nursing professionals. Typically, people who use this format are: 

  • Changing careers
  • Have large gaps in employment
  • Do have years of experience in the role in which they are applying

free nursing cover letter template

3. Combination Nursing Resume

This layout is a mixture of the reverse chronological and the functional resume. While it places emphasis on skill sets, abilities, and accomplishments, it also highlights applicable work history. We recommend combination resumes for nursing professionals with the following background, goals, and barriers: 

  • Nurses with experience in multiple specialties and/or medical professions
  • Seasoned travel nurses with >10 completed assignments
  • Nurses with multiple small gaps in employment
  • Nurses looking to change specialties
  • Nurses interested in changing careers

free nursing cover letter template

Writing a nursing resume can feel overwhelming. It’s no easy task! Nowadays, nursing resumes must be able to pass through resume reading software before it even reaches a recruiter. That’s why we’ve put together THREE nurse resume templates to cater to your unique professional needs and employment situation.

free nursing cover letter template

The first formatting and design consideration you should make when creating your nursing resume is how well an  ATS will read them. We recommend the following comprehensive design and formatting guidelines to appease common ATS systems:

Many experts believe you can achieve the perfect balance of text to white space in your nursing resume using the following margin settings:

  • Top Margin: 1"
  • Side Margins: .63"

Left alignment is standard since that’s how most people (and robots) read. You may think a justified alignment looks tidier, but it can leave uneven gaps between words and ultimately make text harder to read. 

In the nursing profession, length should not be the focus of the resume. While we recommend 1-2 pages, some nurses may have resumes with 3 (or more) pages.

Don’t stress over length too much. If the resume is slightly over the page amount by a few lines try changing the margin, font style, font size, or shortening statements. The bottom line is it should look visually appealing and should include keywords.

We recommend  Times New Roman or Arial to best utilize the functionality of the ATS. However, this is your personal preference. Take note that Times New Roman can be difficult to read if it is smaller than 11pt.

If you are striving for a resume that looks visually appealing when printed, there are great ways to achieve that without going overboard with design. For example, you could use the “small caps” feature for headings, which keeps the font the same but adds a bit more character and differentiation. Or, you could try a font pairing, using serif fonts for headers and sans serif for body text.

Important Note: Different font styles will take up different amounts of space. See how these identical statements look vastly different despite both being in 11 pt font:

Experienced Travel Nurse with 8 years experience in critical care nursing.

Throughout the resume, there should be different-sized fonts. We recommend the following for each section: 

It’s important to note that 10-point font should be the smallest size on the resume. 

While some ATS systems claim to read colors, we encourage you to simply use black. 

Special Characters

We recommend keeping the resume very simple. Basic bullet points (black dots) may be used when desired. Simple lines are acceptable as well. 

Design Features to Avoid

The following design features are best left off the resume: 

  • Multiple font styles
  • Special characters

As you’ve learned, ATS systems skim resumes and locate specific information in the correct order. We’d suggest using the following categories and section headers to optimize your nursing resume for ATS scoring.

Contact Information

This is the first section of the resume and does not require a title. Your name should be front and center. Don’t make the recruiter search for it. Make sure it’s the largest font on the page. While there are varying opinions on the exact placement of the name, we recommend a simple classic version in the following format:

Your name should be the first thing a recruiter, hiring manager, or ATS system sees on your nurse resume. It should share a line with your nursing credentials and be in a bold, readable, 18-22 pt font. If you go by a different name, make sure to list both in this section.

Nursing Credentials

Your nursing credentials should directly follow your first and last name on a nursing resume. The preferred order to list these in is Highest degree earned, Licensure, then National Certifications.

We've included a  credential quick reference guide below to help you fill out your resume perfectly.

The days of listing your home address on a resume are over - most employers don't need this information, and we advise against including it on your resume as a security precaution. However, this is a personal decision you can make at your own discretion.

You should never leave your location off completely because many employers have location parameters set in their ATS systems. Ensure you include your city and state in the contact information portion of your nursing resume.

Phone/Texting Number

Oh, technology! Yes, some employers will actually text their candidates. Make sure to indicate if you receive texts and whether the phone number is a cell phone or a home phone. This is a great time to make sure your voicemail message states your full name and is professional.

Email Address

It is in your best interest to ensure that you have a professional email address that does not reveal your age. Age discrimination is real, and listing your birth year or using an antiquated email service like AOL can definitely trigger it.

Your email address should include a variation of your name and some numbers if necessary. You can even make a totally separate email account and use it only for your job search.

