We surveyed US hiring decision-makers to find out if cover letters are still necessary and if *you* need one to land a job in 2020. Here’s what we found.
After scrolling through job board after never-ending job board, you’ve found the nursing job of your dreams.
They’ve got excellent pay, great doctors and medical staff to work with, and a career ladder you can visualize climbing.
All that stands in your way to get that interview is the perfect cover letter for nurse jobs.
In this article, you’ll get:
- Two nurse cover letters samples, one for an experienced nurse and another entry-level nursing student cover letter.
- Step-by-step advice on writing nursing cover letters sure to land you more clinic and hospital interviews.
- An experienced or new grad nurse cover letter template for you to copy and use for yourself, able to have ready in just 15 minutes.
Looking for other cover letter examples for positions in healthcare and wellbeing? See:
- CNA Cover Letter
- Dental Assistant Cover Letter
- Medical Assistant Cover Letter
- Pharmacist Cover Letter
- Registered Nurse (RN) Cover Letter
What does a perfect cover letter for a nurse look like? See below—
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To begin, let’s take a look at two different nurse cover letters examples:
1. Nursing Cover Letter Examples
First, meet Edward.
Edward’s got a love for psychological thrillers, rock climbing, and experimenting in the kitchen (to his roommate’s dismay).
But that’s not relevant.
What is relevant is the fact that Eddie is an experienced RN. He’s applying for a job that calls for a registered nurse who knows how to take accurate measurements and readings and administer appropriate treatment plans.
Have a look at Edward’s registered nurse cover letter sample to see how he rocks it:
Example #1: Mid-Level RN Candidate (Experienced Registered Nurse)
Registered Nurse (RN)
Nevada State Licence #NV54998
September 23, 2019
Director of Nursing
Shamus T. Knight Memorial Hospital
360 Camden Street
Reno, NV 89501
I’ve been a registered nurse for over 3 years at University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Having recently moved back home to Reno, I was excited to find a job opening on your medical staff as an RN at Shamus T. Knight Memorial Hospital. With my well-rounded expertise informing patients on pain management techniques, reviewing laboratory data for anomalies and problems, and assisting in the emergency room, I believe I would make a valuable addition to the nursing staff as a registered nurse.
In the job ad, it mentions you are seeking an RN capable of accurately and efficiently evaluating patients for medical signs and symptoms, as well as initiating the appropriate responses. As a staff nurse at LV-UMC, I successfully evaluated and identified patient responses to treatment and signs of illness. During my employment there, I effectively managed a caseload of 15 per day, while also helping our nursing team to achieve Magnet status recognition. I know I would be able to bring that same level of dedication and commitment to work at STK.
I am sure that I’d love working at your hospital in particular, as I have great respect for the staff and the research that has been conducted here. I’d be honored to become part of the nursing family at Shamus T. Knight Memorial Hospital.
Could we arrange a sit-down or phone call to discuss how I could help Shamus T. Knight Memorial Hospital lessen its workload while increasing the quality of care?
Edward Welch, RN
What’d you think?
This registered nursing cover letter example is sure to jolt the head nurse awake like a defibrillator.
What about a cover letter with no experience?
Esme hasn’t ever worked as a nurse before, having only studied at university and completed the LPN exam.
However, Esme’s entry-level nurse cover letter sample still talks up her medical skills and knowledge in a compelling way.
Let’s take a look:
Example #2: Entry-Level Nursing Candidate (LPN Without Experience)
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Nevada State Licence #NV54999
September 23, 2019
Head of Nursing Staff
Shamus T. Knight Memorial Hospital
360 Camden Street
Reno, NV 89501
As a current medical student with a newly earned LPN certification, I would like to apply for the licensed practical nurse position at Shamus T. Knight Memorial Hospital. As I finish my bachelor’s degree in nursing, I believe I have the book knowledge and classroom hours needed to be a perfect entry-level nurse candidate at your medical center.
According to the nursing job description, you are looking for an LPN capable of administering non-RN treatments, evaluating patient symptoms and reactions, and assisting the RN charge nurse in all aspects of general patient care. During my college studies and throughout my licensed practical nursing certification program, I learned about many medical topic clusters, including pharmacology, patient care, hygiene and nutrition, ambulatory care, and proficiency with EHRs.
I would love the opportunity to chat about the nursing unit’s upcoming objectives and current roadblocks and show you how my friendly attitude, willingness to learn, and medical knowledge make me a top contender for the LPN position.
Esmeralda Welch, LPN
Not so hard, right?
Esme’s sample cover letter for nursing job applications shows she has the skills and knowledge needed to excel in her role without professional experience.
Let’s learn how to write a nursing cover letter of your own.
Short on time?
Below you’ll find easy templates and cover letter examples for nurses. Just fill in the blanks and use it for yourself.
Is your nursing resume ready to be discharged and sent over to the head nurse or medical center director? Make sure by reading our nurse resume example guide here: Nursing Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips
2. How to Write a Nursing Cover Letter for Hospital Jobs Step by Step (Template)
Here’s how to write a cover letter for nursing jobs with a clean bill of health:
1. Format a Nursing Cover Letter Like Any Formal Document
Your ICU or graduate nurse cover letter has to make a great first impression.
Not only with the words you include, but also with how you format the cover letter.
Here is how the cover letter layout should go:
- Align all the text to the left, from your address at the beginning to your signature at the end.
- Choose the best font for a cover letter that’s easy to read and matches your nurse resume template.
- Use single line spaces in the body of your RN or LPN cover letter and leave room for a one-inch border around the edges.
