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 for seeking a job in a clinic, hospital, private practice, surgical center, or other medical organization. A nursing reference letter should capture the attention of the human resource department manager, and therefore it should be written by a supervisor or a manager instead of a co-worker.

Nursing Reference Letter Templates

Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 01

Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 02

Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 03

Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 04

Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 05

Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 06

    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 nursing reference letter follow the following procedure:

    Addressing the letter properly

    A recommender should start the nursing reference letter by providing his /her name and address, the date, and the recipient’s name and address, for example:


    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, a nursing reference 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, for example:


    Dear Dr. Evans,


    To whomever, it may concern,

    Strong introduction

    The first paragraph of the nursing reference 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, for example:


    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 on. 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 a nursing reference 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 composer 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 nursing reference 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, for example:


    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 nursing reference 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 qualifies 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 qualifies 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



    _ [DATE]





    _ [CITY, ZIP CODE]

    Dear__________ [Name of possible Employer or School Dean],

    I am writing this letter to recommend_____________ [name of applicant] for_____________ [position] at________________ [name of institution, hospital /clinic]. I can confidently affirm that____________ [name of applicant] is a highly trained care taker who can excel at_____________ [position].

    [Name of applicant] has been an invaluable asset at___________ [Current /former education institution or workplace of applicant]. She has demonstrated______________ [skills and qualifications of applicant]. One such instance was when__________ [example of applicant’s ability].

    I would therefore like to strongly recommend¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬__ [name of applicant] for her________________ [provide reasons applicant should be hired/admitted to institution].

    For more information, contact me at________________ [provide contact information]





    Sample of a Nursing Reference Letter

    The following nurse reference letter is written purposely for a nurse currently works in the office with his/her medical team. The applicant wants to work in a hospital environment rather than an office. Thus, he desires to work in a hospital department where other staff doctors are working.

    Dear Administrator


    It is my ample opportunity to recommend Vickie Ochi for the position of staff nurse in the neurology department at Medical Center of Samaritan. Since it is among my best and certified staff, I will miss his professional practices. If you grant him this position, I will be glad to work with his future at the hospital.

    As chief of Samaritan neurology chief, I believe that Vickie is the best chief that will appropriately serve our community by seeking solutions for patients with neurological problems.

    Vickie joined my team once he was out of nursing school. He graduated from Oxford University Nursing School in the pasts six years. In his previous nursing school, she was awarded a Degree in Bachelor of Biological Studies from Oxford University. His nursing degree comprises of particular neurology concentration. He has the skills and experience to handle individuals with fundamental issues and injuries that result in neurological sickness that need an exceptional degree of remedy.

    Vicky always gives the patient the initial neurological examination outstanding notes and detailed in the electronic medical record file. She gained a unique ability for identifying minute symptoms during a patient examination that focus on emerging neurological issues.

    In my practices, there will be a big gap without Vickie. Hence, hopeful you will consider Vickie’s application to your medical institution. I can approve of the fact that he is the exact talented, skilled, and dedicated nurse in the neurology Samaritans department. You ever wish to contact me about any issue that concerns Vicki, feel free to contact me on cell phone at 545-412-02430 or through email.


    James Woods

    Ortiz De Keys M.D.

    More Samples for Nursing Refernce Letter

    Here are free customizable templates that can be downloaded as per need:

    Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 07

    Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 08

    Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 09

    Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 10

    Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 11

    Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 12

    Free Nursing Reference Letter Sample 13


      A well-written nursing reference 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 nursing reference 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.

      Was this helpful?

      Great! Tell us more about your experience

      Not Up to Par? Help Us Fix It!

      Keep Reading

      Thank You for Your Feedback!

      Your Voice, Our Progress. Your feedback matters a lot to us.