Nursing Letter of Recommendation Examples

In situations such as applying for a nursing job or a graduate school program, applicants may need to provide ample proof that they have the skills and abilities necessary to succeed in any of these positions. Recommendation letters written by someone with whom the applicant has had a professional relationship can single-handedly turn around any hiring manager or admission committee members about the nursing applicant’s capabilities and influence their decision to hire or admit them to the graduate school program.

A Nursing Letter of Recommendation is a formal reference written by a previous employer, a colleague, a teacher, a professor at the educational institute, or any other professional contact to provide character or employment-related testimonials about the individual.

They often include a personal testimony regarding the candidate’s strengths, abilities, and positive attributes and may be required for various types of employment and academic and professional opportunities.

The personal knowledge of the recommended person should be emphasized to provide a clear picture of their ability or motivation in the related field. This letter is intended only as a character reference and should not contain any legal opinions/advice. 

The document should only address the individual in question and the recommender’s experience with them. The letter’s tone should be formal, and the recommender should have objective thoughts about the candidate.

Sample Letters

Free Fillable Nurse Recommendation Letter Template 01 as Word File

Free Editable Head Nurse Recommendation Letter Template for Word Document

Great Customizable Nurse Practitioner Recommendation Letter Template 01 for Word File

Free Editable Surgical Department Nurse Recommendation Letter Template for Word Document

Free Fillable Nurse Recommendation Letter Template 02 as Word File

Free Editable Managing Nurse Recommendation Letter Template for Word Document

Great Professional Healthcare Facility Nurse Recommendation Letter Template as Word Format

Great Professional Nursing Student Recommendation Letter Template as Word Format

Great Customizable Nurse Practitioner Recommendation Letter Template 02 for Word File

Great Professional Nursing Graduate Recommendation Letter Template as Word Format

    If You are a Requester

    A recommendation letter is a significant document that gives insight into what a nursing candidate is like as an employee or student. It helps interviewers make their decisions based on how responsible and professional the applicant is compared to their peers. As such, when selecting who to write the letter to, applicants should take their time to identify the most suitable person to write it. 

    1. Know who can write for you

    Candidates intending to join nursing programs or those seeking employment in a given medical faculty are usually required to provide 2–3 reference letters from reputable sources. As an applicant, you will want to choose a recommender who knows you well and can directly highlight your abilities as a student and nurse positively and enthusiastically. Make it a point to select faculty members and supervisors you have closely worked with and individuals who can speak well of your clinical skills and academic abilities.

    While it is tempting to choose a recommender based solely on a job title or credentials, it is always advisable to select recommenders with whom you have formed a professional relationship. It is also crucial to choose recommenders who are good communicators and have previous experience writing reference letters to ensure you stand out from your competition.

    The most qualified recommenders for a nursing position or graduate school program include a faculty member, professor, or academic advisor (if you are a student). However, if you currently work as a nurse, the most qualified recommenders would be your immediate supervisor, Head Nurse, Administrator, doctor with whom you closely work, practicing nursing professional, mentor, head of a research project/volunteer program, etc.

    2. Requesting a recommendation

    Most recommenders would be happy and willing to provide you with solid and positive recommendations when you approach them professionally and respectfully.

    This section compiles a list of valuable tips on how to ask for a recommendation letter:

    2.1. Ask in person

    The best and most appropriate way to request a recommendation is in person rather than via email or phone. Asking in person shows your commitment and will provide you with an opportunity to share your objectives with the recommender. It is also best to request it early enough to allow them ample time to write, review, and revise it.

    2.2. Be specific and concise

    Specificity and conciseness are key when requesting recommendation letters from potential recommenders. Inform the recommender why you feel they are best suited to provide you with the recommendation and show them that you value their genuine opinion. Besides, inform them of the letter’s purpose and let them know the submission due date to help them decide whether they will write the letter.

