How to Write a Nursing Cover Letter

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

Keith Carlson

Contributing Writer

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Updated March 7, 2023

Reviewed by

Shrilekha Deshaies

Contributing Reviewer

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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]

LinkedIn.com/in/MichaelSchwartzfoffianbsnrn

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

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Writing a Successful Nursing Cover Letter With Examples and Templates

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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

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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.

cover letter nurse application

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.

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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:

cover letter nurse application

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.

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StandOut CV

Nurse cover letter examples

Andrew Fennell photo

You love being there for your patients, ensuring they get the care, attention and treatment they need.

But in order to keep doing that, you need to secure your next rewarding nursing position, and that requires you to effectively showcase your relevant qualifications and experience.

In the guide below, we’ll share our expert writing advice, complete with nurse cover letter examples to help you with your application.

CV templates 

Nurse cover letter example 1

Nurse cover letter 1

Nurse cover letter example 2

Nurse cover letter 2

Nurse cover letter example 3

Nurse cover letter 3

The Nurse cover letter examples above should give you a good idea of the type of content you need to include in your own cover letter, and how it should be structured.

But if you’re really looking to wow recruiters and get your CV in front of the very best employers, then check out our guidance on how to write your own effective cover letter below.

How to write a Nurse cover letter

Here’s how to write your own winning Nurse cover letter

How to write a cover letter

Write your cover letter in the body of an email/message

When writing your Nurse cover letter, it’s best to type the content into the body of your email (or the job site messaging system) and not to attach the cover letter as a separate document.

This ensures that your cover letter gets seen as soon as a recruiter or employer opens your message.

If you attach the cover letter as a document, you’re making the reader go through an unnecessary step of opening the document before reading it.

If it’s in the body of the message itself, it will be seen instantly, which hugely increases the chances of it being read.

Write cover letter in body of email

Start with a friendly greeting

Cover letter address

Start you cover letter with a greeting that is professional but friendly.

This will build rapport with the recruiter whilst showing your professionalism.

  • Hi, hope you’re well
  • Hi [insert recruiter name]
  • Hi [insert department/team name]

Avoid overly formal greetings like “Dear sir/madam ” unless applying to very traditional companies.

How to find the contact’s name?

Addressing the recruitment contact by name is an excellent way to start building a strong relationship. If it is not listed in the job advert, try these methods to find it.

  • Check out the company website and look at their  About page. If you see a hiring manager, HR person or internal recruiter, use their name. You could also try to figure out who would be your manager in the role and use their name.
  • Head to LinkedIn , search for the company and scan through the list of employees. Most professionals are on LinkedIn these days, so this is a good bet.

Identify the role you are applying for

After you have greeted the recruiter, it’s important to state the job you are applying to.

Recruiters are often managing multiple vacancies, so they need to know exactly which job you are referring to.

Be as specific as possible and use a reference number if you can find one.

Here are some examples you can use;

  • I am interested in applying for the role of admin assistant with your organisation.
  • I would like to apply for the role of Sales assistant (Ref: 4057393)
  • I would like to express my interest in the customer service vacancy within your retail department
  • I saw your advertisement for a trainee project manager on Reed and would like to apply for the role.

See also: CV examples – how to write a CV – CV profiles

Highlight your suitability

The sole objective of your cover letter is to motivate recruiters into to opening your CV. And you achieve this by quickly explaining your suitability to the roles you are applying for.

Take a look at the job descriptions you are applying to, and make note of the most important skills and qualifications being asked for.

Then, when crafting your cover letter, make your suitability the central focus.

Explain why you are the best qualified candidate, and why you are so well suited to carry out the job.

This will give recruiters all the encouragement they need to open your CV and consider you for the job.

Cover letter tips

Keep it short and sharp

A good cover letter is short and sharp, getting to the point quickly with just enough information to grab the attention of recruiters.

Ideally your cover letter should be around 4-8 sentences long – anything longer will risk losing the attention of time-strapped recruiters and hiring managers .

Essentially you need to include just enough information to persuade the reader to open up your CV, where the in-depth details will sit.

Sign off professionally

To round of your cover letter, add a professional signature to the bottom, giving recruiters your vital contact information.

This not only gives various means of contacting you, it also looks really professional and shows that you know how to communicate in the workplace.

Include the following points;

  • A friendly sign off – e.g. “Warm regards”
  • Your full name
  • Phone number (one you can answer quickly)
  • Email address
  • Profession title
  • Professional social network – e.g. LinkedIn

Here is an example signature;

Warm regards,

Gerald Baker Senior Accountant 07887500404 [email protected] LinkedIn

Quick tip : To save yourself from having to write your signature every time you send a job application email, you can save it within your email drafts, or on a separate document that you could copy in.

Email signatures

What to include in your Nurse cover letter

Here’s what kind of content you should include in your Nurse cover letter…

The exact info will obviously depend on your industry and experience level, but these are the essentials.