LinkedIn Profile

If you have a LinkedIn profile definitely include it. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you could be missing out on opportunities. Now is the time to create one!

In your settings, you can easily create a shortened LinkedIn URL that doesn’t have a bunch of random numbers and letters.

How Your Digital Footprint Impacts Your Nursing Job Search

Though you may not list it, you should consider your social media and online presence when you complete the contact information portion of your resume. Potential employers will likely look you up online. Many Recruiters tell us that looking a candidate up on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter is one of the first things they do. So, make sure everything you post online is what you would want an employer to see. 

Additionally, online behavior can benefit you. Do you have a nursing-related website or blog? Are you an Instagram celebrity? Maybe you created a successful YouTube channel when you were a newbie nurse. Include all this on your resume if it relates to nursing. This is all part of your unique brand!

Nursing Resume Credential Quick Reference Guide

According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (AACN), the preferred order is Highest degree earned, Licensure, and National Certification.

Educational degrees include doctoral degrees (Ph.D., DrPH, DNS, EdD, DNP), master’s degrees (MSN, MS, MA), bachelor’s degrees (BS, BSN, BA), and associate degrees (AD, ADN).

Licensure credentials include RN, LPN, CNA, and APRN.

National certification , which is occasionally voluntary for nurses and obligatory for advanced practice nurses, is awarded through accredited certifying bodies such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), includes RNBC (Registered Nurse-Board Certified) and FNP-BC (Family Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified).

You may also choose to include awards and honors:

Outstanding achievements in nursing, such as FAAN (Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing).

Other certifications that recognize additional skills, such as the EMT-Basic/EMT, awarded by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.

Here is an example of contact information on a nursing resume that puts it all together:

Penny Lite, BSN, RN   Los Angeles, CA | Text/Call: (987) 654 - 3210 | [email protected] |

Professional Summary

Don’t make an employer (or ATS) search your entire resume for reasons to invite you to an interview. Tell them right off the top exactly why you are the best candidate for the role.

Every position is unique, and this is your first opportunity to optimize the resume for ATS and to also catch the employer’s eye. Spend a little time to target it and let your qualifications and accomplishments shine. 

While there is some debate about how to introduce your resume, we suggest using a professional summary as opposed to a career objective. The professional summary can be formatted in either a short paragraph or a bulleted list asserting qualifications and providing a concise career snapshot.

How to Write a Professional Summary for a Nursing Resume

Think of your resume summary as an “elevator pitch” - a quick, attention-grabbing, loaded statement that entices the reader to want to continue on. Your professional summary is unique to you and should be targeted to a specific role, just like the cover letters career counselors used to tell us about.

However, it could definitely include the following information: 

  • Number of years of experience in a specialty 
  • Common keywords found in nursing job descriptions e.g., excellent patient care, acute care, family education, compassionate
  • Facility designations or info about facilities 
  • Supervisory experience and number of subordinates
  • Special certifications or awards
  • Language abilities
  • Soft skills such as patience, compassion, and a cooperative spirit

Nursing professional summary example: 

4+ years nursing experience with strong clinical background in critical care (CCU) and intermediate care nursing (IMCU). Proactively streamlines operations, initiates tasks, and supports the healthcare team while prioritizing excellent patient care. Champions patient and family education by providing compassionate, inclusive care that encourages self-sufficiency. Recipient of the Daisy Award. Bilingual in English and Spanish.

Nursing Skills and Areas of Expertise

List your nursing skills within the top ⅓ of the resume - Don't make the common mistake of adding them last. With the popularity of ATS, this mistake could cost you an interview. This is especially true in nursing, as the profession requires very specific skills. 

Additionally, your hard skills should be directly targeted to the role as expressed in the job description. Is the employer asking for a specific EMR that you are experienced with? List it! Are you an expert at starting IVs because of your five years of experience in the emergency room? List it!

This should not be a generic list of skills but a specific list that is as quantified as possible. It’s possible that if you are a newer nurse or are making a specialty pivot you may not have hard skills to include. In that case, it’s okay to omit this section and highlight your transferable  soft nursing skills within your job history.

While most nurses list their license titles on their resumes, it’s been our experience that they leave off a few very important details - most notably, whether the license is active and the expiration date. 

Why is this important? Including this information lets potential employers know that you are ready to start work ASAP. They don’t have to wait for the licensing process. Including your license number is optional, and you can make this decision based on your privacy comfort. The employer will likely be verifying your license online anyway (this is all public information).

If you are an advanced practice nurse, you may decide to leave off license numbers for privacy purposes, especially your DEA number or controlled substance registration number.