    3. Information to provide to recommenders

    If your selected recommenders agree to provide you with the nursing reference letter, you should make it a point to provide them with adequate information about yourself and documentation to help them write an enthusiastic and convincing nursing recommendation letter.

    This includes a copy of your resume, which provides them with organized, written information about you that they can use as a reference point when writing the letter.  A copy of the application for admission documents should also be provided to enable the recommender to know what to highlight in the letter and how to tailor it to the specific recipient.

    Additional documents to provide include the name of the target university/school, a list of personal strengths or characteristics that you would like the recommender to focus on to strengthen your application, and a list of your specific achievements to enable the recommender to present a well-rounded perspective of your experience and academic achievements in relation to the position you are applying for.

    If You are a Writer

    At any given point in life, you might need to provide a recommendation letter for another person. Before you agree to the task, it is essential to understand that providing such letters for someone is a significant responsibility that should be taken very seriously.

    Before you start writing, ensure that you understand the letter’s purpose and who will be reading it. That would make it easier for you to tailor the document to the right audience. Moreover, make sure that you clearly comprehend the information you are expected to provide so that you do not have a difficult time.

    If you feel that you cannot provide a positive and strong recommendation for the applicant, consider politely declining the offer or offering to sign an already drafted one.

    pro tip

    Before you offer to sign an already drafted letter written by the person you will be recommending, read through it and make sure it honestly reflects your genuine opinion of the person. You should also make a copy of the document and retain it for your reference.

    Information to include

    A nursing recommendation letter can be the basis for accepting or rejecting an applicant’s application to join a given educational facility or organization. Therefore, recommenders should be keen on the information to include in the letter.

    The following are the key points to include:

    • Identification data: The identification data include the applicant’s full name, name, and address of the organization they are currently working at/ or the institution where they study, the recommender’s name, address, contact information, and the date of writing.
    • Informational data: The information will generally depend on the needs of the person requesting it, but typical recommendation letters for a job or nursing program will cover the applicant’s academic achievements and prospects as a medical practitioner, the relationship between the candidate and the recommender, a detailed list of the applicant’s achievements and their unique qualities and traits that make them competitive.
    • Conclusion part: The concluding part will explain why the applicant is likely to succeed in the position and why you support them.

    How to Write a Nursing Recommendation

    Nursing letters of recommendation help support/strengthen an applicant’s application for a given nursing job or nursing program. When writing this type of letter, a recommender must ensure that it is written in a formal tone, lists all the relevant qualities, skills, and qualifications, and includes critical nursing phrases.

    The following is a comprehensive guide on how to write a letter:

    Contact information is on the letterhead

    All professional letters must begin with contact information. This includes the recommender’s name, title/rank/organization they work in (if applicable), address, phone number, and email address.

    Professional salutation

    This is an integral part of any business or professional correspondence. Therefore, the nursing reference letter should be addressed to the person requesting it and, if possible, given a title that will reflect their position in an organization or institution.


    Begin by briefly introducing yourself and explaining your role and professional relationship with the applicant. State how long you’ve known the applicant and why you are qualified to write a recommendation letter for them. Then state that you are writing in support of their application for a particular training program or job. Keep the introductory paragraph brief and straightforward, consisting of only 2-3 sentences maximum.

    Body of the letter

    The body section usually contains five or more paragraphs that discuss all aspects of the candidate’s abilities related to nursing. Here is how to effectively structure the body section:

    Discuss credentials

    The letter’s first body paragraph discusses the candidate’s qualifications/grades and clinical skills that make them ideal for the given nursing job or graduate school program. The qualifications and skills highlighted in this section should be relevant to recruiters looking for a suitable candidate.

    For example, if the letter is to help an applicant get into a bachelor’s in a nursing program, the skills highlighted should be focused on how the nursing candidate was as a student. On the other hand, if the letter’s purpose is to help a candidate get a new job, mention skills and qualifications that demonstrate how effective the candidate was/is, their stellar performance at their previous position, and what about them makes them hirable.