  • Your relevant experience – Where have you worked and what type of jobs have you held?
  • Your qualifications – Let recruiters know about your highest level of qualification to show them you have the credentials for the job.
  • The impact you have made – Show how your actions have made a positive impact on previous employers; perhaps you’ve saved them money or helped them to acquire new customers?
  • Your reasons for moving – Hiring managers will want to know why you are leaving your current or previous role, so give them a brief explanation.
  • Your availability – When can you start a new job ? Recruiters will want to know how soon they can get you on board.

Don’t forget to tailor these points to the requirements of the job advert for best results.

Nurse cover letter templates

Copy and paste these Nurse cover letter templates to get a head start on your own.

Good morning, Michelle

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to express my keen interest in the Mental Health Nurse position at Bluebird House. With 12 years of experience working in inpatient care facilities, I bring compassionate care and expertise in delivering high-quality support to diverse mental health patients.

Throughout my career, I have had a strong track record of using therapeutic techniques, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), to reduce readmissions effectively. Working collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams, I provide holistic care and crisis intervention, ensuring patient safety. At Bedfordshire Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, I successfully introduced a relapse prevention program, reducing readmissions by 21%, and implemented a patient-led care plan system that improved patient engagement by 22%. In secure psychiatric hospital settings, I have led self-harm reduction programs resulting in a 34% decrease in incidents, adopted by multiple centres. Additionally, I hold certifications including the Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Trauma-Informed Care Training as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing from the University of Surrey.

I am eager to discuss how my skills and experience align with your facility’s mission. I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience.

Patrick Dawn

I hope this email finds you in good health. I am excited to submit application for the Practice Nurse position at Park Road Surgery, and feel my skill and experience make me an exceptionally fit for the vacancy.

With 8 years of experience in general practice, I possess expertise in managing acute and chronic diseases, specialising in Diabetes management and health education. In my current role at Crawley Road Surgery, I provide comprehensive nursing care to 2,100 registered patients, conducting assessments, administering vaccinations, and managing chronic conditions. Notably, I have improved patient satisfaction by 25% in four years through a feedback system and set up a successful asthma clinic with a 34% improvement in patient outcomes. As a Nurse Independent Prescriber (NIP) with Advanced Life Support (ALS) training and Level 3 Certified Diabetes Coordinator qualification, I am equipped to deliver high-quality care.

I am eager to join your healthcare team and contribute to exceptional patient service. I am available for an interview at your convenience.

I hope you are well. As a compassionate and dedicated Oncology Certified Nurse with 6 years of experience providing specialist care to cancer patients, I am enthusiastic about the Oncology Nurse vacancy at Leeds General Infirmary.

In my current role as part of the cancer team at St. Vincent’s Hospital, I collaborate closely with oncologists to deliver personalised care, ensuring patients receive the utmost support throughout their treatment journey. My ability to administer chemotherapy, conduct nursing assessments, and advocate for patients has contributed to their improved outcomes. Some examples of this include implementing a pain management protocol that resulted in a remarkable 30% reduction in pain scores among oncology patients and conducting educational workshops that increased patient understanding of treatment options by 25%.

I possess the skills and expertise to administer a broad range of chemotherapy treatments, manage symptoms, and offer crucial emotional support which I believe would make a great fit for your team. I am available for an interview from next week.

Kind regards,

Helen Smith

Writing an impressive cover letter is a crucial step in landing a Nurse job, so taking the time to perfect it is well worth while.

By following the tips and examples above you will be able to create an eye-catching cover letter that will wow recruiters and ensure your CV gets read – leading to more job interviews for you.

Good luck with your job search!

Nurse.org

How to Write a New Grad Nurse Cover Letter (With Examples!)

What is a new grad nurse cover letter.

  • Cover Letter Benefits
  • New Grad Nurse Cover Letter Features
  • What to Include

New grad nurse cover letter

First, congratulations on graduating from nursing school! This is a huge milestone that paves the way for an exciting and fulfilling career in the nursing profession. As you embark on this next chapter, it's time to polish  your new grad nurse resume and craft a captivating new grad nurse cover letter that truly shines.

If you are a recent nursing school graduate, you are in the right place! This article will explain what a new nurse cover letter is, how they are unique from other cover letters, what they should include, and four sample new grad nurse cover letters. 

A new grad nurse cover letter is the document that will accompany your resume when applying for a nursing position or nurse residency program as a new grad nurse.

It serves as an introduction to the hiring manager and provides an opportunity to highlight your qualifications, skills, and passion for nursing.

Most importantly, cover letters also allow you to make a positive first impression. A well-written cover letter helps grab the hiring manager's attention and makes them interested in reviewing your resume and considering you for the position.

cover letter nurse application

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Do You Need a Cover Letter When Applying to Jobs as New Grad Nurse?

The short answer is yes, you do need one! Here are the top 3 reasons why new nurse grad cover letters are an essential component of a job application:

Personalization

A cover letter allows you to customize your application and tailor it to the specific nursing position you are applying for. You can highlight relevant skills, experiences, and qualifications that make you a strong candidate for that particular role.

