Reading a nursing school recommendation letter example is a great way to learn how to write one of your own. The process of writing a recommendation letter is unfamiliar to many referees, and plenty of applicants don’t know who to ask to write one or how to write one themselves. A nursing school recommendation letter is nearly identical to an ERAS letter of recommendation or other letters of recommendation for medical school disciplines. A stellar letter of recommendation is a must for your best shot of getting into nursing school. In this blog, we’ll look at why recommendation letters are so important for nursing school, how to write one and who to ask to write you a recommendation letter. At the end of this blog, we’ve included some sample nursing school recommendation letters for your guidance.


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Why you need a good recommendation letter for nursing school

Recommendation letters are a way to enhance your application for nursing school. They help you to stand out and make a favourable impression on the admissions committee. Committees read thousands of applications from students with excellent academic records or well-written nursing school personal statements. Reading stellar recommendation letters can set you above the rest and influence the admissions committee’s decision.

Nursing schools can be very competitive, and many of them do require at least one recommendation letter as part of the application process. Basically, admissions officers want to hear from others in your life why you are a good fit for their nursing program and what opinions others have of your personality and skills. Recommendation letters for nursing school are written by other people you know who can vouch for your candidacy as a superb nursing student. Your referees should be able to extoll your virtues and explain why you are an exceptional applicant.

Whereas you might write a nursing school letter of intent to explain what your motivations are and tell the admissions committee why you want to be a nurse, a strong letter of recommendation is an objective and enthusiastic detailing of your best accomplishments and skills.

How to write a nursing school recommendation letter

For anyone who has never written a letter of recommendation before, you might wonder where to start. A recommendation letter is a relatively straightforward document, typically one to two pages long. Avoid writing a letter longer than two pages so you don’t lose the reader’s interest!

A typical recommendation letter has the following structure

If you’ve never written a letter of recommendation before, it might be helpful to brainstorm before writing your first draft. You’ll want to include specific and detailed examples of why you would recommend your applicant for a nursing program, and these don’t necessarily need to be focused on healthcare. You can share what you think are the applicant’s best qualities, strengths or achievements. Or discuss why you think they would make an excellent nurse. You can also ask your applicant to provide some personal background or information on the nursing program they are applying for so your letter is more focused and specific.

How to choose your recommendation letter writers

There are several different people you can ask for a solid recommendation letter for nursing school. Keep in mind that you should narrow down the list to those who know you the best, can confidently write about your strengths and skills, and who have a positive relationship with you. If they have never written a letter of recommendation before, you will need to provide them with some information on the application deadline, writing requirements and any important information about the nursing school. You may also want to share why you’ve chosen to apply to nursing school to inform your referees as they are writing your recommendation letter.

Watch this video and learn to write your own recommendation letter!

Nursing school recommendation letter examples

Below we’ve included some samples of nursing school recommendation letters to get you started. You can also read BeMo’s CASPA letter of recommendation or pharmacy school letters of recommendation for help.

Sample #1

Dear Director D’Angelo

I am writing this recommendation letter in support of [Applicant’s Name] application to the [Nursing School] nursing program. Currently I am the manager of the [Name], a pediatric health care clinic. [Applicant Name] has been a dedicated volunteer with our organization for the past 5 years, since she was a high school student. Over this time, we have come to know [Applicant Name] very well and appreciate her sunny personality and warmth.

[Applicant’s Name] first started with us as a high school student and was placed under a supervisor to help assist with organizing games and activities in our soft room, which we use for both patients and young children visiting patients at our clinic. [Applicant Name] did an excellent job maintaining the soft room and coming up with new ideas on how to keep our patients engaged during their stays with us. [Applicant Name] has also shown great responsibility in taking care of clerical work, answering phones, booking appointments and helping the clinic reception staff. She has been consistently praised by myself and other staff for being a cheerful presence in the work environment and her respectful and mature manner of interacting with patients and patients’ parents.

[Applicant Name] expressed her interest in enrolling in a nursing program 3 years ago, and asked me for opportunities to take on more responsibility, shadow some of the clinic staff or observe procedures. I granted her request, and she has once again shown her care, maturity and responsibility. At that point she was also moved to a paid receptionist position at our clinic. I believe she is very dedicated to becoming an excellent nurse, as she shows an interest and excitement to learn and broaden her medical knowledge. She has shown a natural aptitude for managing and gaining the trust of our young patients. She is a particular favorite at the clinic, and many of our regular patients refer to her as Nurse [Applicant Name]. There is no doubt for all of us that she is ideally suited to the nursing profession and will be an excellent student of your program.

