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Registered Nurse (RN) Letter of Recommendation Template – with Samples

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Registered Nurse (RN) Letter of Recommendation Template – with Samples

Updated July 21, 2023

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A registered nurse (RN) letter of recommendation is a written communication used to strengthen an application for a nursing position. This letter should contain information pertaining to the applicant’s qualifications, positive attributes, and previous nursing experiences. This letter may be written by a teacher at the nursing school the individual attended in order to get acceptance into a residency program or for any nurse seeking a recommendation.

Nursing School – If you are looking for a letter of recommendation for nursing school use the Medical School Letter of Recommendation.

Table of Contents

Who to Select?

Hospitals, clinics, and private offices receive numerous applications for nurses, so it’s crucial that applicants come prepared with one or more letters of recommendation from reputable sources. Choosing a person who will be able to speak on behalf of your character as well as your previous nursing experience is key. The most suitable options are a professor, supervisor, head nurse, administrator, or doctor; someone who has worked closely with the applicant or has overseen their work throughout their employment. Recommendation letters should highlight the nurse’s ability to perform tasks diligently and improve the lives of the patients, so the longer the relationship between the writer and the applicant, the better.


How to Write (Format)

A nursing recommendation letter only needs to encompass qualities and skills directly related to nursing, therefore it does not need to be as detailed or as long as other types of recommendation letters. All that is required is a salutation, a short introduction, 1-2 body paragraphs, a short conclusion, and a formal sign off with your contact information at the bottom. The writer should avoid flowery language and leave out any information that is irrelevant to nursing or the job they are applying for.


If you know the name of the person receiving the letter, begin with “Dear [name],”, otherwise the formal greeting of “To whom it may concern” will suffice. The introductory paragraph should be short and to the point, consisting of only 2-3 sentences. State the purpose of the letter, your relationship to the applicant, and a brief statement about the applicant’s character.

Example #1

Dear Dr. Richardson,

I am writing to you on behalf of Mary Sweetwater, a capable and competent nurse who has worked here at Plainsborough Medical Clinic under my supervision for the past 4 years. She has developed into a promising young nurse and her application to your hospital deserves the utmost attention.

In this example, the writer knows who will be looking over the nurse’s application, so they open the letter with a personal greeting. The introduction then clearly states the author’s relationship to the nurse and the length of said relationship.

Example #2

To whom it may concern,

I have been head nurse at Sentara Virginia General Hospital for 15 years and have had the pleasure of working with Katherine for the past 3 years. She is a bright, dedicated, hard working individual whose patients are noticeably happier when she is on shift. Although I don’t want to see her go, I highly recommend her for the nursing position for which she is applying.

The sample paragraph above comes from an experienced, reliable source and sheds a positive light on the applicant’s personality and work ethic.


The body of the letter will be comprised of 1-2 paragraphs and should list the nurse’s positive characteristics as well as provide examples of the applicant’s experiences as a nurse. One paragraph is often enough to get the point across but, if you have a number of examples you wish to include in the letter, provide a second paragraph. The first paragraph could highlight the nurse’s characteristics while the second supports these claims with real life examples.

It would be beneficial to include anecdotes of when the applicant went out of their way to help a patient/coworker, as well as any other accomplishments relevant to this particular field. Although it’s unnecessary to mention the applicant’s skills outside of work, don’t assume a non-nursing skill is not applicable to this line of work. It’s a very competitive field so the more information you can provide, the more helpful the recommendation letter will be.

Example #1

Miss. Templeton is an extremely capable nurse who proves time and time again that she is an asset to her department. She’s able to leave her personal life at the door and concentrate on her patients, providing superlative care with a smile on her face. Miss Templton is upbeat, charismatic, and charming, and her patients have nothing but good things to say about her. Hospitals are usually associated with gloom and grief, yet Miss Templeton manages to make our’s a pleasant, almost cheerful environment. There are so many responsibilities entrusted on nurses, still she is able to function at a high level under immense pressure and stress. In emergencies, she remains level headed and in control of the situation.

The author in this example wishes to make it known that the applicant is a warm-hearted individual who is able to focus on the task at hand.

Example #2

It’s very clear to me that Amanda was made for this line of work. She has a kind heart and an unwavering dedication to her patients. When difficult patients arise, which is not uncommon, Amanda is able to calm them down, and explain the situation at hand without coming across as condescending. All patients warm up to her eventually.

Situations have arisen where I have to attend to an important matter on another floor and, without being appointed, everyone looks to Amanda for direction. She is very quick on her feet when it comes to organizing people and delegating tasks, proving that she is reliable, trustworthy, and has great leadership skills. It’s these redeeming qualities that will make her a great head nurse at your hospital.

This last sample body paragraph is split into two; the first paragraph demonstrates that she works well with patients while the second displays her ability to assume a position of authority.