Showcase Your Qualifications

A cover letter provides an opportunity to expand on the information provided in your resume. 

You can elaborate on your educational background, clinical experiences, and any specialized training or certifications you have obtained. This helps the hiring manager understand your qualifications in more detail.

Express Your Passion For Nursing

A cover letter allows you to convey your passion for nursing and express why you are motivated to pursue a career in this field. It helps the hiring manager gauge your enthusiasm and commitment to the profession.

Stand Out From Your Competition

A cover letter gives you the opportunity to differentiate yourself from other candidates. By highlighting your unique experiences, skills, and qualifications, you can make a compelling case for why you are the best fit for the position.

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How is a New Grad Nurse Cover Letter Unique from Other Cover Letters?

A new grad nurse cover letter is different from other cover letters because the context is very specific to newly graduated nurses entering the workforce. Here are some unique aspects:

Nursing Education

As a new graduate nurse, your educational background is a critical component of your qualifications. 

Your cover letter will likely place significant emphasis on your nursing education, including the nursing program you completed, and any relevant coursework or clinical rotations. 

If you graduated with honors, this is a great place to emphasize it!

Limited Professional Experience Compared to Experienced RNs

Unlike experienced nurses, new grad nurses have limited professional experience. Therefore, the focus of your cover letter will often be on your clinical experiences during your nursing program, including any internships, externships, or practical training. 

You can highlight the skills, knowledge, and achievements gained during these experiences to demonstrate your readiness for the job.

Demonstrate Enthusiasm and Eagerness to Learn

As a new graduate, employers understand that you are entering the nursing field with a strong foundation of theoretical knowledge but limited practical experience. 

Your cover letter should convey your enthusiasm for learning and your eagerness to grow as a nurse. You can express your commitment to ongoing professional development, continuing education, and embracing mentorship opportunities.

What Should You Include in a New Grad Nurse Cover Letter?

When crafting a New Grad Nurse Cover Letter, you should include the following sections, each serving a specific purpose:

1. Personal and Contact Information

Include your full name, address, phone number, and email address at the top of the cover letter. This information allows the hiring manager to easily reach out to you.

2. Greeting

Address the cover letter to the hiring manager or the person responsible for reviewing applications. 

If the job posting does not mention a specific name, you can address it as "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear [Name of the Healthcare Organization] Hiring Team."

To find the appropriate contact information, you can search the organization's website and LinkedIn profiles of employees, or consider making a phone call to the organization's human resources department.

3. Opening Paragraph

In the opening paragraph, introduce yourself as a recent nursing graduate and express your interest in the specific nursing position you are applying for. 

Mention how you learned about the job opening, whether through a job posting, referral, or research on the organization.

4. Middle Paragraph(s):

In the middle paragraph(s), elaborate on your qualifications, skills, and experiences. 

Highlight your nursing education, including the name of the nursing program, the degree obtained, and the date of graduation. Mention any honors, awards, or notable achievements during your studies.

Discuss your clinical experiences, such as internships or practical training, and emphasize the types of patients you worked with, the skills you gained, and any noteworthy contributions or accomplishments.

Additionally, highlight any relevant transferable skills from other experiences, such as leadership roles, volunteer work, or part-time jobs. These skills can include communication, teamwork, critical thinking, organization, and problem-solving.

5. Closing Paragraph

In the closing paragraph, reiterate your interest in the position and express gratitude for the opportunity to apply. 

Emphasize your enthusiasm for further discussing your qualifications in an interview. 

You can mention that you are open to providing any additional information or references upon request.

6. Sign Off

End the cover letter with a professional sign-off, such as "Sincerely," followed by your full name. 

Leave space for your handwritten signature if you are submitting a physical copy of the letter.

Nursing Cover Letter Tips for New Grads

Remember to keep your cover letter concise and focused, typically no longer than one page. 

Customize it for each job application, aligning your qualifications and experiences with the specific requirements of the position.

 Proofread the letter carefully to ensure it is free from errors and presents a professional image.

4 Nurse Cover Letter Examples for New Grads 

Here are four nurse cover letter examples tailored to different scenarios for new grad nurses:

Example #1: New Grad Nurse Applying to a Med Surg Unit

Dear (Recipient's Name),

I am writing to express my strong interest in the New Grad Nurse position within the Medical-Surgical Unit at (Healthcare Organization). As a recent graduate of (Nursing Program) with a passion for patient care and a solid foundation in medical-surgical nursing, I am excited to contribute to your dedicated team.

During my nursing education at (Nursing Program), I developed a comprehensive understanding of medical-surgical nursing principles and gained valuable clinical experience. I successfully completed rotations in diverse healthcare settings, including medical-surgical units, where I had the opportunity to care for patients with a wide range of conditions and diagnoses. My clinical experiences helped equip me with strong assessment skills, the ability to administer medications safely, and effective communication with interdisciplinary teams.

