Sample Nursing School Application Cover Letter

Tips for Getting into Nursing School

Competition for entry is stiff. Use these tips from admissions officers to make your application stand out.

Given the nursing shortage, it's unfortunate that nursing schools reject many eager prospective nurses each year. In 2008, nearly 28,000 qualified applicants were turned away due to a shortage of faculty and resources, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

In Maryland, nursing schools are "bursting at the seams," says Tracy Jamison, director of admissions at the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore. At her school, the BSN program typically receives eight to nine applications for every one it can accept.

Even with this stiff competition, applicants can learn how to stand out with these tips from nursing-school admissions officers:

High Schoolers: Performance and Passion

High school applicants need to demonstrate strong academic performance. Grade point average (GPA) is more important than class rank, the significance of which varies depending on a school's class size. Holding a leadership position in a student organization, such as student government or band, makes a positive impression.

Some nursing schools also scrutinize attendance records. Too many tardies and absences raise a red flag. "We want students dedicated to coming here prepared to study," says Ann Schiele, PhD, RN, president and dean of Mount Carmel College of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio. "Nursing is a difficult curriculum built on the sciences."

Mount Carmel admissions officers also look for prospective students to show altruism. "It's part of our mission statement that every graduate must complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service," Schiele says. "We believe that every educated person should give back to the community they live in."

Community-service experience, such as candy striping or volunteering at a nursing home, also demonstrates that you have some knowledge of healthcare and a passion for nursing. You can also convey that passion (and showcase your writing ability) when answering the application essay on why you're interested in nursing.

Tip: Making positive, strong connections with your supervisor during volunteer work, especially in a healthcare setting, can yield a recommendation that carries more weight than one from a teacher.

LPNs: Show Patient-Care Skills

LPN applicants should demonstrate a solid foundation in nursing that's equally balanced between care and knowledge. "They have to be compassionate, and they have to be smart," says Maureen Creegan, EdD, RN, director and professor with the Division of Nursing at Dominican College in Orangeburg, New York, which has an advanced-standing program for LPNs.

Solid nursing skills are more important today than ever, with patients being discharged earlier and spending more time in home care. Candidates must demonstrate the communication skills needed to prepare patients for discharge and the managerial skills needed to coordinate aftercare with community nurses. Once admissions officers have screened a candidate's academic qualifications, they consider the caliber of his clinical experience; those with medical-surgical or experience in other hospital units have an edge.

Tip: Taking the National League for Nursing's Acceleration Challenge Exams (formerly the Mobility Profile II) can help LPNs receive advanced placement in RN or BSN programs. In New York state, LPNs can take the New York State LPN-to-RN Transition Course to validate their knowledge and help determine advanced placement.

Career Changers: Communication and Teamwork

For career changers, accelerated nursing programs offer quick entry into nursing. Because these programs are brief -- often 12 to 18 months -- and intense, admission tends to be ultra-competitive. Accelerated programs often look for at least a 2.7 or 3.0 undergraduate GPA, Creegan says.

But the admissions process "is not simply number crunching," she adds. Dominican's accelerated BSN program is a second baccalaureate program that attracts professionals with degrees in economics, biomedical engineering and other sciences. In addition to good grades and the required science courses, these nontraditional candidates must demonstrate strong communication skills and the ability to interact effectively with others.

At Mount Carmel, admissions officers look for leadership experience in college or community organizations. And admissions officers for four-year nursing programs look for candidates with analytical skills and the ability to think on their feet.

Tip: Start a dialogue with the accelerated-program admissions officer or advisor at the school you're considering. Learn what they're looking for and what you may need to do to obtain any missing qualifications.


The two cover letters on this page are both related to nursing. The first is a professional seeking a managerial position, the second is an entry-level candidate hoping to land a full time job. These cover letters have been written based on real resume samples hosted on our website.

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Both letters on this page follow the template outlined in our cover letter writing guide:

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Nursing Cover Letter Sample

Based on the following resume (click to enlarge):

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Nursing CL Templates

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(Manager’s Name)

HR Manager

Company Name

Company Address

Date

Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. (Manager’s Name)

I’m pleased to be writing to you today regarding my application for the nursing position advertised on (Website Name). I believe my qualifications and experience make me an ideal candidate for this job.

I have a Master’s Degree in nursing and 8+ years of proven experience effectively and efficiently managing both patients and staff. I am an extremely organized, calm, and patient professional with excellent healthcare skills. I have a passion for providing quality care to patients, and the necessary leadership skills to inspire other staff members to strive to provide above standard levels of service.

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In my present role as registered nurse at Virginia Veteran’s Hospital, I am tasked with evaluating the medical conditions of up to 20 patients daily, and developing and directing a rotational system to manage the care of patients and otherwise coordinate workforce management.  During this time I’ve been recognized as a dedicated, ambitious, and reliable person who has the ability to work without supervision.

In addition, my four years of of experience as an Assistant Nurse at Corlinas Medical Centre helped me realize and implement clinical duties I learned during the course of my education. While employed there, I was commended for proficiently handling difficult situations with patients and their family members.

I believe a relationship with your company would be mutually beneficial, as I am seeking a challenging work environment where I can utilize my skills to the fullest extent. I look forward to hearing from you, and would love to explain my skills further during an interview. Please find a detailed account of my work history in the attached resume.

Sincerely,

Name

Address

T: Phone number

E: email address


Entry-Level Nursing Cover Letter Sample

Based on the following resume (click to enlarge):

Click Here to Download Our
Entry-Level Nurse CL Templates

(Manager’s Name)

HR Manager

Company Name

Company Address

Date

Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. (Manager’s Name)

I’m writing to you today regarding the nursing job vacancy you posted on (Website Name). I was thrilled to see that the role perfectly suits my education and skill-set, and I am confident that I can rise to the challenge.

I have a BS in nursing and four years of extensive work experience. During that time, I developed the skills to deliver impeccable health care and service towards patients. I have been trained in monitoring patients, updating information on vital signs and documents to effectively monitor their health. While working at Chicago Medical Centre as a Preceptorship Nurse, I was tasked with assessing the condition of patients, and also ordered and developed diagnostic tests. I firmly believe that I will bring the energy and dedication necessary to thrive in your hospital’s environment.

As noted on my resume, my competencies and capabilities are strongly in line with the requirements stated in your job description. For instance, while working at Standard Hospital as a Clinical Practicum in Acute Care, I have gained a deep understanding of how to perform emergency medical procedures such as basic and advanced cardiac life support, as well as other condition stabilizing interventions. I have become skilled at accurately obtaining and interpreting medical information to determine the health status and needs of my patients. Additionally, I possess excellent communication skills, which help me to effectively interact with patients, families, physicians and other health team members. In total, I believe my background will allow me to be of great service to your hospital.

I would welcome the opportunity to meet and interview with you. Please accept the enclosed resume.

Sincerely,

Name

Address

T: Phone number

E: Email address

SEE ALSO > How to Write a Resume

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