Here’s an example of how to list your licensure:

Registered Nurse - California, #RN00101, expires 4/17/2024.

Certifications and Credentials

This is another key section where some important details are typically missing on the nursing resumes we’ve seen. While most nurses list their credentials, it’s important to list them in a specific manner.

Don’t simply list acronyms, as some ATS systems may not be programmed to read shortened versions. Make sure to list the accrediting body, credential/certification number (where applicable), and expiration date. 

Here’s an example of how to list your certifications and credentials: 

Basic Life Support (BLS), American Heart Association, expires: 12/1/2021

Work History

Employers want to know what you can do for them, period.  Nurse recruiters we’ve talked to will zero in on this section. What are they looking for? Evidence, facts, quantifiable points - proof to support the assertions made in your resume summary.

Vague work histories are particularly frustrating to employers - especially when applicants copy and paste job descriptions. To avoid falling into those pitfalls, try incorporating these tips: 

Use simple section headers such as “Work History” or “Relevant Experience,” these are ATS friendly. “What I’ve Done” is not. 

List your experience in reverse chronological order.  If you have a lengthy employment history, you may consider only including the most recent 10-15 years of experience. This will shorten your resume and also limit the chances that you’ll encounter age discrimination. Looking at the big-picture experience from 25 years ago doesn’t necessarily speak to your recent nursing experience because employers care about what you can do for them now.

Work History Format

Adding your work history in a logical format can help your nursing resume beat the ATS and impress recruiters. We recommend using the following format for each work history segment:

1. Job Title and Specialty

This is a controversial subject, but we believe employers care more about what you’ve done than who you’ve worked for. Use the job title as it is listed in the job posting, or use a more industry-wide job title. Registered Nurse as opposed to Clinical Nurse II. 

2. Facility Name

Add the name of the facility or company you worked for after your job title. You can add this on the same line or a different line, but using the same line will optimize space.

3. Employment Dates  

These are important and can be listed in a number of ways. However, it’s been our experience that specific dates are not necessary for a resume. On an application, yes, on a resume, not so much. You can simply list the months and years (mm/yy - present).

4. Facility-Specific and Unit-Specific Information

This information is helpful and important to employers but is left off the majority of resumes we’ve seen, it includes: 

  • Trauma level: level I, II, III
  • Facility Designations 
  • Total Hospital beds
  • Total unit beds

Primary Duties and Accomplishments

This section looks best in a bulleted list of no more than six points and should include duties, noteworthy accomplishments, and achievements. It’s important to emphasize specific duties and not be too vague.

Also, try your best not to simply regurgitate basic nursing duties that would be assumed of your role. This will take up valuable space on your resume and not really tell the reader much about you !

Wondering what specifics to include? Here are a few questions to get those wheels turning:

  • What illnesses, injuries, or traumas do you care for? 
  • What cases do you work on? 
  • What type of medications do you administer and how? 
  • What therapies do you perform? 
  • What equipment do you use? 
  • How have you improved processes? 
  • When have I been first or best?
  • No. 1 achievement in each position?
  • Which achievements have the most impressive numbers?
  • When have I been publicly recognized?

Write Strong Nursing Resume Bullets

Wondering how to order your bullets and what to include? Try this: start with a verb leading to quantifiable data or a specific point and include a relevant duty.

Use our comprehensive tables to build compelling nursing resume bullets that make your achievements shine:

Here is a brief work history resume example for nurses that puts it all together:

Registered Nurse, Acute Care - Example Medical Center 09-19 - Present

  • Supervised staff of 15 registered nurses, 8 certified nursing assistants, and 7 paramedics while multitasking excellent patient care. 
  • Cared for up to 4 patients per shift with acute neurological disorders, including strokes, spinal cord injuries, and head trauma.

Education and Training

In the nursing profession, education and training are of utmost importance. If you have work experience, this section can be fairly brief.  You should list your relevant degrees in chronological order. 

There are varying opinions regarding the specific ordering of education. However, we believe that the degree or certification title should be listed first. Employers care firstly that you have the education requirement they need and secondarily where you obtained the requirement. 

We suggest the following format:  Degree or Certification Title (acronym), Institution Name 

Here’s an example: 

Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN), University of Washington 

Should I Include Graduation Dates on a Nursing Resume?

You are not required to include your college or high school graduation dates on your nursing resume , as it could reveal your age. Age discrimination is the top form of employment discrimination and affects all age groups. If you graduated more than 10-15 years ago, it may be a good idea to omit the date.  But this is a personal decision you should make at your own discretion.

Should I Include My GPA on a Nursing Resume?