I am confident in my ability to provide exceptional care to patients in the Medical-Surgical Unit at (Healthcare Organization). I am committed to delivering compassionate, patient-centered care and ensuring the highest standard of safety and quality.

I am impressed by (healthcare Organization’s) reputation for excellence in medical-surgical care and your commitment to fostering a collaborative and supportive work environment. I am eager to join your team and contribute to the delivery of outstanding patient outcomes.

Thank you for considering my application. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills and passion for medical-surgical nursing align with the needs of (Healthcare Organization) in an interview. Please find my attached resume for your review. I look forward to hearing from you.

(Your Full Name)

Example #2: New Grad Nurse Applying to a Labor and Delivery Unit

I am thrilled to apply for the New Grad Nurse position within the Labor and Delivery Unit at (Healthcare Organization). As a recent graduate of (Nursing Program), I am excited to embark on a fulfilling career in maternal-child health and contribute to the exceptional care provided by your renowned department.

Throughout my nursing education, I developed a strong passion for women's health and had the privilege of completing a clinical rotation in the Labor and Delivery Unit at (Hospital Name). This experience provided me with hands-on exposure to the full spectrum of obstetric care, including antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum stages. I gained valuable skills in fetal monitoring, assisting with labor and delivery, conducting newborn assessments, and providing breastfeeding support.

My dedication to providing compassionate care to women and their families is unwavering. I possess excellent communication skills, which allow me to establish trusting relationships with patients, address their concerns, and provide education during pivotal moments. I am confident in my ability to promote a safe and nurturing environment for both mothers and infants, ensuring positive birth experiences and healthy outcomes.

The commitment to excellence and family-centered care at (Healthcare Organization) aligns perfectly with my professional values. Joining your Labor and Delivery Unit would allow me to contribute my knowledge and skills while continuously growing and learning as a nurse.

Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to discuss further how my passion for maternal-child health and my dedication to providing exceptional care align with the needs of (Healthcare Organization). Please find my attached resume for your review. I look forward to the possibility of an interview.

Example #3: New Grad Nurse Applying to the ICU

I am writing to express my interest in the New Grad Nurse position within the Intensive Care Unit at (Healthcare Organization). As a recent graduate of (Nursing Program), I am eager to embark on a challenging and rewarding career in critical care nursing and contribute to your esteemed department's mission of providing exceptional patient care.

During my nursing education, I had the privilege of completing a clinical rotation in the ICU at (Hospital Name). This invaluable experience exposed me to a wide array of critical care scenarios, including postoperative care, respiratory distress, and cardiovascular emergencies. I developed strong assessment skills and honed my ability to monitor and interpret vital signs.

My passion for critical care nursing is fueled by a commitment to deliver exemplary patient outcomes. I thrive in high-pressure situations, utilizing critical thinking and effective communication to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams and ensure prompt and precise interventions. I am eager to learn and become more proficient in advanced life support techniques, medication administration, and ventilator management to provide compassionate and evidence-based care to critically ill patients.

(Healthcare Organization)'s reputation for excellence in critical care and commitment to advancing patient care aligns perfectly with my professional aspirations. I am impressed by the innovative practices and ongoing professional development opportunities available within your organization. 

Thank you for considering my application. I welcome the opportunity to discuss how my dedication, clinical competencies, and enthusiasm for critical care align with the needs of (Healthcare Organization). Please find my attached resume for your review. I am excited about the possibility of an interview and look forward to hearing from you.

Example #4: New Grad Nurse Applying to an Oncology Unit

I am writing to express my sincere interest in the New Grad Nurse Program within the Oncology Unit at (Healthcare Organization). As a recent graduate of (Nursing Program) with a strong passion for oncology nursing, I am eager to contribute to your dedicated team and provide compassionate care to individuals and families impacted by cancer.

Throughout my nursing education, I was deeply inspired by the strength and resilience of oncology patients I encountered during my clinical rotations. I gained exposure to various aspects of oncology care, including chemotherapy administration, symptom management, patient education, and palliative care. 

I am committed to providing holistic support to patients throughout their cancer journey. I possess excellent communication skills, enabling me to establish trusting relationships, listen attentively to patients' concerns, and provide emotional support. I am dedicated to staying updated on advancements in oncology treatments and nursing interventions to ensure the highest standard of care.

(Healthcare Organization)'s reputation as a leading provider of oncology services, along with your comprehensive and patient-focused approach aligns with my professional goals. Participating in your New Grad Nurse Program would provide an ideal platform to enhance my skills, expand my knowledge, and contribute to the well-being of oncology patients.

Thank you for considering my application. I welcome the opportunity to discuss my passion for oncology nursing, and dedication to patient care. Please find my attached resume for your review. I am excited about the possibility of an interview and look forward to hearing from you.

A well-crafted new grad nurse cover letter is a valuable tool for showcasing your qualifications, skills, and passion for nursing. It allows you to personalize your application and stand out from other candidates, despite limited professional experience. 