A good cover letter can set up a resume perfectly, but a bad one can tank your application before your resume even gets read. The key is to keep it friendly but concise; anything more than a page is way too much. A brief summary of your skills and experience and how they relate to the job is more than enough. Your resume will go into more detail on your work history, so all you’re looking to do is match up enough key attributes from the job description that a hiring manager will want to look further.” ,
2. Construct a Perfect Nurse Cover Letter Heading Area
Adding address and personal details onto a cover letter is about as boring as nursing is not.
Good thing is, it’s also super straightforward and easy.
Use this example template for reference:
Nursing Cover Letters Sample Header Template
[ Full Name]
[ Your Job Title ] (Optional)
[ Your License Number (If Applicable)
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ LinkedIn URL ]
[ Writing Date ]
[ Head Nurse’s Full Name ]
[ Head Nurse’s Title ]
[ Medical Facility Name ]
[ Medical Facility Street Address ]
[ City, State, Zip Code ]
On any nursing student or nurse practitioner cover letters, add your details first. Always include your state and license number, if relevant.
Next, add the date you’ll send this nursing job application in to them.
Finally, add their deets. Include the name of the charge nurse or nurse manager, their title, then the hospital or laboratory’s name and address.
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3. Introduce Yourself & Identify the Nursing Position You’re Applying To
The first paragraph of a nursing or nurse practitioner cover letter needs to jolt the employer awake like a shot of adrenaline.
Be relevant, specific, personalized, and brief.
In the opening greeting, use their name. Don’t know it? Look on the hospital’s website, or browse LinkedIn for clues.
Next, open the cover letter by introducing yourself, stating the specific nurse job you’re applying for, and giving a quick overview of your professional medical background.
Have a look at the below example of a great opening paragraph:
Nursing Cover Letter Sample: Introductory Statement
Dear [Name of Head Nurse, Medical Director, etc.]:
It excited me to come across the [Nursing Job Position] position availability at [Name of Hospital, Lab, or Clinic]. As a [Current Nursing Job Title] with [###] years of experience with [Nursing Skills, e.g., Cardiac Care, Emergency Room Care, Infection Control, Patient Charts, Pain Management, OR Procedures, Surgery Prep, Patient Evaluations, etc.],I’m sure I am the right candidate for the job.
Expert Hint: A study by Nursing for Women’s Health gives this advice: “Give examples that elaborate on your resume rather than just restating that information. If you held an elected position in a professional nursing organization, what did you accomplish in that position?” Also—never hand in a generic cover letter!
4. Advertise Your Nursing Skills & Medical Expertise
You woke them up with that first paragraph.
Now, keep ‘em interested.
In the second paragraph of the nursing resume cover letter, show them how you’re the dream candidate they’re searching for.
Go to the nursing job description and scroll down to where it says “job requirements.” There you’ll find exactly the kind of OR nurse or ICU nurse they want.
Check out this easy, fill-in-the-blank example:
Sample Cover Letter Nursing: Middle Paragraph
Inside the advertisement for the nursing position, it mentions that you’re looking for a [Name of Nursing Job Position] with knowledge in [State a Particular Medical Skill or Two Mentioned in the Job Ad]. As a [Name of Current or Former Medical Job Title] at [Name of Current or Former Lab, Hospital, or Clinic],I was able to diligently handle [Responsibilities, e.g., Operating Room Procedures, Maternal Care, Lab Testing, ICU Operations, Exams and Treatment, etc.]. I am completely confident that I could bring that same expertise and level of care to [Hospital, Clinic, or Laboratory Name].
Expert Hint: While adding your nursing license number is necessary, letters of recommendation for nurses are usually optional. Check the job ad, and, if they request letters of recommendation for nurses, use our reference guide to ensure it’s properly formatted.
5. Describe Why This Hospital or Clinic is the Best Place for You
Now, compliment them.
Nursing jobs are all about skills and bedside manner, sure.
However, the hospital administration and nursing manager want to know that you’ll fit in well with the workplace culture. Also, anyone would prefer to hire a nurse who wanted to work at this hospital, rather than one just wanting a nursing job anywhere.
Show them you care. Let them know you’d be a perfect addition to the nursing staff. Make them feel special.
Here’s another nurse sample template to use as a guide:
Nurse Cover Letter Example: Motivation Statement
I admire [Clinic or Hospital Name]’s focus on [Give a Point or Fact About the Hospital or Clinic That Interests You, e.g., Research, Values, Quality of Care]. This is truly admirable and inspiring, and it easily is in line with my own values. I know that working at [Hospital or Clinic Name] as the [Name of Nursing Position] would be a perfect opportunity for me to learn, develop, and help others.
6. End an LPN or RN Cover Letter Using an Effective Sign-Off
To write your covering letter closing, request a callback or an in-person meeting.
Emphasize the proposal you’re making, and let them know you’d like to chat with them more about it.
Here’s a simple closing template on a sample cover letter for nursing jobs:
Sample Nursing Cover Letter: Call-to-Action & Complimentary Close
Could we make time for a quick video chat, phone call, or face-to-face to discuss how I would be able to help [Hospital or Clinic Name] as a new member of the nursing staff?
[Digital Copy of Signature]
[First & Last Name, Post-Nominal Letters]
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Here are the main things to remember when writing a cover letter for nursing jobs:
- Address the head of nursing directly in your RN or LPN cover letter salutation.
- Introduce yourself, identify the nursing or nurse practitioner job you’re applying for, and quickly sum up your professional medical accomplishments and skills thus far.
- Show the hospital administrative staff that you are a perfect match to the candidate they requested in the nursing job description.
- Let them know your motivation in joining the hospital with some praise and enthusiasm.
- Ask for a meeting or phone call to end your experienced or new grad nursing cover letter.
Have a question on how to write a new grad RN cover letter or school nurse cover letter? Need ideas for how to come up with accomplishments on a cover letter for nursing positions? Head down to the comment section below to ask a question, and thanks for reading!