Nursing Cover Letter: Overview & Benefits
Your cover letter is a supplemental document to your nursing resume introducing you to potential employers. It consists of:
- Contact Information
- Opening Paragraph
- Body Paragraphs
- Closing Paragraph
- Complimentary Closing
Beyond being a customary requirement, cover letters are a personal touch to your application, allowing you to express your passion, align your skills with the job, and demonstrate your dedication to patient care.
A compelling cover letter piques the employer’s interest, encouraging them to review your resume more closely and consider you for an interview.
Our examples and free guide will show you how to make a high-quality cover letter for your next nursing job application. Check out our entire collection of cover letter examples and downloadable templates for even more help!
A Winning Example: Why This Nursing Cover Letter Works
Let’s dive into a real nursing cover letter example that excels in capturing the attention of employers.
Clear Demonstration of Skills:
The cover letter effectively showcases the applicant's nursing skills, such as patient assessment, critical thinking, and medication administration.
Passion for Patient Care:
It communicates a genuine passion for patient care, emphasizing the desire to provide the highest level of healthcare.
Specific references to the employer's values and mission demonstrate a thoughtful alignment with the organization's goals.
Concise and Informative:
The letter is well-structured and concise, providing essential information without overwhelming the reader.
Compelling Call to Action:
The cover letter concludes with a strong call to action, expressing a keen interest in discussing how the applicant can contribute to the healthcare team.
The cover letter maintains a professional appearance with clear headings and consistent formatting throughout.
It is free from spelling and grammatical errors, enhancing its overall professionalism.
Font and Styling:
Using a professional font and styling choices contribute to the letter's readability and visual appeal.
Bullet Points for Clarity:
Appropriately used bullet points make it easy for the reader to identify key qualifications and achievements.
The cover letter starts with an attention-grabbing paragraph that immediately draws the reader in.
By analyzing this exemplary cover letter, you can gain insights into crafting your own effective nursing cover letter that captures the essence of your qualifications and passion.
A Standout Example: Why This Nursing Cover Letter Works
Let’s explore another remarkable nursing cover letter example that effectively grabs the attention of potential employers.
This cover letter engages the reader, creating a compelling narrative showcasing the applicant's nursing journey and dedication.
Emphasis on Certifications and Achievements:
It highlights relevant certifications, such as BLS and ACLS, and underscores notable nursing achievements, such as successfully leading a team during a critical situation.
Alignment with Job Requirements:
The cover letter aligns the applicant's skills and experiences with the specific job requirements, demonstrating a tailored fit for the position.
It goes the extra mile by addressing the hiring manager by name, adding a personalized touch to the application.
Enthusiastic Closing Statement:
The letter wraps up with a strong closing statement that expresses enthusiasm and leaves a lasting impression of a dedicated and motivated nurse.
Utilizing a professional, easily readable font enhances the cover letter's overall readability and visual appeal.
The letter uses white space and text to ensure it doesn't appear cluttered or overwhelming.
Attention to detail is evident as the cover letter contains no spelling or grammatical errors, reinforcing its professionalism.
Clear Contact Information:
Including contact information for easy follow-up ensures the applicant can be reached without hassle.
A polite and professional tone throughout the letter creates a positive impression on potential employers.
This exemplary cover letter is an excellent model for crafting your nursing cover letter, demonstrating the importance of effective storytelling, personalization, and professionalism in the process.
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How To Write A Nursing Cover Letter: Step-by-Step Guide
Creating a compelling nursing cover letter is a systematic process. Follow these step-by-step instructions to craft a cover letter that leaves a lasting impression on potential employers in the healthcare industry.
Research the Healthcare Institution:
Start by thoroughly researching the healthcare facility where you're applying. Gather insights into their values, mission, and the specific job requirements for the nursing position. Understanding the institution's culture and expectations is essential for tailoring your cover letter effectively.
Choose the Right Format:
Select an appropriate format for your nursing cover letter. Typically, it should comprise the following sections:
- Contact Information: Ensure your contact information is included at the beginning of the cover letter for easy communication.
- Introduction: Begin with a professional salutation, preferably addressing the hiring manager by name (if available).
- Opening Paragraph: Express your genuine enthusiasm for the nursing role and the healthcare institution. Mention the precise job title you're applying for.
- Body Paragraphs: Review your nursing qualifications, skills, and experiences. Align these qualifications with the job requirements. Provide specific examples of your achievements and contributions in previous nursing roles.
- Alignment with Institution's Values: Highlight how your values align with the healthcare institution's mission and core values. Identify specific aspects of their mission that resonate with you and explain why you want to join their team.