Including your GPA in your nursing resume is optional. If you are particularly proud of your GPA, by all means, add it! However, it is not required. If you graduated with honors that you are proud of, you can definitely include that as well. Again the resume is a unique snapshot of you!

Should I Include my Non-Nursing Degrees and Credentials?

If you possess other degrees not related to nursing, it is not necessary to include those on your nursing resume. Some second-career nurses like to list this information, especially if there has been an interesting career pivot or one that brings a lot of value to your role as a nurse. Remember, you are telling your personal, unique story, and you get to decide what to include.

How Do I Add In-Progress Advanced Education Programs?

If you are currently enrolled in higher education to advance your studies within the nursing field, that should be listed on your resume and state that the degree is pending or in progress. However, if you started a graduate degree program, never finished, and do not plan on finishing, it is unnecessary to include it on the resume. 

Should I Include my High School Education?

Nurses do not need to include their high school diplomas on their resumes. The nursing profession requires completion of higher education, and therefore, your higher degree trumps your diploma. 

Awards, Accomplishments, and Affiliations

Though this section is not required, we encourage including awards and accomplishments that are relevant to the nursing profession. These details will provide the potential employer with more proof and evidence of who you are as a nurse. 

In this section, you can include: 

  • Awards and recognitions that are specific to the hospital or facility where you work, e.g. the Daisy Award, Employee of the Month, and Nursing Excellence Award
  • Professional memberships and affiliations relating to nursing and/or healthcare
  • Volunteer work, if it relates to nursing

We suggest the following format: Title, organization, year

Here are a couple of examples:

  • Recipient, Nursing Excellence Award, Washington Medical Center
  • Volunteer, American Red Cross - Haiti - 2012

Naming Your Nurse Resume Save File

One last thing, saving! Don’t just give your resume any old name! Hiring professionals sometimes receive multiple documents from candidates, and they don’t want to waste time sorting through every document to find the resume. Some prefer to organize resumes by specialty. Tell them exactly which document is your resume. 

We suggest the following format: firstlast_specialty_resume.doc

Here’s an example:


We’ve seen a lot of resumes over the years, and you might be surprised by the amount of strange information people have included on them. So, here are the top mistakes we’ve seen:

>> Click to See RN-to-BSN Programs

Woot! If you’ve made it this far you should have an excellent understanding of how to write a great nursing resume. We know it’s a lot of information right now, and we hope that you’ll use the information to advance your career.

For a little more help, try using our free resume templates. And when you’ve landed your next interview, check out the next part in this series, The Complete Guide to Nursing Job Interviews .

>> Download free nurse resume templates!

What should be included in a nursing resume?

  • A nursing resume should include your education, experience, including clinical, work, and volunteer, any certifications you have, and skills. 

How do I write a nurse resume?

  • You can use a template to fill out your nursing resume or fill out your own. 

How do I list my nursing skills on my resume?

  • List skills that are in the job description or outline on the facility’s website. For instance, common nursing skills include critical thinking, teamwork, communication, team management, and high ethical standards. 

Do you put RN after your name on a resume?

  • You can include "RN" or "RN, BSN"  if you have other credentials. If you haven’t passed your NCLEX yet, you can put G.N. for Graduate Nurse.

How long should a nurse's resume be?

  • A nursing resume should be no longer than 1-2 pages. 

What is your greatest skill as a nurse?

  • The most valuable skill you have as a nurse may depend on your exact role and specialty, but in general, communication, kindness, empathy, and critical thinking are highly valued traits as a nurse. 

How far back should a resume go?

  • If you’re a recent graduate, you don’t need to go to high school, just include your college experience and degree. For experienced nurses, include all relevant experience. 

Amanda is an Ivy-league-educated nurse practitioner and career mentor who helps nurses find and land their dream jobs. She founded The Résumé Rx  in 2018 to help nurses with career and résumé strategy  Learn more about Amanda and her products at  and follow her on Instagram  @theresumerx.

Angelina Walker

Angelina has her finger on the pulse of everything nursing. Whether it's a trending news topic, valuable resource or, heartfelt story, Angelina is an expert at producing content that nurses love to read. She specializes in warmly engaging with the nursing community and exponentially growing our social presence.

My Resume Templates

Nurse Cover Letter Example

nursing cover letter sample

How useful was this post?

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 70

Download this free nursing cover letter sample in Word format

This free nurse cover letter sample is available in word format. Use it as a base to start from so that you don’t feel overwhelmed starting one from scratch when you are job-hunting in the nursing field. Work in the hospital of your choice with this example of nursing cover letter . Download it now!