By highlighting your education, clinical experiences, transferable skills, and career goals, you can highlight your readiness and commitment to excel as a new graduate nurse.

Remember, landing your first nursing position may take time and perseverance. But with a well-crafted cover letter, a compelling resume, and a great attitude, you will land your first nursing job. Good luck in your job search as you embark on this fulfilling and rewarding journey as a new grad nurse!

Sarah Jividen

Sarah Jividen , RN, BSN, is a trained neuro/trauma and emergency room nurse turned freelance healthcare writer/editor. As a journalism major, she combined her love for writing with her passion for high-level patient care. Sarah is the creator of Health Writing Solutions , LLC, specializing in writing about healthcare topics, including health journalism, education, and evidence-based health and wellness trends. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two children. 

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6 New Grad Nurse Cover Letter Examples + How To Write

cover letter nurse application

Finding your first nursing position after graduation can be a daunting task. Knowing what steps to take to find your dream job will help propel you toward your goal of gainful employment as an RN. Once you have prepared an excellent resume, be aware that you have one final action to take in the application process; that of a persuasive cover letter. You may be unclear about how to write an exceptional cover letter and wonder what are some excellent examples of new grad cover letters? Using a professionally prepared cover letter as a guide is a great way to learn how to compose a top-notch document. Read the following article “6 best new grad nurse cover letter examples + how to write” for recommendations that will help you get started on your best ever nursing cover letter without stress.

What Exactly Is A New Grad Nurse Cover Letter?

How is a new grad nurse cover letter different from an experienced nurse cover letter, 4 reasons why an excellent cover letter makes a difference to new grad nurses, 1. nurses are professional-, 2. leads to an interview-, 3. expands on resume-, 4. you may be up against experienced nurses-, what are some excellent examples of new grad nurse cover letters, example #1: cover letter of diane joyner, what makes this an excellent new grad registered nurse cover letter:, example #2: cover letter of jan bock, example #3: cover letter of joan zimmerman, example #4: cover letter of lizzie arndt, what makes this an excellent new grad registered nurse cover letter: new grad nurse cover letter examples, example #5: cover letter of lynn horton, example #6: cover letter of paul linney, how to write an excellent new grad rn cover letter, 1. heading-.

• Your Name and Contact Information • The date • The recipient's name and address

2. Opening Paragraph-

• Your professional credentials (RN or BSN) • Which specific job you are applying for • A few brief points about why you are a great fit • Why you want to work for this particular institution or position

3. Background-

4. qualifications-.

• Specific clinical experience • Other job or volunteer transferable experience • " Soft skills " such as communication, leadership, group experience, compassion, and problem-solving

5. Closing Paragraph and Sign-Off-

6. don't just reiterate your resume-, 7. outshine with your willingness to learn-, 8. detail why you want the job-, 9. showcase your exceptional side-, 10. fashion the letter to the exact position-, 11. show your passion-.

• Adaptability • Ease with technology • Willing to accept change • Eager and positive attitude • Fresh perspective

12. Proof Read-

7 common mistakes to avoid when writing your new grad nurse cover letter, 1. too general-, 2. improper format-, 3. too wordy-, 4. duplicate resume-, 5. not selling yourself to the job-, 6. too informal-, 7. spelling and grammar errors-, 3 consequences of a poorly written new grad rn cover letter, 1. you may not be granted an interview-, 2. you may misrepresent yourself-, 3. compensation and opportunities may be compromised-, my final thoughts, frequently asked questions answered by our expert, 1. what is the difference between new grad nurse cover letter and new grad nurse cv, 2. is a cover letter necessary for a new grad nurse, 3. can i use the same cover letter for all new grad nurse positions i'm applying for, 4. how many cover letters do i need when applying for new grad nurse job positions, 5. can my new grad nurse cover letter expire, 6. my new grad nurse job applications says a cover letter is optional, should i still submit one, 7. do cover letters for new grad nurses have to be long, 8. as a new grad nurse, when should i write my cover letter, 9. what should be included in a new grad nursing cover letter.

• Heading • Salutation • Opening paragraph of who you are and your intentions for which specific job • Background paragraph, where you highlight your education and clinical experience • Qualification paragraph, which is used to “sell” the employer on your qualities and abilities as a nurse • Closing paragraph and sign-off

10. What Should Not Be Included In A New Grad Nursing Cover Letter?

11. how much time does it take to write a cover letter for a new grad nurse, 12. can i ask someone else to write my new grad nurse cover letter, 13. is it a good idea to use ready templates to write my new grad nurse cover letter, 14. are there any online apps or tools that make writing a good cover letter for a new grad nurse easy.

cover letter nurse application

  • Nursing School

Nursing School Application Cover Letter Example

Nursing school cover letter

Need a nursing school application cover letter example? Look no further. Nursing school applications can be tough and writing a formal cover letter requires a bit of guidance. Nursing school application cover letters can be a great way to emphasize your professional work experience or volunteer work as you apply for nursing school. But unlike a personal statement, cover letters are bit more structured and formal writing. Nursing admissions consulting services can certainly help coach students on writing cover letters but reading nursing school application cover letter examples is a good place to start, too! In this blog, we’ll look at what a nursing school cover letter is and how to write a strong cover letter. At the bottom, we’ve also included some samples of nursing cover letters.