- Closing Paragraph: Reiterate your interest in the nursing position and your eagerness to discuss how you can contribute to the healthcare team. Encourage further contact and thank the employer for considering your application.
Address the Hiring Manager:
Whenever possible, address the hiring manager by name in your opening salutation. This personal touch demonstrates your attention to detail and genuine interest in the role. Find the hiring manager’s name by researching the company online. If you do not know the hiring manager’s name, use the greeting “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To The Hiring Manager.”
Provide your contact information in your document's header. If you’re writing a traditional business letter, provide both your contact information and the recipient's address information above the greeting.
Write a Captivating Opening Paragraph:
In your opening paragraph, grab the reader's attention by expressing your enthusiasm for the nursing position and the healthcare institution. Mention the specific job title you're applying for, creating a clear and engaging introduction. Consider providing a unique reason why you are passionate about the position.
Detail Your Nursing Qualifications:
In the body paragraphs, provide a comprehensive overview of your nursing qualifications, skills, and experiences. This is the heart of your cover letter, where you demonstrate your suitability for the position. To do this:
- Match Qualifications: Align your qualifications with the job requirements, emphasizing how your skills meet their needs.
- Provide Examples: Describe your achievements in nursing, such as successful patient outcomes, leadership in healthcare teams, or specialized certifications.
- Quantify Achievements: Whenever possible, use quantifiable metrics to showcase the impact of your contributions.
- Tell a story: Don’t just restate your resume; provide a more in-depth look into your qualifications by providing one or two detailed examples demonstrating your abilities and achievements. Consider using the STAR method of answering interview questions by providing the context of a Situation, your Task, what Action you took, and the Results of your efforts.
Align with the Institution's Values:
Articulate how your personal values align with the mission and values of the healthcare institution. Cite specific aspects of their mission statement that resonate with you and explain why you're drawn to their organization.
Create a Strong Closing:
In the closing paragraph, reiterate your interest in the nursing position. Express your eagerness to discuss how you can contribute to the healthcare team. Encourage further contact by inviting the employer to reach out for an interview. Always maintain a courteous and professional tone throughout.
Proofread and Edit:
Before finalizing your cover letter, meticulously proofread it to eliminate spelling, grammar, and typographical errors. Ensure that the content flows smoothly and is well-organized for easy reading.
By following these detailed steps, you’ll be well-equipped to create a nursing cover letter that effectively communicates your qualifications, passion, and alignment with the healthcare institution’s goals.
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Tips For Writing A Nursing Cover Letter
Writing an exceptional nursing cover letter is vital for capturing the attention of healthcare employers. These practical tips will guide you in crafting a compelling and effective cover letter that distinguishes you in the competitive nursing field:
Tailor for Each Application: Customize your nursing cover letter for each job application. Highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the specific nursing position and institution you're applying to. Avoid sending generic cover letters, as tailoring demonstrates your genuine interest and suitability.
Showcase Relevant Nursing Skills: Emphasize key nursing skills such as patient assessment, critical thinking, medication administration, and teamwork. Use concrete examples to demonstrate your proficiency.
Address the Hiring Manager by Name: Address the hiring manager by name in your salutation whenever possible. Personalizing your cover letter adds a professional and thoughtful touch.
Highlight Your Passion for Patient Care: Express your genuine passion for patient care and commitment to providing exceptional healthcare services. Employers value nurses who are dedicated to the well-being of patients.
Keep It Concise: Be concise and to the point. Cover letters are typically between 250 and 400 words long. Use clear and straightforward language to convey your qualifications and enthusiasm without unnecessary verbosity.
Quantify Achievements: Use metrics or numbers to quantify your nursing achievements whenever possible. This provides concrete evidence of your impact and helps make your value more unique to the reader.
Use buzzwords: Not only do you want to match the job requirements, but you also want to stand out with applicant tracking systems (ATS) so that your cover letter gets noticed. Ensure your cover letter addresses the specific requirements listed in the job posting. Describe how your skills align with what the employer is seeking.
By applying these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to create a nursing cover letter that meets the expectations of healthcare employers and effectively showcases your qualifications and enthusiasm.
Nursing Cover Letter FAQ
- Bureau of Labor Statistic, Healthcare Occupations, Occupational Outlook Handbook, September 2023, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm.
- Harvard University, “Resumes and Cover Letters: An Extension School Resource,” July 2021, https://hwpi.harvard.edu/files/ocs/files/hes-resume-cover-letter-guide.pdf.
- Olvia Crosby, “Resume, Applications, and Cover Letters,” Occupational Outlook Quarterly, 2009, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2009/summer/art03.pdf.