The nursing profession is only getting more competitive by the year. Having a cover letter to go with your resume has become more necessary than ever. A winning cover letter for nurses should include professional experience, skills, and more details about your work ethic and your personality. This nursing cover letter example meets all the criteria of a good cover letter, and it’s free!

Nursing cover letter example

Full Name Address Phone Number Email Address

Hiring Manager/Physician’s Full Name Job Title Hospital Name Hospital Address

To: Hiring Manager/Physician’s Full Name, Date Dear Mr./Ms./Mx. Hiring Manager/Physician’s Last Name,

I am thrilled to apply for the nursing position at Hospital Name, as advertised on Website Name. With my strong qualifications and extensive experience, I am confident that I am the ideal candidate for this role.

As a dedicated nurse with a master’s degree in nursing and over 5 years of proven experience, I have honed my skills in effectively managing patients and staff. I am known for my exceptional organizational abilities, calm demeanor, and patient-centered approach. During my tenure at Virginia Veteran’s Hospital, I established a reputation as a go-to resource for mentoring newly licensed nurses, receiving commendations from all 10 nurses I mentored.

In my current position, I am responsible for assessing the medical conditions of up to 20 patients daily. I have implemented a rotational system that optimizes patient care and coordinates workforce management. Recognized as a dedicated, ambitious, and reliable professional, I have consistently demonstrated the ability to work independently and deliver exceptional results.

I am eager to bring my expertise to Company Name and contribute to a challenging work environment where I can fully utilize my skills. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further during an interview. Thank you for considering my application.

Sincerely, Pamela Smith

How to write a nursing cover letter

Follow the steps below when you are editing this cover letter template for nursing job . Whether you are an experienced or entry-level nurse, the following tips will ensure that you include all the information you need to work with the physician or hospital you desire.

1. Create a header

Begin your cover letter with a header containing essential details such as your name, email address, phone number, and residence . By placing this information at the top of your document, you ensure that the reader can easily locate the necessary details for contacting you. Furthermore, including the date of sending in your header adds a professional touch to your cover letter.. 

2. Write an opening paragraph

  • After including your contact information, you’re going to want to start your letter by dedicating it to a person . Instead of using “To whom it may concern,” which is incredibly impersonal, find out the name of the recruiter by doing some light LinkedIn stalking. That way you can start it by saying “Dear [name].” If you still cannot locate the exact name, “Dear Hiring Physician” also works.
  • Following that, it is time to introduce yourself . Make sure to include the nursing position you are applying for and the hospital name. Include a brief sentence stating why you think you are the perfect fit for this job.

3. Highlight your medical experience

Emphasizing your medical experience on your cover letter showcases the level of knowledge and exposure you have gained in the nursing field.

  • Start with a strong opening sentence stating your years of education and experience in nursing. This will establish your credibility from the start and would impress the hiring manager enough to continue reading. 
  • Second, write the skills you’ve acquired while working as a nurse, these could include organziational abilities, calm demeanor, active listening and a patient centered approach. Mention any languages that you speak other than your mothertongue, as this can be considered as an added asset to the hospital.  
  • And finally, provide a sentence describing your major accomplishments in your previous hospital. This helps build trust and credibility with the employer. Don’t hesitate to give precise details of the techniques used in care, for example, the use of acquired medical procedures or the collection of clinical data.

Check out our Nursing Resume Example and start sending out applications today!

4. Highlight your care-taking qualities

By emphasizing care-taking qualities on your cover letter, hiring managers will know they are getting a nurse who puts their patients first every time.

  • Showcase how your experience has prepared you to be a compassionate, responsible, and reliable healthcare professional who can handle any situation with professionalism and grace.  
  • Highlight specific examples of times when you went above and beyond in order to ensure quality patient care , such as staying late or responding quickly in emergency situations. 
  • Mention any awards or recognition received for outstanding service, volunteer work done in the community, or special certifications related to nursing that make you stand out from other candidates. 

5. Describe your nursing duties at your current job

This information further showcases to potential employers that you have practical experience in nursing. It demonstrates that you have had hands-on experience applying the clinical abilities you learned during your school.

6. Conclusion

End your nursing cover letter by reiterating what was stated in the introduction. Explain that you would love to bring your experience to the hospital, and thank them for taking the time to go through your application.

Nursing Resume Template

nursing resume template

Nursing Cover Letter FAQs

How do i write a cover letter for a nursing student.

Follow the same format as what is indicated above, but also include any inspiration you had that helped you decide on this specific career. Was it a childhood ambition to help others daily? Mentioning that will add a human touch to your letter and probably earn you some extra points.

