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Nurse Cover Letter Example

Nurses care deeply about their community. In this cover letter guide, you’ll make sure that a prospective employer cares about making you their next hire.
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Nurse Cover Letter Example
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As a nurse you’re a pillar of the community. You do an important service for the public on a daily basis, and you’re good at it. However, is your cover letter doing a service to you? The constant demand for nurses could put you in a strong position on the job market. Before you get started, you need to write a nurse cover letter that ticks all of the boxes. 

Have you set your sights high? Perhaps that means rising the ranks, finding a workplace with the schedule or work culture that suits you, or making a move into a different sector of nursing. Whatever that looks like to you, you will still be competing against other qualified nurses for many jobs. That’s where a strong cover letter comes in.

You’re sure to have a lot of questions. What goes into a good nursing cover letter? How can you really make the work experience that you have so far stand out in just a few paragraphs?  In this cover letter guide and our nursing cover letter example, we’ll be answering all of those questions and more. In this guide you will learn:

  • How to choose the best cover letter format and what paragraphs the cover letter should include
  • How to maximise the effect of each cover letter paragraph (header, greeting, intro, body and conclusion)
  • What approach to take when writing your cover letter
  • What mistakes to avoid when writing your nurse cover letter.

If when you finish reading you still have doubts, then we have other resources available to help you until your job application is ready. You might want to take inspiration from some other cover letter examples. 

Statistical insight

Nursing job prospects

The UK government pledged to create 50,000 new nursing roles in the NHS by 2024. Increasing demand for your skills could put you in a strong position for whichever sector of nursing you decide to work in. There are additional opportunities that you can find in the private or non-profit sector, too.

Best format for a nurse cover letter

A solid structure for your nurse cover letter will set you up for success. Of course the content you fill the letter with will differ depending on the job you’re applying to and your personal experience. However, there are certain principles that your letter should always follow to demonstrate your strong communication skills.

The format of a nurse cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting / salutation
  • The cover letter intro
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
  • The ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and call-to-action)

The nurse cover letter example below can offer you the bones you need to develop your own cover letter for your application.  

Adaptable cover letter sample

Dear Mrs Lee,

I have seen you are currently recruiting new nurses at Avon Hospice. As an experienced nurse who has spent time working in both critical and palliative care, I would love the opportunity to join your team. 

After completing my BSc in Adult Nursing at the University of Bournemouth, I took my first staff role at Salisbury District Hospital’s intensive care unit. Here I received feedback from both senior nurses and the families of patients that my bedside manner and timely decision making under challenging circumstances would be well-suited to a career in palliative care. I can provide clinical references upon request.

I have spent the last two years working at a private agency providing at-home specialist palliative care and respite care. In this role, I was in charge of putting together care plans for all patients in my assigned region. I am therefore experienced in managing a roster of patients and monitoring the execution of their care plans. This could range from mentoring junior members of the team to educating families on care techniques and medication administration.

The families I have worked with in this role would be happy to provide references. I improved efficiency within my team by reducing time spent on administrative tasks, and this work was reflected in the time I was able to spend building relationships with the families I’ve helped. 

I cherish the ability to improve the quality of life for my patients and their loved ones and believe my skill set would make me a strong asset to the team at Avon Hospice. I am NMC registered, and have flexibility in my ability to start work. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

Ashraf Begg

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Cover letter header

The cover letter header is the first thing somebody looking at your letter will see. As the name suggests, it sits at the top of the page. This section includes your name and contact details. You want somebody looking at the document to be able to get in touch immediately.

A cover letter header does not need to be exaggerated or embellished. Make sure that it is clear and serves its purpose. A strong header has the additional bonus of making it easy for the hiring manager to find yours among a pile of nurse cover letters. With the right design, it could even help your name to stick in the hiring manager’s mind.

Expert tip

Present your cover letter with care

The visual presentation of your nurse cover letter matters. 

Attention to detail and care in the way you manage your tasks are essential for a nurse, and you want this to remain clear through every step of your cover letter writing. Make sure your cover letter looks the part by using a professional design and clear formatting. 

Cover letter greeting

As a nurse, you know the importance of starting a relationship out on the right foot. Your cover letter is one of the first impressions you’ll make to the hiring manager. You’re a pro at interacting with your patients, so this should be no different — you’ve got this.

Nailing the right level of formality is the most important thing for the greeting of your nurse cover letter. Some workplaces might vary. However, you’re a nurse and you know there is often some form of hierarchy to be respected in the medical setting you’re applying to. Therefore, “Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Surname” is the best way to go.

If you’re not sure of the name of the hiring manager, it pays off to spend some extra time doing your research online. Have a look through the company or trust’s website. Let the hiring manager know that you are able to go the extra mile to make somebody feel valued.

Cover letter introduction

Just as you gain the trust of your patients, you want to build a relationship with the hiring manager. The first paragraph should be dedicated to an introduction of who you are as a nurse and why you think you’d be a good fit for the role. 

The rest of your cover letter should back up these points. However, the first paragraph should be easy to digest and give the hiring manager an idea of whether or not they want to read further. You want to inspire confidence without coming across as arrogant.  

