How to Write a Nursing Reference Letter (Free Templates)

A nursing reference letter is a written recommendation meant to boost an application for a nursing position by highlighting the applicant’s qualifications, positive attributes, and prior nursing experience.

It is a well-written letter for applying for a position in a highly competitive healthcare institution. The purpose of this letter can be to seek a job in a clinic, hospital, private practice, surgical center, or other medical organization. Instead of being written by a coworker, the letter should be written by a supervisor or manager in order to catch the attention of the manager of the human resources department.

Nursing Reference Letter Templates

Nursing Program Reference Letter Template

Free Nursing Program Reference Letter Template for Word File

Free General Nursing Reference Letter Template for Word File

Free Nurse Assistant Reference Letter Template for Word File

Free Charge Nurse Reference Letter Template for Word File

Free Nurse Practitioner Reference Letter Template for Word File

Free Registered Nurse Reference Letter Template for Word File

    Writing the Nursing Reference Letter

    A recommender must have the right information concerning the nursing applicant. The recommender should try and provide specific examples in his/her nursing recommendation letter to strengthen the letter’s ability to move the recipient.

    It is therefore crucial that the letter follow the following procedure:

    Addressing the letter properly

    A recommender should start the letter by providing his /her name and address, the date, and the recipient’s name and address.


    Alex Davis
    335 Baker Street

    June 14, 2019

    Mark Simson
    Nursing supervisor,
    St. Jude Hospital
    433, Lane Street,
    Clay City, CA 6793


    Dr. Jane Welcomes
    112 Adam Street

    April 5, 2020

    Lila Roads
    Clinical Manager,
    Mabry Clinic,
    457 Rout 10,
    Alameda City, CA 6793


    Next, the letter should include a salutation that specifically states the recipient’s name. Suppose the recommender does not know the recipient’s name; he/she can address the letter ‘To whomever it may concern,


    Dear Dr. Evans,


    To whomever it may concern,

    Strong introduction

    The first paragraph of the letter should be an introduction that explains who the recommender is, the recommender’s role, and the relationship shared with the nurse. A recommender can also include a general recommendation statement in the introduction,


    I am writing this letter to recommend Alice Smith, who worked as a registered nurse with us for ten years. Alice was among my best nursing staff, and her professionalism and dedication will be missed. As her nursing supervisor, I cannot think of anyone better to join the nursing department at your prestigious hospital.


    It is with inordinate honor that I recommend James Bradfield, who is applying for your residency program. James was enrolled in our nursing program for two and a half years, at which time I taught him four of the major courses he took. James is an excellent student with remarkable attention to detail.


    I am pleased to write this referral for Adam Backer, who was an excellent resident at our hospital. As a doctor, my greatest asset is the nurse, and Adam is truly the best. I worked with him for twelve months, during which time I watched Adam grow and flourish into the excellent nurse he is today.

    Mention skills and qualifications

    The second paragraph of the nursing recommendation letter highlights specific skills and qualifications relating to the nurse’s position. The recommender of the letter should provide an insight into a nursing applicant’s life as a student, should the letter be required for entry into an education program. The following are examples of how skills and qualifications may be conveyed:


    During the years I worked with Alice, I was amazed by her excellent communication skills with patients, other nurses, and doctors. Her ability to maintain her composure during stressful situations helped her provide the best level of care for her patients.


    James is a hardworking and dedicated student who is always eager to learn new things, which he can use to provide the best care to his patients. His competence and active participation brought energy to the learning sessions.


    Adam’s commitment to his patients’ health saved many lives. His kind and compassionate nature made a difference for patients in their most challenging times, and his desire to always help made working with him easy.

    Provide particular examples for skill highlighting

    The third paragraph of the letter should highlight an exceptional example that demonstrates the nurse’s skills. This section of the nursing recommendation letter provides a recommender with an opportunity to state an instance that makes the nursing applicant stand out from other applicants,


    Alice demonstrated her incredible ability to adapt to new developing situations in March 2018, when our relatively small bed capacity clinic was overwhelmed by a sudden, large influx of patients after an apartment complex collapsed. She was able to organize and work with the small number of on-call nurses present that night


    I was especially impressed when James took the initiative to teach a relatively complex unit to his fellow students. When I questioned his decision, he said it was every nurse’s responsibility to ensure his/her colleagues had all the knowledge necessary to care for patients.


    Adam’s ability to relate to patients and their families came in handy when he helped calm an autistic child whose mother had been seriously injured in a car accident. Doing this enabled the doctors to treat not only the injured mother but the autistic child as well.