    Applicant’s accomplishments

    The second body paragraph should emphasize the applicant’s accomplishments and personal traits that make them a good fit for the job or program. Please include relevant examples from their past, such as projects completed successfully, training attended, awards and accolades received, etc.

    Specific examples to highlight the candidate’s skills

    In the third body paragraph, discuss what makes your candidate unique compared to other applicants by sharing specific examples of their experiences in an occupation. For example, cite an example where the applicant went out of their way to help resuscitate a patient or save their life, how they helped a coworker, etc.


    Although it is unnecessary to mention applicants’ skills outside of work, sometimes providing non-nursing skills can allow recruiters the opportunity to view the applicant from a different perspective, enabling them to make an informed hiring/selection decision.

    Personal traits of the applicant

    You can highlight the applicant’s positive traits and attributes in the fourth body paragraph, as hearing accounts of generosity, eagerness to learn, empathy, decision-making, patience, interpersonal skills, etc. from a recommender can make an even stronger impression of the candidate on recruiters. Personality traits reflect people’s patterns of thought, feelings, and behaviors. Including them in the recommendation letter allows admissions committees and hiring managers to understand an applicant personally.

    Explain why you think the applicant will succeed

    The final body paragraph should summarize the critical points discussed in the body of the letter and highlight why you think this candidate will succeed in their career as a nurse.


    Include a brief conclusion that summarizes everything stated in the letter and restates why you support this particular candidate and their abilities for the nursing program or job they are applying for. Finally, add a note of gratitude and include the appropriate closing remarks, such as sincerely, yours honestly, regards, etc.


    Include a final section where you will officially sign the letter and include your name, title, and contact information. If you work for an organization or institution, consider including the company’s official stamp next to your signature for verification purposes.

    Nursing Letter of Recommendation Template

    [Your Full Name]

    [Your Job Title/Position]

    [Your Organization/Institution Name]

    [Your Organization Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    [Your Phone Number]

    [Your Email Address]


    [Recipient’s Full Name/Title]

    [Recipient’s Organization/Institution Name]

    [Recipient’s Organization Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    Dear [Recipient’s Full Name/Title],

    I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend [Applicant’s Full Name] for [specific position, program, or opportunity] at [Recipient’s Organization/Institution Name]. As [Your Relationship to the Applicant, e.g., “Supervisor,” “Mentor,” or “Senior Nursing Professional”] during [Applicant’s] tenure at [Your Organization/Institution Name], I have had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand [his/her/their] remarkable growth and dedication to the nursing profession.

    [Applicant’s Full Name] joined our team as a junior nurse in [Month, Year] and quickly distinguished [himself/herself/themselves] through [his/her/their] exceptional clinical skills, compassionate patient care, and unwavering commitment to improving health outcomes. [His/Her/Their] ability to assimilate complex medical information and apply it effectively in high-pressure situations has been truly impressive.

    [Applicant’s] proficiency in [specific nursing skills or procedures, e.g., “administering medications,” “wound care,” “patient assessment”] is commendable. [He/She/They] consistently demonstrates meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of patient care protocols.

    One of [Applicant’s] most notable qualities is [his/her/their] genuine empathy and compassion for patients and their families. [He/She/They] consistently goes above and beyond to ensure patient comfort and understanding, which has significantly enhanced patient satisfaction in our unit.

    Despite being early in [his/her/their] career, [Applicant] has shown potential for leadership through [his/her/their] ability to collaborate effectively with interdisciplinary teams and mentor new staff members. [His/Her/Their] positive attitude and ability to navigate complex team dynamics have made [him/her/them] a valued member of our nursing staff.

    [Applicant’s] dedication to continuous learning and professional development is evident in [his/her/their] pursuit of additional certifications and participation in professional nursing organizations. [He/She/They] is highly motivated to advance [his/her/their] knowledge and skills, which I believe will make [him/her/them] an excellent fit for [specific position or program] at [Recipient’s Organization/Institution Name].