The conclusion paragraph will consist of 2-3 sentences, should reiterate the nurse’s positive attributes, and should explain why you think they would be perfect for the position for which they are applying. You can accomplish this by anticipating the applicant’s performance if their application is accepted. State your belief that, because of their excellent performance in their current position, they will undoubtedly do well in the next.

Example #1

It is my belief that a nurse should be smart, strong-willed, and able to work long hours without a single complaint. Mr. Davis has all these qualities and more, therefore I believe he will do very well in the position you have available. We are very sad he is leaving us, but I know he’ll impress the head of your nursing department.


Janis Foley
Supervisor, Lady Minto Hospital
Work phone number: 716-242-2424

Example #2

Stephanie has not only shown that she can provide care for her patients, but she has also demonstrated that she is proficient with computers, skilled at completing and filing paperwork, and is very capable of communicating with other nurses and doctors. She is extremely motivated, hard-working and is so well organized that she’s seemingly 2 steps ahead of everyone. I am very happy to recommend her for the head nurse position at your hospital.


Dr. James P. Morgan
First Care Medical Clinic

The writers in both examples above describe the applicant’s best qualities and confirm that the applicant in question has the ability to perform the required tasks of the position for which they are applying.

Sample 1

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing this letter of recommendation on behalf of Mr. James Winston, a devoted and knowledgeable nurse whom I have worked with for the past 5 years. Mr. Winston has played an important role in our nursing staff here at Frankfort Regional Medical Center. He is a detail-oriented individual who is able to remain calm and focused under any type of pressure.

Mr. Winston was hired on the spot during his first interview by our head nurse, Mrs. Jones. He proved right away that he is capable of working long hours and carrying a heavy workload. It takes some nurses quite a while to settle in, but Mr. Winston has a knack for this line of work which was immediately exemplified by his inhered communication and crisis management skills.

In situations where immediate assistance is required for a patient, Mr. Winston rises to the occasion and solves problems just as quickly as they develop. As a nurse, you’re faced with different challenges every day, so you have to be quick on your feet and be able to think critically under immense pressure. Mr. Winston accomplishes this without a stutter, his problem solving skills and ability to communicate effectively with patients is remarkable. While Mr. Winston is on shift, patients can relax knowing they’re in good hands.

Mr. Winston has my highest recommendation. Although he will be greatly missed, I am confident he will continue to thrive in his chosen profession by providing only the best care for his patients. Mr. Winston has been the glue that holds this department together and, if he is hired, I believe this gift will carry over to his next position.


Dr. Elliot Fuqua, MD
Family Practitioner
Frankfort Regional Medical Center
(502) 224-0231

Sample 2

To Whom It May Concern,

Jenny has been under my supervision here at West Valley Medical Center for the better part of 2 years and she has my full support in her application for nurse practitioner at your institution. Jenny possesses the knowledge and the ability to perform all duties required of a nurse, and she goes above and beyond to make sure patients are as comfortable as possible. She is caring, patient, empathetic, and respectful to the staff, the patients, and their family members.

West Valley Medical Center provides healthcare for all of Caldwell, Idaho therefore we deal with patients of many different ethnicities, religions, and social backgrounds. Jenny has a lot of experience managing patients, and is able to communicate honestly and convey any relevant medical information while keeping the patient calm. She is a very compassionate and respectful person, who is well trained at handling any type of situation, even when bad news needs to be delivered. Jenny shows empathy towards patients who are in pain and suffering, and she sets a good example for all the other nurses to do the same. During her time working here, Jenny has demonstrated tremendous dedication to her job and to the improvement of patient care at this hospital.

It is without hesitation that I recommend Jenny for the position of nurse practitioner at the Saint Alphonsus Medical Center Hospital. The staff and patients under her care will benefit from having her on their side. I am sad to see such a bright, talented, well-rounded nurse leave us, but I know she will continue to excel in the field of nursing wherever she goes.


Michelle Ackerman, RN, MSN
Chief Nursing Officer
West Valley Medical Center
(208) 549-4164

Sample 3

Dear Dr. Mason,

Madeline Ashton has assisted my surgical team for a little over a year and her performance has been nothing short of outstanding. In my experience as a podiatrist at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, I have seen many nurses come and go. but very few as hard working and devoted as Ms Ashton; she is a first-rate nurse.

Ms. Ashton is an integral part of my surgical team and has assisted in numerous surgeries over the course of her time here at EHMC. She is quick on her feet, very organized and has a keen eye for detail. Walking into an operating room knowing that Ms. Ashton was just in there setting it up is a comforting notion. She is extremely professional, punctual, studious, and astute. While I’m operating she often knows what instruments and tools I need before I even ask. During post-surgical patient care, Ms. Ashton is sensitive to the needs of patients and their families, and she’s able to plan, implement, and evaluate treatment of the patient with efficiency.

I recommend Ms. Ashton without reservation for the nursing position in your surgical department. Her organizational skills and professionalism have been a great asset to this hospital and she will no doubt continue to excel in any nursing position she obtains in the future.


Dr. Mark Quinton, DPM
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center