I hope you will consider [Applicant Name] for admission to your nursing program. It is my belief that she will become an incredible nurse and health care provider. If you have further questions, please contact me at the [Name] Clinic anytime.

Sincerely,

Krista Van Oven

Prepping for your nursing school interview? Check out this infographic.

Sample #2

Dear Prof. Bodden,

I am writing today on behalf of [Applicant Name], who has applied for the nursing program at [Nursing School] for this academic intake year. As the nursing supervisor overseeing a small team at a rural hospital, I had the pleasure of having [Applicant Name] shadow myself and my team over a period of several weeks. Our hospital serves a large geographic area, and frequently are overrun with patients. I was initially surprised that a pre-nursing student would want to shadow our team, but [Name] has showed considerable determination and adaptability.

When [Name] first arrived in our department, she showed great enthusiasm and a strong willingness to learn on the go. As a small team we are frequently very busy, but [Name] was with us every step of the way keeping notes and asking insightful questions when time permitted. She has taken the time during her short lunch breaks to sit down with the team as well and ask questions when there is time to take a breath. The fast-paced nature of our department has allowed [Name] to demonstrate a valuable ability to stay focused, organized and level-headed. Even when faced with the unfamiliar or shadowing a nurse tackling a difficult patient, she has remained composed, followed instructions well and observed situations with a critical eye towards learning.

[Name] has only had a few opportunities to observe and shadow more complex procedures but in each instance, she has shown considerable understanding of patient needs. A young boy was brought into our department requiring multiple stitches. As our staff attended to him, [Name] demonstrated an innate ability to connect with children and helped to keep the patient calm and at ease during a procedure that can be very frightening.

[Name] has expressed her desire to become a practicing nurse in an emergency room department, so several of my staff members have spoken with her regarding their experiences. I have no doubt that [Name’s] calm nature and admirable people skills will lend themselves well to a job as an ER nurse.

Thank you for reading this letter of recommendation for [Applicant Name] and considering her for admission to your program. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me at [Department] and I will be happy to provide further details and information to you.

Sincerely,

Malcolm McKay

FAQs

1. Do I need a recommendation letter for nursing school?

A recommendation letter is usually a required section of your nursing school application, as schools want to see what others have to say about your candidacy. How many letters of recommendation you’ll need will vary by program, so be sure to check the requirements on the school’s admission page. 

2. How many letters of recommendation do I need for nursing school?

You may need anywhere from 1 to 4 letters of recommendation for nursing school, depending on where you’re applying. The school’s admission package will tell you how many recommendation letters you’ll need to submit and how to submit them.

3. Who writes recommendation letters for nursing school?

There are many people you can ask for a nursing school recommendation letter, including bosses or supervisors, healthcare professionals you’ve had shadowing experience with, your professors or university faculty, your admissions advisor or consultant or your volunteer supervisor.

4. How do I ask for a recommendation letter for nursing school?

You can ask for a recommendation letter for nursing school in person, by email or by phone, though it’s usually best to do so in person. Start your request by explaining why you are choosing to ask them and why you need a letter of recommendation. You may also want to share why you are applying for nursing school, any requirements they will need to know to write the recommendation letter and the application deadline. 

5. Who should I ask for a recommendation letter for nursing school?

Who you ask might depend on your relationship with the individual and how well they know you. You want to choose someone who can be enthusiastic, objective and write an exemplary recommendation letter. You don’t want to ask someone who is unsure or doesn’t know you well. 

6. How do you write a recommendation letter for nursing school?

To write a good letter of recommendation for nursing school, treat it as a formal letter to the admissions committee. Introduce yourself and your relationship to the applicant, then highlight their most significant skills, attributes, and achievements. Explain why you think they would be an excellent nursing professional and why they should be accepted to a nursing school.

7. How long should a recommendation letter be?

A recommendation letter for nursing school should be at least one page, but not more than two. Aim to write around 400 words.

8. Can I write my own recommendation letter for nursing school?

Yes, writing a recommendation letter for yourself is a common enough practice, and you may choose to do so. You should always try to ask someone who will be able to write you an excellent letter of recommendation on their own, but it is an option to write it yourself.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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