    In conclusion, I have no reservations in recommending [Applicant’s Full Name] for the opportunity at your esteemed institution. I am confident that [he/she/they] will bring the same level of excellence, dedication, and passion to your team as [he/she/they] has to ours. Please do not hesitate to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] should you require any further information or insights regarding [Applicant’s] qualifications and character.

    Thank you for considering my recommendation.


    [Your Signature (if sending a hard copy)]

    [Your Printed Name]

    [Your Job Title/Position]

    [Your Organization/Institution Name]

    Nursing Letter of Recommendation Sample

    Dear Ms. Thompson,

    I am delighted to recommend Sarah Johnson, RN, BSN, for the geriatric nursing position within your prestigious Prestige Geriatric Nursing Program. As the Director of Nursing at Sunrise Senior Care Facility, I have had the honor of observing Sarah’s exceptional clinical skills, compassionate care, and innovative approach to geriatric medicine over the past three years.

    Sarah’s expertise in managing complex geriatric conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes, has been instrumental in enhancing our residents’ quality of life. She has adeptly utilized evidence-based practices to develop and implement care plans that effectively manage symptoms, reduce complications, and promote optimal health outcomes.

    Sarah has demonstrated profound clinical acumen in geriatric pharmacology, particularly in the safe administration of medications and monitoring for potential drug interactions common in polypharmacy cases. Her vigilance has prevented adverse events and ensured the therapeutic effectiveness of treatment regimens for our elderly patients.

    Recognizing the importance of mental and emotional well-being in elderly care, Sarah initiated a facility-wide program focused on cognitive stimulation therapies for residents with dementia. This program has led to noticeable improvements in residents’ cognitive function, social interaction, and overall happiness.

    Sarah’s ability to forge meaningful connections with our residents and their families sets her apart. She has a unique talent for communicating complex medical information in an accessible manner, ensuring that families are informed, involved, and supported throughout their loved ones’ care journeys.

    Leadership in Palliative Care: Sarah has also been a key figure in our palliative care team, where her sensitive and holistic approach to end-of-life care has been a source of comfort and peace for both residents and their families. Her skill in symptom management, coupled with her empathetic communication and support during these challenging times, exemplifies the best of nursing.

    Sarah’s commitment to professional development is evident in her ongoing pursuit of advanced certifications in geriatric nursing and her active participation in professional seminars and workshops focused on the latest advancements in elderly care.

    In summary, Sarah Johnson’s blend of clinical expertise, innovative thinking, and heartfelt compassion makes her an outstanding candidate for your geriatric nursing program. I am confident that she will bring the same level of dedication and excellence to your team and contribute significantly to the well-being of your patients.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me at 555-234-5678 or for further discussion on Sarah’s qualifications and achievements.

    Thank you for considering my heartfelt recommendation.

    Warmest regards,


    Dr. Helen Mirren

    Director of Nursing

    Sunrise Senior Care Facility


    The recommendation letter for a geriatric nursing position is notably effective, offering a comprehensive evaluation of the candidate’s professional accomplishments and personal qualities within the field of elderly care. Highlighting the candidate’s adept management of complex conditions and utilization of evidence-based practices showcases their clinical expertise. The letter emphasizes the candidate’s innovative contributions, such as the development of cognitive stimulation programs, demonstrating a proactive approach to enhancing patient well-being. Furthermore, the candidate’s skill in geriatric pharmacology and their preventative measures against adverse drug interactions are detailed, underscoring their meticulous and knowledgeable care approach. The ability to communicate complex medical information clearly and form meaningful connections with patients and their families is presented as a distinct strength, enhancing the candidate’s suitability for the role. Additionally, leadership in palliative care, emphasizing their compassionate and holistic care approach during sensitive times, is highlighted. The candidate’s ongoing commitment to professional development and engagement with the latest industry advancements further solidify their candidacy. Overall, the recommendation letter effectively presents the candidate as a dedicated, skilled, and compassionate professional, making a compelling argument for their selection.

