Writing a good nursing cover letter will help you land your next nursing job. Many people believe that cover letters are just as important, if not more, than a CV or resume. With a nursing cover letter, you can showcase your work ethic and attention to detail, as well as offer a glimpse into your personality. A great cover letter can provide your employer with personal insights that your CV alone cannot. So, let’s make sure we get it right!
Click here for our advice on how to succeed during your nursing interview
Before you begin writing your cover letter…
It would be useful to have a clear idea in your mind of the nursing career path you’d like to take in the near future. For example, do you have aspirations to move up into a band 6 nursing role in the next few years? Is there a particular area of nursing that you’d like to build a specialism in? Use this information as a starting point for your nursing cover letter.
Arrange to have a chat with one of our friendly recruitment experts if you’d like support with plotting out your career path.
Remember to keep it concise & specific
Typically, employers tend to skim through a CV but will spend more time reading a cover letter. Therefore, it is vital that you put the time and effort into constructing a cover letter that is relevant to the nursing role.
Cover letter sections to include:
As with any letter, you should include an opening, a body and a closing paragraph. Read on for advice on what to include in each section…
1. Opening paragraph
Introduce yourself and aim to grab your potential employers attention. Give a little background information about your skills and experience. Hone in on the skills listed for the position you are interested in so that your letter is tailored to the nursing job.
Opening paragraph nursing cover letter sample:
Dear [recruiter name],
I would like you to consider my application for the [title of the position] at [name of the company/organization]. I’m a [adjective that describes you] nurse with over [number] years of experience in [healthcare specialism], and have excellent [list the most important skills for the position].
I am enthusiastic about [something that you love and is important for the job]. I believe that, with my experience and skills, I will make a great addition to your [ward/practice] and I am excited at the possibility to join your team.
2. Main body cover letter paragraphs
This section should include 2-3 paragraphs. In the opening paragraph, you introduced yourself and set out your career aspirations. Now is your chance to prove, with evidence, that you are the best candidate for the position. Aim to match examples from your experience up with as many of the points listed on the job requirements as possible. Check the keywords included in the job description and include these. This will help your cover letter be picked up by people searching for nurses with your skill set.
Let’s look at some examples from a job advert for a registered nurse position. Some of the duties of the role include:
- To ensure that standards of patient care are consistently maintained at all times in accordance with agreed operational policies and procedures.
- Prepare and maintain clinical records of patient care, with reference to Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) standards for records and record keeping.
- Conduct yourself professionally within the standard and framework provided by the NMC Codes of professional Conduct and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
So, if you were applying for this role, how could you demonstrate that you have the skills and experience to deal with these responsibilities effectively?
If you are an experienced nurse, talk about specific examples where you conducted yourself professionally (making reference to the HCPC’s codes of conduct). Discuss where you have overcome a challenge to ensure standards of patient care were maintained.
Using specific examples is a useful way to avoid sounding robotic or big-headed. For example, compare the below statements:
‘I have extensive experience of maintaining high standards of patient care evidenced by my positive individual performance reviews in three years spent in an inner-city maternity ward.’
‘I am excellent at maintaining high standards of patient care.’
Which do you think sounds the most attractive to a prospective employer?
If you are relatively new to nursing, applying for an entry-level position, think about the relevant transferrable skills you have. Ideally, you’ll have some relevant extracurricular activities that you can reference. See a selection of suitable transferrable nursing skills to mention in your cover letter:
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Management and leadership
- Planning and organisation
- Time management
- Ability to take the initiative
3. The closing paragraph
To conclude your nursing cover letter, reinforce your enthusiasm about becoming part of the team. Recap on the expertise and skills you possess which make you the best candidate for the role.
Closing paragraph nursing cover letter sample:
For all of the reasons stated above, I would make a fantastic addition to your ward. With my skills and experience, I feel I am well prepared to work effectively as part of your nursing team. Please do not hesitate to contact me, I look forward to meeting with you,
[Name], Regsitered Nurse
Before submitting your cover letter with your nursing job application –
Make sure that you check and check again the spelling, grammar and sentence structure. Also, make sure your letter fits on one page! Run your cover letter past a friend, or consultant at Prospero to make sure your letter flows nicely and your key points are clear to the reader. Carry out a quick comparison with your CV to make sure that you’re saying something different on your cover letter.
Are you looking for a fresh new role as a healthcare professional?