    End properly

    A recommender can end the letter by briefly stating why the nursing applicant should be hired for the position or enrolled in the institution. The end of a nursing recommendation letter should also include an emphasis on the skills and qualifications mentioned earlier. The recommender should also include an offer to provide more information should the recipient feel the need to contact him/her. Making an offer to provide information indicates the confidence the recommender has in the nursing applicant.

    The recommender can then end the letter with an appropriate sign-off and signature.


     I believe that Alice’s long experience as a nurse and her professionalism qualify her for a spot in your institution. You may contact me at 457-369-542 or jane

    (Recommender’s Signature)


    I believe that James’s determination and resilience qualify him for a spot in your program. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at 333-567-792 or

    Best regards,
    (Recommender’s Signature)


    I undoubtedly recommend Adam Baker for the nursing position at your institution for his compassion, empathy, and ability to relate to patients. For more detail, contact me at 123-634-812 or

    (Recommender’s Signature)

    Nursing Reference Letter Template

    [Your Name]

    [Your Professional Title]

    [Your Institution/Organization]

    [Institution/Organization Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    [Your Email Address]

    [Your Phone Number]


    [Recipient’s Name or “To Whom It May Concern,” if unknown]

    [Recipient’s Title]

    [Recipient’s Institution/Organization]

    [Institution/Organization Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    Dear [Recipient’s Name or “To Whom It May Concern”],

    I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend [Nurse’s Name], who has worked under my supervision as a Registered Nurse at [Your Institution/Organization] for [Number of Years/Months]. During their tenure, [Nurse’s Name] has demonstrated exceptional skills in patient care, a deep commitment to their professional development, and an unwavering dedication to improving the health and well-being of our patients.

    [Nurse’s Name] possesses a profound knowledge base in [mention specific areas, e.g., acute care, pediatrics, geriatrics], complemented by their clinical skills and the ability to apply evidence-based practices in patient care. They have shown remarkable proficiency in [list specific skills or procedures, e.g., administering medications, wound care, patient assessment], ensuring high standards of care at all times.

    One of the qualities that sets [Nurse’s Name] apart is their compassionate approach towards patients and families. They consistently display empathy, patience, and excellent communication skills, which have been pivotal in building trust and facilitating the healing process. [Provide a specific example or anecdote that illustrates these qualities, e.g., how they handled a particularly challenging patient situation or contributed to a positive outcome].

    Furthermore, [Nurse’s Name] is a collaborative team player who contributes positively to our nursing team. They readily share knowledge with colleagues, participate in professional development activities, and have shown leadership in initiating [mention any projects or committees they have led or been part of, highlighting their impact].

    [Nurse’s Name] also demonstrates a strong commitment to ongoing professional development and staying abreast of the latest in nursing practices and healthcare innovations. This dedication is evident in their [mention any additional certifications, courses completed, or participation in professional associations].

    In conclusion, [Nurse’s Name]’s blend of clinical expertise, compassionate patient care, and team-oriented approach make them an outstanding candidate for the nursing position at [Recipient’s Institution/Organization]. I am confident that they will bring the same level of excellence, dedication, and professionalism to your team and contribute significantly to the quality of patient care.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] if you require further information or have any questions regarding [Nurse’s Name]’s qualifications and accomplishments.


    [Your Name]

    [Your Professional Title]

    [Your Institution/Organization]

    Sample of a Nursing Reference Letter

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I am immensely pleased to write this letter in support of Sarah Jennings’s application for the Registered Nurse position at your esteemed institution. As the Chief of Staff at Sunrise Medical Center, I have had the privilege of observing Sarah’s professional growth and exceptional contributions to our nursing team over the past three years. In her role here, Sarah has consistently demonstrated not only an outstanding level of clinical expertise but also an unparalleled commitment to patient care, making her a standout nurse in our facility.

    Sarah’s clinical skills are exemplary. She has proficiently managed a wide range of duties, from patient assessments to the administration of medications and the execution of complex procedures. Her ability to swiftly and accurately respond in high-pressure situations has been a significant asset to our emergency department. For instance, during a particularly challenging multi-casualty incident last year, Sarah’s quick thinking and decisive actions were instrumental in stabilizing several critically injured patients, showcasing her exceptional ability to perform under pressure.

    What truly distinguishes Sarah, however, is her compassionate approach to nursing. She possesses a remarkable capacity to connect with her patients, offering them not just medical support but emotional comfort as well. Her dedication to patient advocacy ensures that each individual’s needs and concerns are addressed, fostering a nurturing environment conducive to healing. An example of this was when she initiated a program to incorporate family members more effectively into the care plan, significantly improving patient satisfaction and outcomes.

    Sarah is also a natural leader and mentor within our nursing team. She has eagerly taken on leadership roles, such as leading our initiative to improve the department’s patient education materials, which have greatly enhanced our discharge process. Furthermore, her willingness to share knowledge and provide support to her peers has contributed to an atmosphere of continuous learning and teamwork.