Some great ways to do this are to briefly mention any important accomplishments as soon as possible, as well as similar experience you already have that would make you a great match for the job. If you are thin on experience, then think of specific circumstances where you’ve shown the skills you’ll need instead. We will talk more about how to better apply these tips if you have limited experience later in the guide.

When it comes to getting your personality across, think about strong action verbs that will better get across the point you want to describe. For instance, instead of “I worked on outpatients’ treatment plans,” try  “I managed and executed treatment plans for outpatients.” Not only does it paint a clearer picture and make you sound like a better communicator — it makes your accomplishments sound more impressive, too.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Dear Mrs Lee,

I have seen you are currently recruiting new nurses at Avon Hospice. As an experienced nurse who has spent time working in both critical and palliative care, I would love the opportunity to join your team. 

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Cover letter middle part (body)

Now that the hiring manager is hooked with your introduction, the middle paragraphs of your cover letter will make up the majority of its content. This is your chance to dive deeper into the first impression you’ve painted about yourself. You should aim to provide a few details about the highlights of your profile that make you a great fit for this role in particular.

It goes without saying that each cover letter needs to be personalised to the job that you’re applying to. Pick one of two examples of challenges you have faced or roles that you’ve carried out. Your examples should demonstrate your ability to excel in this new job, so read over the job ad a couple more times so you’re really clear on what they say they’re looking for. 

Once you have picked your examples, remember to use those strong action verbs to keep the word count down. Distil the story to the core of what you want to communicate for a concise nurse cover letter. Keep the hiring manager hungry for a reason to invite you to interview. 

You can do this by using the STAR method. Explain the Situation, the Task, the Action, and finally the Results. Remember that you have only a few paragraphs to skim across the important points of your professional nurse journey. 

Another technique to draw importance to a point you choose to highlight in your cover letter is to use figures or statistics to explain why a particular action was so impressive. Numbers talk, after all. Plus, it can save you precious space on your nurse cover letter where you’d otherwise be explaining the context of why your story is pertinent. 

Adaptable cover letter middle part example

After completing my BSc in Adult Nursing at the University of Bournemouth, I took my first staff role at Salisbury District Hospital’s intensive care unit. Here I received feedback from both senior nurses and the families of patients that my bedside manner and timely decision making under challenging circumstances would be well-suited to a career in palliative care. I can provide clinical references upon request.

I have spent the last two years working at a private agency providing at-home specialist palliative care and respite care. In this role, I was in charge of putting together care plans for all patients in my assigned region. I am therefore experienced in managing a roster of patients and monitoring the execution of their care plans. This could range from mentoring junior members of the team to educating families on care techniques and medication administration.

The families I have worked with in this role would be happy to provide references. I improved efficiency within my team by reducing time spent on administrative tasks, and this work was reflected in the time I was able to spend building relationships with the families I’ve helped. 

Copied!
Expert tip

Tend to the ATS

The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a digital way of filtering applications.

As many job applications and NHS trust application forms are managed digitally, so are the ways that hiring managers filter through applicants. 

The ATS algorithm separates the most qualified candidates’ applications by scanning them for the inclusion of keywords. Search the nurse job listing and identify words that are repeated or appear to be important. Then — if they apply to you — make sure you include them naturally in the writing of your cover letter. 

How to close a nurse cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

Your final paragraph should draw a neat conclusion on the middle paragraphs. Use this as an opportunity to affirm the story you promised to deliver in your introduction. A self-assured and eager tone is the best approach. Don’t be afraid to include a call-to-action where you invite them to drop you a line. Check out the nurse cover letter sample below for inspiration.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

I cherish the ability to improve the quality of life for my patients and their loved ones and believe my skill set would make me a strong asset to the team at Avon Hospice. I am NMC registered, and have flexibility in my ability to start work. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

Ashraf Begg

Copied!

Nurse cover letter with no experience

It’s nerve-wracking applying for your first nurse job. However, everyone has to start somewhere, and your cover letter is the best place to make this apparent. Where your resume could seem short, the cover letter lets you add context as to why your attitude as a nurse takes you above and beyond the other applicants.

The good news is that as a nurse, you have already carried out placements as a part of your training. Lean into the experiences you’ve already gained during your training. You also can’t underestimate the importance of soft skills. The way you communicate, interact with others, and generally carry out your tasks are certainly worth mentioning. 

Of course, your cover letter doesn’t need to focus only on the skills you’ve demonstrated in a formal medical setting. You can draw on experiences before your formal training, too. Was there an extracurricular activity or part-time job that fostered the skills you will now use in your daily life as a nurse? That can show just as much about your character. 

Key takeaways

  1. Start your professional relationship on the right foot with the appropriate greeting.
  2. Personalise your cover letter for each job application.
  3. Use the STAR approach to recount relevant experience concisely.
  4. Lean into your soft skills if you’re still building your experience as a nurse.

Now you have vital elements you need to tend to to write a job-winning nurse cover letter. It’s time to write yours. If you want to take some of the pressure off of the design and formatting part, then then we have a range of cover letter templates that make it quick and simple.

We’ve also got your back if you want some additional inspiration for the content of your cover letter writing. Check out other related cover letter samples, including our healthcare cover letter examples here:

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Stand out and get hired faster with our collection of free cover letter templates expertly-designed to land you the perfect position.
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