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Article Contents 7 min read

What is a nursing school application cover letter.

A nursing school application cover letter works almost the same as a cover letter for any job application. For prospective nursing school students, a cover letter is the introduction to your application package, and a way of introducing yourself on paper to the admissions committee of a school. It is similar to a nursing school letter of intent or nursing school personal statement , but there are some key differences.

Firstly, a cover letter is typically shorter and more formal than a personal statement. It also tends to focus on your professional work experience, volunteer experience and skillset. A nursing school cover letter is designed to demonstrate why you are a good fit for a nursing program and how you will be an excellent future medical professional. A letter of intent or personal statement usually examines your personal motivations, experiences and reasons for wanting to become a nurse. It’s your way of answering the question ‘ why do you want to be a nurse ?’.

A nursing school application cover letter is a formal letter, typically no more than one page long. Or about 200-400 words maximum. Since the word count is low, you’ll need to be fairly concise and get to your point. You’ll also need to limit yourself to only a few points and keep things relevant. Like other formal letters, such as letters of intent, they include several important sections, which we’ve outlined below.

Restate why you are an ideal choice for the program and what you bring to the table. Invite them to get in touch if they have any questions about your application. Use a formal, polite salutation to close your letter. "}]">

Writing a good cover letter means convincing the admissions committee that you are a prime candidate or a nursing program and to give you a chance to interview with them. To do so, you want to provide evidence of your candidacy by sharing key experiences or skills you have. Then align those experiences to the nursing school’s program values. The cover letter allows you an opportunity to highlight the most important sections of your application package and demonstrate how you will become an excellent future nursing professional. There are many different kinds of experiences you can emphasize in your cover letter, even if you don’t have much work experience in health care or related jobs. Read some physician cover letter examples or MBA cover letter examples to get a better idea of what kind of experiences to include. You can also look at some ERAS experience section examples to see what kind of professional and personal experiences admissions committees like to see.

Next we’ll look at what kind of experiences to include in your nursing school cover letter—and what to leave out!

If you have any nursing certifications such as a CPR course, or have achieved anything noteworthy in your academic or personal life, such as a lifeguarding save at the community pool, definitely include these in your cover letter! These can be excellent examples of what you have to offer the nursing profession, and your dedication to living by the values of the profession. ","label":"Certifications or achievements","title":"Certifications or achievements"}]" code="tab1" template="BlogArticle">

What not to include

Your cover letter is relatively short, so avoid using too many details or launching into extensive personal anecdotes or stories. Avoid getting lost in the weeds or using irrelevant examples. Be sure to show why your chosen examples are relevant to the nursing school’s values or the nursing profession. It’s also important not to repeat too much information from your resume or other parts of your application. Elaborate and expand, but don’t just rehash old information.

Here we’ve included some samples of nursing school cover letters for your reference. Use these examples to help you write your own cover letter for nursing school!

Dear Director Higgins,

I am writing today as part of my application to your program at [Nursing School]. I am a recent graduate of [Pre-med university] and I am excited to take this next step in becoming a nursing professional. In my application you will see that I exceed the stated qualifications for your program intake, but first allow me to share with you why I believe I will be an excellent nursing student.

Throughout my undergraduate years, I have worked as a server at a family restaurant. In my years of working there, I have cultivated many desirable soft skills that make a good professional nurse, such as strong communication skills, diplomacy and conflict management. In interacting with the customers and other staff, I have developed an ease in managing all kinds of different individuals. Working alongside a restaurant team has also been very rewarding for my personal skill development, as it is a fast-paced and sometimes chaotic environment. It is challenging, but strong teamwork and collaboration is essential, and I have learned effective ways to work as part of the team.

I am also proud to have some experience in caring for patients. Although I have not had the opportunity to provide for human patients, I volunteer my free hours at an animal shelter, helping to care for sick animals, do routine cleaning and medication administration. I am consistently recognized for my strong work ethic, my compassion for the animals we help and my steady hands when helping the staff vet administer injectable medications. I have found working with these animals to be incredibly rewarding, and I look forward to an opportunity to work with human patients as a professional nurse.

I believe my experiences have give me a solid introduction to the work of a nurse, and I am excited to continue my education in health care. I will be an enthusiastic student in the classroom and no doubt an excellent example of the kind of nurse [Nursing School] can produce. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding my application. I look forward to your reply.

Sanjay Deepa

  Writing a letter of intent instead? Read this infographic.