“My personal history has had a huge impact on my commitment to the nursing profession. I was able to collaborate with a team of healthcare specialists to provide medical care to impoverished communities in Guatamala. We established temporary clinics in rural locations to provide basic medical treatments, health education, and preventative care to people who did not have access to appropriate healthcare facilities. Seeing the impact of healthcare treatments on the lives of people suffering from medical conditions encouraged me to seek a career in nursing.”

What should the length of my nursing cover letter be?

A nurse cover letter should ideally be one page long , with three to four paragraphs. It should be brief yet informative, outlining your most important qualities and accomplishments while keeping the reader interested. Follow our writing guide to help you build a nursing cover letter today.

How do I download this nursing cover letter sample?

Follow these simple steps to download the nursing cover letter sample :

  • Go to the top of the page.
  • Find the download box and the version of Word compatible with your device.
  • Hit download.
  • Start editing!

Free download our Resume Formats

Free Resume Templates to Download in Word

best cv format

11+ Nursing Cover Letter Examples

A resume for any job is usually accompanied by a cover letter. A cover letter is a more detailed and more elaborate version of your resume – which merely states the facts. If you haven’t used a resume or cover letter before, then you need to take a look at these job cover letter templates designed specifically for nurses. As a nurse, these cover letter templates have been designed to suit your needs and they can come in handy.

free nursing cover letter template

Nursing Resume Cover Letter Template

nursing resume cover letter template

Nursing Student Cover Letter Example

nursing student cover letter example

Nurse Practitioner Cover Letter In PDF

nurse practitioner cover letter in pdf

New Nurse Cover Letter

new nurse cover letter

Nursing Assistant Cover Letter

nursing assistant cover letter

> Why should you use Nursing Cover Letters?

Staff nurse cover letter in doc.

staff nurse cover letter in doc

Graduate Nurse Cover Letter Example

graduate nurse cover letter example

Pediatric Nurse Cover Letter Template

pediatric nurse cover letter template

Entry Level Nursing Cover Letter In PDF

entry level nursing cover letter in pdf

Nursing Internship Cover Letter

nursing internship cover letter

Experienced Nurse Cover Letter

experience nursing cover letter

Hospital Nursing Cover Letter Example

hospital nursing cover letter example

> Benefits of Nursing Cover Letter Templates

  • A perfect cover letter would complement your resume and complete it. It would add a dignity, a sense of character and a touch of professionalism to your resume. On the whole, it would enhance your resume to a great extent.
  • Creating a cover letter can be a tedious task as you might be stuck in a rut as to what to write. You could let go of all that hassle and simply take the help of these templates where a majority of the work has already been done for you.

More in Letters

Simple nursing care plan template, blank nursing care plan template, nursing care plan template, nursing care emergency action plan template, nursing fact sheet template, nursing care plan smart goals template, sample nursing teaching plan template, nursing staffing plan template, clinical development plan template, nursing school lesson plan template.

  • FREE 26+ Covid-19 Letter Templates in PDF | MS Word | Google Docs
  • Thank You Letter for Appreciation – 19+ Free Word, Excel, PDF Format Download!
  • 69+ Resignation Letter Templates – Word, PDF, IPages
  • 12+ Letter of Introduction Templates – PDF, DOC
  • 14+ Nurse Resignation Letter Templates – Word, PDF
  • 16+ Sample Adoption Reference Letter Templates
  • 10+ Sample Work Reference Letters
  • 28+ Invitation Letter Templates
  • 19+ Rental Termination Letter Templates – Free Sample, Example Format Download!
  • 23+ Retirement Letter Templates – Word, PDF
  • 12+ Thank You Letters for Your Service – PDF, DOC
  • 12+ Job Appointment Letter Templates – Google DOC, PDF, Apple Pages
  • 21+ Professional Resignation Letter Templates – PDF, DOC
  • 14+ Training Acknowledgement Letter Templates
  • 49+ Job Application Form Templates

Related articles

8+ nursing cover letter templates – free sample,example, format download.

To create a nursing cover letter, download a nursing cover letter template from the internet and edit them accordingly. Overlooking a free Job Cover Letter Templates may just cost an applicant an important job opportunity. We know for a fact that in the nursing sector, any job application letter worth its salt should have a nursing cover letter. A nursing cover letter gives a summary of an applicant’s qualifications and job experience in the nursing field. It also indicates that the applicant’s resume has been enclosed. The applicant, therefore, needs to align their skills to the job being advertised. A nursing cover letter should also indicate an interest in the vacancy advertised. You may also like Cover Letter Templates.