    Beyond her clinical duties, Sarah is committed to her professional development and remains abreast of the latest in healthcare practices through ongoing education and training. She recently completed a certification in palliative care, which has greatly benefited our patients facing chronic and terminal illnesses.

    I am confident that Sarah Jennings will be an invaluable asset to your nursing team. Her blend of skill, compassion, and dedication to excellence in all aspects of patient care aligns perfectly with the high standards of your institution. Sarah will undoubtedly continue to make significant contributions to the nursing profession and the lives of those she cares for.

    Please feel free to contact me if you require any additional information or further insights into Sarah’s qualifications and achievements.

    Warmest regards,

    [Dr. Emily Stanton]

    [Chief of Staff]

    [Sunrise Medical Center]

    Key Takeaways

    The letter effectively supports the applicant’s candidacy for the Registered Nurse position, emphasizing both professional competence and compassionate patient care. Here’s why it stands out:

    Credibility of the Endorser: Coming from a high-ranking official within the medical center, the endorsement carries significant weight, suggesting the applicant has made a notable impact in their current role.

    Clinical Expertise: The letter details the applicant’s broad range of clinical skills and their ability to handle high-pressure situations, illustrating their proficiency and versatility in the nursing field.

    Compassionate Care: Highlighting the applicant’s compassionate approach and commitment to patient advocacy underscores their understanding of nursing’s holistic nature. Initiatives to improve patient and family satisfaction further demonstrate their dedication to enhancing care quality.

    Leadership and Team Contribution: The applicant’s willingness to take on leadership roles and contribute to team improvement initiatives shows a proactive approach to professional responsibilities and a commitment to the nursing team’s collective success.

    Continuous Professional Development: Mention of ongoing education and certification achievements reflects the applicant’s commitment to staying current with healthcare advancements, ensuring they bring the most effective practices to their work.

    Personal Qualities: The portrayal of the applicant as a skilled, compassionate, and dedicated nurse suggests they are not only technically proficient but also possess the soft skills crucial for nursing, such as empathy, leadership, and teamwork.

    Clear Recommendation: The strong endorsement and invitation for further contact provide a clear, confident recommendation, reinforcing the applicant’s suitability for the role.

    The letter balances professional accomplishments with personal qualities, presenting a well-rounded view of the applicant as both a skilled practitioner and a compassionate caregiver, making a compelling case for their selection.


    Here are free, customizable templates that can be downloaded as needed:

    Great Nursing Program Reference Letter Sample as Word Format

    Great Nurse Candidate Reference Letter Sample as Word Format

    Great Managing Nurse Reference Letter Sample as Word Format

    Great Staff Nurse Reference Letter Sample as Word Format

    Great Nurse Practitioner Reference Letter Sample as Word Format

    Great First-Rate Nurse Reference Letter Sample as Word Format

    Great Nursing Position Reference Letter Sample as Word Format
    Professional Career Service Nurse Reference Letter Sample for Pdf File
    Professional Nursing Scholarship Reference Letter Sample for Pdf File
    Professional Nursing Assistant Reference Letter Sample for Word File
    Professional Corporate Nurse Reference Letter Sample for Pdf File
    Professional Nursing and Health Studies Reference Letter Sample for Pdf File
    Professional Employee Reference Check Sample for Pdf File
    Professional Nursing School Reference Letter Sample for Word Format
    Professional Nursing Student Reference Letter Sample for Word Format


      A well-written letter can help provide critical information about the abilities of the applicant nurse by specifying examples to demonstrate how exactly he/she copes in stressful situations. A recommender must ensure that he/she can vouch for the applicant nurse should the potential employer contact him/her.The nursing recommendation letter can also be helpful for nursing students hoping to secure positions in institutions or training programs. The letter can help highlight the nursing student’s skills, which must relate to what is required in the institution or program.

      About This Article

      Zhaniece Hill
      Authored by:
      Human Resources Specialist | Masters of Business, MBA, BAS Operations Management and Supervision
      Zhaniece Hill, an accomplished author, and writer, possesses an extensive 9-year journey as a seasoned Human Resources professional. With a Master's degree in Business Administration, Hill's profound insights into human capital management have been shaped by a diverse background spanning public and private sectors. Expertise in talent acquisition, onboarding, employee engagement, and benefits define Hill's remarkable HR acumen. With an unyielding focus on results, Hill's legacy is characterized by innovative HR solutions that elevate employee satisfaction, retention, and overall business performance. Continuously seeking fresh challenges, Zhaniece Hill utilizes her expertise to create a lasting impact in the realm of HR.

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