Free Webinar: How to Make Your Nursing School Application Stand Out ","buttonText":"Register Now!","buttonColor":"#ffffff","bannerUnderText":" Limited Spots Available ","trustpilot":false}" :url=""https:\/\/bemoacademicconsulting.com\/nursing-app-webinar-registration"" code="banner2" background-color="#000066" button-color="#ffffff" banner-image> Sample #2

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing this letter to share my qualifications for admission at [Nursing School] in this application cycle. I am a graduate of [University] and I have dedicated myself to gaining the needed experience in healthcare for the past several summers. My goal is to enter a career as a nurse in a women’s health centre or health clinic.

In pursuit of this goal, I have been gaining shadowing experience with several nurses at the [Name] Women’s Health Clinic in [City]. It was important to me to have multiple shadowing experiences so I could get some insight into my future career from actual practicing nurses and see firsthand what treating patients was like. I have found these experiences incredibly rewarding, as I have been able to assist with patients and earn valuable experience interacting with them in a clinical setting. Shadowing has shown me what I can realistically expect from a career in women’s health, and it has solidified my decision to enter this field of medicine. I have also been fortunate to meet a team of dedicated and talented nurses who have shared with me their insights on working in women’s health. Their advice and guidance on my burgeoning clinical skills has been a valuable teaching experience for me. Several of these nurses have also agreed to write letters of recommendation for me which you will find in my application package.

My shadowing experiences have given me a solid foundation of nursing and I am looking forward to starting my journey to becoming a women’s health care nurse. Please feel free to contact me at the email address or phone number on my application. I look forward to enrolling in the fall semester.

Kind Regards,

Alexandra Clopin

To write a cover letter for nursing school, use a formal letter format with the addressee’s name and title, an introduction, body and conclusion, followed by a formal salutation and closing. You should also include your contact information and details. 

While a cover letter for nursing school is not always required, it can be a good idea to include one anyways. A good cover letter can help your application by providing some context or expanding on the information in your application.

To write a strong cover letter for nursing school, include the best and most meaningful of your professional or volunteer work experiences. Highlight the skills and abilities you have that relate to the nursing profession and provide clear, relevant examples.

Cover letters use a formal letter structure, as well as the familiar introduction, body and conclusion for the main sections of the letter. 

A nursing school cover letter might include examples of your work experience, any skills, achievements or certifications you have that relate to your ability to become a good nursing professional, or how your personal values and commitment align with the nursing school’s mission and values. 

No, a cover letter is not always a requirement for nursing school applications. Some nursing programs may ask for one, or they may state it as an optional part of your application. 

Begin a cover letter for nursing school with a “Dear [Name and Title]. Try to address your letter to a specific person. If you’re not sure who will be reading the letter, use “Dear Admissions Committee” or similar. Avoid using “To Whom it May Concern.”

Cover letters are used to “pitch yourself” and secure an interview opportunity. They are an admission committee’s first impression of who you are and what you bring to the table. To pitch yourself in a cover letter means convincing the admissions committee that you have the experience, drive and skills to succeed in a nursing program. Essentially, you sell them on the idea that you are a prime candidate.

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$1 Billion Donation Will Provide Free Tuition at a Bronx Medical School

Ruth Gottesman, a longtime professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is making free tuition available to all students going forward.

Ruth Gottesman, in a royal-blue jacket and a white scarf, posing for a portrait.

By Joseph Goldstein

The 93-year-old widow of a Wall Street financier has donated $1 billion to a Bronx medical school, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, with instructions that the gift be used to cover tuition for all students going forward.

The donor, Ruth Gottesman, is a former professor at Einstein, where she studied learning disabilities, developed a screening test and ran literacy programs. It is one of the largest charitable donations to an educational institution in the United States and most likely the largest to a medical school.

The fortune came from her late husband , David Gottesman, known as Sandy, who was a protégé of Warren Buffett and had made an early investment in Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate Mr. Buffett built.

The donation is notable not only for its staggering size, but also because it is going to a medical institution in the Bronx, the city’s poorest borough. The Bronx has a high rate of premature deaths and ranks as the unhealthiest county in New York. Over the past generation, a number of billionaires have given hundreds of millions of dollars to better-known medical schools and hospitals in Manhattan, the city’s wealthiest borough.

Dr. Gottesman said her donation would enable new doctors to begin their careers without medical school debt, which often exceeds $200,000. She also hoped it would broaden the student body to include people who could not otherwise afford to go to medical school.

While her husband ran an investment firm, First Manhattan, Dr. Gottesman had a long career at Einstein, a well-regarded medical school, starting in 1968, when she took a job as director of psychoeducational services. She has long been on Einstein’s board of trustees and is currently the chair.

In recent years, she has become close friends with Dr. Philip Ozuah, the pediatrician who oversees the medical college and its affiliated hospital, Montefiore Medical Center, as the chief executive officer of the health system. That friendship and trust loomed large as she contemplated what to do with the money her husband had left her.

In an interview on Friday at the Einstein campus in the Morris Park neighborhood, Dr. Ozuah and Dr. Gottesman spoke about the donation, how it came together and what it would mean for Einstein medical students.

The Friendship

In early 2020, the two sat next to each other on a 6 a.m. flight to West Palm Beach, Fla. It was the first time they had spent hours together.