    Do’s and Don’ts

    When tasked with the responsibility of writing a nursing recommendation letter for a colleague, former employee, student, or any other person that you have interacted with professionally, there are certain things that you should do and things that you should avoid to ensure that the letter is effective in achieving its intended purpose.


    The following are things to follow to ensure that your nursing recommendation letter is effective and enables your candidate to be competitive:

    • Follow the correct structure of the letter: The letter must begin with a formal salutation and introduce who you are and why you are writing it. The body section should consist of three paragraphs and there should be a concluding statement summarizing the main points discussed in the letter and a strong supporting statement.  
    • Confirm your arguments: Ensure that your nursing reference letter is factually accurate and meaningful to whoever is reading it. Use specific examples to highlight what the candidate has achieved in previous positions and how the experience has prepared them for future opportunities.
    • Be polite to the admissions committee: Recommendation letters must always be polite and respectful. Thus, even if there are things about the committee or application process that you disagree with, avoid being critical or pessimistic in the letter.
    • Show your attitude toward the applicant: Use examples from your knowledge and experience with the applicant to demonstrate they are a good fit for the opportunity. Focusing on what they have accomplished in the past and how this experience has prepared them for their current application is an excellent idea.
    • Write only facts that concern the applicant: It is essential that you include only facts in your letter. This implies including information that you can personally verify or information that the applicant has provided documentation for.


    The following are things to avoid while writing the nursing recommendation letter:

    • Do not include unreliable or unverifiable information: It is best to avoid including any information that you cannot verify. This includes personal opinions or conjectures about the applicant.
    • Do not provide data about candidates that you do not know very well: It is also important to avoid including information that you do not know firsthand or up close. It would help if you spoke authoritatively about the applicant because otherwise, it would be considered hearsay.
    • Avoid writing a literary narrative: The letter must be well-organized and include all the necessary information in a structure that makes sense. The letter should not be written in an overly informal or straightforward manner. Most importantly, keep in mind that you are writing the letter to highlight why the candidate is qualified for the specific job or graduate school program.

    Key Takeaways

    • A letter of recommendation is an opportunity to highlight why a specific applicant deserves a chance to attend a given nursing program or get the job they are applying for. The recommender should provide a document that strikes a balance between being personal and formal.
    • While writing the letter, the recommender should follow a structure that allows them to present opinions and facts about the candidate concisely and consistently. The sender is also encouraged to use language creatively and include specific anecdotes and precise characteristics that make them ideal candidates for the opportunity.
    • The sender should also give only facts that they know to be true about the applicant and avoid providing guesses or opinions.
    • Candidates requesting recommendation letters should learn to ask for them politely and considerately, and they should provide their selected recommenders with adequate information to help them write convincingly. This includes a copy of their CV, information on the program/job, a list of notable achievements and accomplishments, skills they would like highlighted, etc.
    • Before agreeing to provide reference letters, recommenders should consider having a conversation with the applicant to obtain more accurate information about their academic goals and professional aspirations. This will help them write persuasively.

    About This Article

    Shannon O'Brien
    Authored by:
    Career and Life Strategy Consulting, Workshops, E-learning
    Shannon O'Brien, the visionary Founder and Principal Advisor of Whole U., has positioned her Boston-based consultancy as a beacon for those seeking purpose and balance in their careers and lives. Whole U. offers a spectrum of services, from individualized advising to immersive workshops and e-learning platforms, all designed to empower individuals to chase their true calling and cultivate a harmonious life. Recognized for her unparalleled expertise, Shannon has been honored as both the #1 Career Coach and Life Coach in Boston by Yelp users. Her insights and contributions have been spotlighted on platforms like, Boldfacers, and the UR Business Network. Cementing her authority in the field, Shannon holds a Master's degree in Technology, Innovation, & Education from the prestigious Harvard University.

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