Nursing Cover Letter Template – 8+ Free Word, PDF Documents Download!

A nursing cover letter template accompanies an application in the healthcare sector, specifically for a nursing post. In the Medical Cover Letter Templates the applicant states their appreciation for the availability of the vacancy and expresses confidence in their ability to handle the advertised post effectively. It also sheds light on the applicant’s qualifications and experience in the nursing field. Before stating that a CV has been enclosed, the nursing cover letter template lists other skills that the applicant believes are relevant to the advertised job. In short, the nursing template accompanies application letters by people seeking jobs in nursing. You may also Like Cover Letter Templates.

3+ Nursing Assistant Cover Letter Templates in PDF

For any application, you wish to be an expert and write a formal message together with your resume cover letter to form a control. It is equivalent when it goes here with a nursing cover letter for the assistant position. You wish to understand the do’s and don’ts of writing the cover letter and be certain that you just can create a positive impact on the reader to contemplate you for the duty. Use letter templates to assist you draft and cover letters that you just will use whenever you wish.

Get Instant Access to Free & Premium Nursing Plan Templates , AI Tools & Daily Fresh Content

Get access to 1 million+ FREE, PRO, template bundles with professionally written original content. Advanced AI, design, document editing tools


  1. Nursing Cover Letter Sample

    free nursing cover letter template

  2. 8+ Nursing Cover Letter Templates

    free nursing cover letter template

  3. Nursing Cover Letter Template Free

    free nursing cover letter template

  4. Nursing Cover Letter Template Free

    free nursing cover letter template

  5. Nursing Cover Letter Template

    free nursing cover letter template

  6. Professional Registered Nurse Cover Letter Examples

    free nursing cover letter template



  2. Cover letter template

  3. How to create nursing cv format। কীভাবে খুব সহজেই নার্সিং CV format তৈরী করবেন।

  4. How to write a professional cover letter


  6. RUHS BSC NURSING COUNSELLING 2023| Allotment Letter & INC


  1. How To Write A Nursing Cover Letter [Template And Tips]

    Credit: JGI/Jamie Grill / Tetra images / Getty Images Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree? A nursing cover letter is still crucial in the job application process. It's often the first impression a potential employer will have of you.

  2. How to Write a Nursing Cover Letter + Examples

    Cover Letter Template Cover Letter Example Don't Forget It! You're not alone if you think writing a nursing cover letter is intimidating. However, a great cover letter may be the difference between landing the job or having your application ignored.

  3. Nursing Cover Letter Examples & Expert tips [Free] ·

    This cover letter example is specifically designed for Nursing positions in 2023. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes. 4.3 Average rating 34 people've already rated it Edit This Cover Letter

  4. Nursing Cover Letter Examples (Tips for 2024)

    6 Nursing Cover Letter Examples & Templates July 27, 2023 | By The Resume Genius Team | Reviewed by Conrad Benz Download our nursing cover letter samples below to start crafting the perfect cover letter. And check out our nursing cover letter writing tips to ensure your application gives you the best chance at landing work.

  5. Nursing Cover Letter Template & Example

    Download Template Download Example PDF How does it work? Using/filling a nursing cover letter template typically involves the following steps: Personalization: Start by customizing the template with your personal information, including your name, contact details, and professional title.

  6. Nursing Cover Letter: Examples & Templates (2024)

    12/11/2023 Nursing Cover Letter: Examples & Templates (2024) You know you're more than just the post-nominal letters and license listed in your nursing resume. Show them you're the best choice to treat their patients and alleviate illnesses. Christian Eilers, CPRW Career Expert

  7. PDF Nursing Cover Letter Made Easy

    Dear Mr./Ms.: Intro: A few things to include are insight of why you are in contact with that person ("I am writing to express interest in..."). Include the title of the occupation to which you're applying and where you gained insight of that position (i.e. job website, indeed, etc.).

  8. How to Write a Nursing Cover Letter with Examples and Templates

    Manager Other Nursing Cover Letter Examples and Templates With the right care and effort, you can craft a professional nursing cover letter that helps distinguish you from other candidates. We've provided two sample nurse cover letters and a template to help give you an idea of what to write. DOWNLOAD Sample cover letter 1

  9. Nursing Cover Letter Examples and Templates for 2024

    2. Salutation. Catch the hiring manager's eye by using their name. Address them as Mr. or Ms. [Last Name]. If you can't find their name, it's best to use "Dear Hiring Manager.". 3. Introduction. This opening paragraph is your chance to entice the hiring manager into reading the rest of your letter and your resume.