They spoke about their childhoods — hers in Baltimore, his, some 30 years later, in Nigeria — and what they had in common. Both had doctorates in education and had spent their careers at the same institution in the Bronx, helping children and families in need.

Dr. Ozuah described moving to New York, not knowing a single person in the state, and spending years as a community doctor in the South Bronx before ascending to the top of the medical school.

Leaving the airport, Dr. Ozuah offered his arm to Dr. Gottesman, then not quite 90, as they approached the curb. She waved him off and told him to “watch your own step,” he recalled with a chuckle.

Within a few weeks, the coronavirus brought the world to a grinding halt. Dr. Gottesman’s husband, in his 90s, became ill with the new pathogen, and she had a mild case. Dr. Ozuah sent an ambulance to the Gottesman home in Rye, N.Y., to bring them to Montefiore, the Bronx’s largest hospital.

In the weeks that followed, Dr. Ozuah began making daily house calls — in full protective gear — to check in on the couple as Mr. Gottesman recovered. “That’s how the friendship evolved,” he said. “I spent probably every day for about three weeks, visiting them in Rye.”

About three years ago, Dr. Ozuah asked Dr. Gottesman to head the medical school’s board of trustees. She had done the job before, but given her age, she was surprised. The gesture reminded her of the fable about the lion and the mouse , she told Dr. Ozuah at the time, explaining that when the lion spares the mouse’s life, the mouse tells him, “Maybe someday I’ll be helpful to you.”

In the story, the lion laughs haughtily. “But Phil didn’t go ‘ha, ha, ha,’” she noted with a smile.

Dr. Gottesman’s husband died in 2022 at age 96. “He left me, unbeknownst to me, a whole portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway stock,” she recalled. The instructions were simple: “Do whatever you think is right with it,” she recalled.

It was overwhelming to think about, so at first she didn’t. But her children encouraged her not to wait too long.

When she focused on the bequest, she realized immediately what she wanted to do, she recalled. “I wanted to fund students at Einstein so that they would receive free tuition,” she said. There was enough money to do that in perpetuity, she said.

Over the years, she had interviewed dozens of prospective Einstein medical students. Tuition is more than $59,000 a year, and many graduated with crushing medical school debt. According to the school, nearly 50 percent of its students owed more than $200,000 after graduating. At most other New York City medical schools, less than 25 percent of new doctors owed that much.

Almost half of Einstein’s first-year medical students are New Yorkers, and nearly 60 percent are women. About 48 percent of current medical students at Einstein are white, 29 percent are Asian, 11 percent are Hispanic and 5 percent are Black.

Not only would future students be able to embark on their careers without the debt burden, but she hoped that her donation would also enable a wider pool of aspiring doctors to apply to medical school. “We have terrific medical students, but this will open it up for many other students whose economic status is such that they wouldn’t even think about going to medical school,” she said.

“That’s what makes me very happy about this gift,” she added. “I have the opportunity not just to help Phil, but to help Montefiore and Einstein in a transformative way — and I’m just so proud and so humbled — both — that I could do it.”

Dr. Gottesman went to see Dr. Ozuah in December to tell him that she would be making a major gift. She reminded him of the lion and mouse story. This, she explained, was the mouse’s moment.

“If someone said, ‘I’ll give you a transformative gift for the medical school,’ what would you do?” she asked.

There were probably three things, Dr. Ozuah said.

“One,” he began, “you could have education be free —”

“That’s what I want to do,” she said. He never mentioned the other ideas.

Dr. Gottesman sometimes wonders what her late husband would have thought of her decision.

“I hope he’s smiling and not frowning,” she said with a chuckle. “But he gave me the opportunity to do this, and I think he would be happy — I hope so.”

Einstein will not be the first medical school to eliminate tuition.

In 2018, New York University announced it would begin offering free tuition to medical students and saw a surge in applications .

Dr. Gottesman was reluctant to attach her name to her donation. “Nobody needs to know,” Dr. Ozuah recalled her saying at first. But Dr. Ozuah insisted that others might find her life inspiring. “Here’s somebody who is totally dedicated to the welfare of others and wants no accolades, no recognition,” Dr. Ozuah said.

Dr. Ozuah noted that the going price for getting your name on a medical school or hospital was perhaps a fifth of Dr. Gottesman’s donation. Cornell Medical College and New York Hospital now include the surname of Sanford Weill, the former head of Citigroup. New York University’s medical center was renamed for Ken Langone, a co-founder of Home Depot. Both men donated hundreds of millions of dollars.

But it is a condition of Dr. Gottesman’s gift that the Einstein College of Medicine not change its name. Albert Einstein, the physicist who developed the theory of relativity , agreed to confer his name on the medical school, which opened in 1955.

The name, she noted, could not be beat. “We’ve got the gosh darn name — we’ve got Albert Einstein.”

Joseph Goldstein covers health care in New York for The Times, following years of criminal justice and police reporting. More about Joseph Goldstein

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