  10. Nursing Cover Letter Examples

    A nursing cover letter template that you can cut, paste and customize to your needs. How to write a nursing cover letter for different scenarios and career stages. Tons of resources for crafting an attention-getting job application. Ready to build your cover letter now? Use our Cover Letter Builder.

  11. New Grad Nurse Cover Letter

    To create a professional-looking application, stick to the following cover letter format: List your contact details in the header of your cover letter. Add the hiring manager's address and today's date. Include a personal salutation. Start with an introduction paragraph. Add your body paragraph.

  12. Nursing Cover Letter Examples: How To Write Guide & Template

    Check out our entire collection of cover letter examples and downloadable templates for even more help! A Winning Example: Why This Nursing Cover Letter Works Let's dive into a real nursing cover letter example that excels in capturing the attention of employers. Clear Demonstration of Skills:

  13. FREE Nurse Cover Letter Template

    Instant Download Filter by: Edit Online Microsoft Word Apple Pages Google Docs Adobe PDF Free Pro Free Free Clinical Nurse Practitioner Cover Letter Free Free Registered Nurse Cover Letter Free Free Legal Nurse Consultant Cover Letter Free Free Infusion Nurse Cover Letter Free Free Circulating Nurse Cover Letter Free Free Cardiac Nurse Cover Letter

  14. Registered Nurse (RN) Cover Letter Examples for 2023

    Take a look at this RN cover letter example that effectively showcases the candidate's value and grabs the attention of potential employers. Effective Storytelling: This cover letter engages the reader, weaving a compelling narrative showcasing the applicant's nursing journey and dedication. Emphasis on Certifications and Achievements:

  15. 5+ Nursing Cover Letter Examples and Templates for 2023

    Nursing Cover Letter Examples and Templates. 1. Nursing Cover Letter Example. Dear [Employer's Name], I am writing to express my strong interest in the nursing position at [Company Name], as advertised on [Job Board or Company Website]. With a Bachelor's degree in Nursing and [X] years of experience in various healthcare settings, I believe ...

  16. Ultimate Guide to Nursing Resumes 2024

    Nursing Resume Templates Nurse Resume FAQs Expert Reviewed by: Amanda Guarniere, NP, Founder of the Resume RX In 2024, a vague, uninspiring nursing resume just won't cut it. Recent years have fostered growing competition for the best nursing jobs, creating a greater need for nurses to learn how to write exceptional nursing resumes.

  17. Free Nursing Cover Letters [Samples & Examples]

    A cover letter for a nursing position is a document that introduces an applicant to a potential employer when they are applying for a position. It is typically accompanied by a resume highlighting relevant skills, experience, and education related to the position being applied for.

  18. Nursing Cover Letter Sample 2023 (Free Download Example)

    This free nurse cover letter sample is available in word format. Use it as a base to start from so that you don't feel overwhelmed starting one from scratch when you are job-hunting in the nursing field. Work in the hospital of your choice with this example of nursing cover letter. Download it now! File format:

  19. Nursing Cover Letter (15 Best Sample Letters & Templates)

    Nursing Cover Letter (15 Best Sample Letters & Templates) Nursing is one of the most important and fulfilling jobs in the job industry. Nurses stand with patients by the bedside, helping them to concur with various illnesses and providing them with healthy caregiving services.

  20. Nursing Cover Letter Template

    Nursing Cover Letter Template - 8+ Free Word, PDF Documents Download! A nursing cover letter template accompanies an application in the healthcare sector, specifically for a nursing post. In the Medical Cover Letter Templates the applicant states their appreciation for the availability of the vacancy and expresses confidence in their ability to handle the advertised post effectively.

  21. 11+ Nursing Cover Letter Examples

    PDF Size: 29 kB Download Now If you are a nursing student looking for a part-time or a full-time job at a medical institution, then you could take the help of this cover letter template for nursing students. Nurse Practitioner Cover Letter In PDF Details File Format PDF Size: 135 kB Download Now

  22. New Graduate Nurse Cover Letter (18 Best Examples)

    A Sample of a Cover Letter. I am writing to express my interest in applying for the nurse practitioner position at Mercy Hospital. I am writing to express my interest in the nursing position at Mercy Hospital. As a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, I am excited to begin my nursing career and ...

  23. Nursing Cover Letter: Examples & Ready-To-Use Templates

    03/21/2023 Nursing Cover Letter: Examples & Ready-To-Use Templates You know you're more than just the post-nominal letters and licence listed in your nurse CV. Show them you're the best choice to treat their patients and alleviate illnesses. Christian Eilers, CPRW Career Expert