How to Write a Nursing Resignation Letter: 5 Tips

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Written by Kathleen Walder Content Writer, IntelyCare
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Reviewed by Marie Hasty, BSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
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The average worker stays in any one job for a median of about four years. That means you’ll likely need to know how to write a nursing resignation letter sooner than later. Whether you’re moving on to another job, going back to school, or leaving the profession, it can be hard to know how to word a resignation letter that you’ll feel good sending.

Keep in mind when you sit down to write your letter of resignation — nursing managers deal with staff resignations routinely, so don’t feel like you need to apologize or save face when it’s time to leave. Below, we’ve included five tips for writing your nursing resignation letter, as well as an example letter you can use as a template.

5 Steps to Write a Nurse Resignation Letter

1. Decide on Your Last Day

Before you write your nursing resignation letter, deciding on the exact day that you will leave a job is important. Your supervisor needs to find your replacement — and recruiting nursing professionals is challenging. Giving two weeks’ notice is the norm in most jobs, but your supervisor may make the facility’s work schedules more than two weeks in advance, so give as much notice as you can.

2. Tell Your Supervisor First

To give yourself a smooth exit, tell your boss you’re leaving before you tell anyone else. One way to do this is to ask for a meeting with your boss, tell them your plans, and give them a physical copy of your resignation letter at that time. (After the meeting, email your letter to them, as well.) Some supervisors may only need a nursing resignation letter email from you to forward to HR, but ask if they need any other paperwork from you.

After you meet with them, you and your supervisor may discuss how and when to tell the team about your resignation. Your boss may want to make the announcement in a staff meeting or by email, or they may choose to let you tell your coworkers.

3. Know What to Include in Your Nursing Resignation Letter

The most important thing in your physical resignation letter is the date of your last day, so put it at the beginning. (An email will automatically be dated.) Along with this date, here are some other considerations:

Offer to help with your replacement. This can be anything from leaving helpful notes, being part of the interview process, or training them before you go.

  • “If it would be helpful, I am open to contributing to the interview process to share my perspective on the responsibilities and expectations associated with the position.”
  • “To support a smooth transition, I am available to assist in the training of my replacement or any other tasks that will contribute to a successful handover.”

Make a positive statement about your experience on the job. Thank your supervisor for their help, mention how you liked working with your team, or express gratitude for the opportunity.

  • “I am thankful for the continuous learning opportunities this unit has offered. The challenges have helped me to grow, and the experiences have been invaluable in shaping my nursing career.”
  • “It has been a privilege to be a part of this team, and I’ll carry the lessons I’ve learned on your unit throughout the rest of my career.”

Be courteous. Your nursing resignation letter is not the place to air your grievances or make a bold statement that burns a bridge on your way out. It’s critical that you maintain professionalism. You never know when you might need a reference or encounter your supervisor and coworkers again.

4. Format Your Letter Correctly

Keep it short. Remember, the function of a nursing resignation letter is to inform your supervisor and to be an official document for human resources. The format below is for a printed letter, followed by the general rules for an email.

Start and end with the components of a business letter. To begin, include:

  • Your name and title or credential
  • Your phone number and email address
  • Your supervisor’s name and title
  • The date you are presenting the letter
  • A formal greeting “Dear [full name of your supervisor]”

After the body of the letter, include:

  • A business ending like “Best regards” or “Sincerely”
  • Your name
  • Your signature

Email format:

  • A clear subject line that includes your name. Example: Mr. John Doe Resignation Notice
  • A formal greeting “Dear [full name of your supervisor]”
  • Body of the letter
  • A business ending like “Best regards” or “Sincerely”
  • Your name and title or credential
  • Your phone number and email address
  • Attach a PDF file of the letter version of your resignation with your signature

5. Make It Look Professional

Think business when you’re putting together your letter. Here are a few more pointers to give it a professional look:

  • Use an appropriate font like Times New Roman or Arial.
  • Set the margins no wider than 1 inch.
  • Single-space the lines.
  • Proofread for any errors.

Below we’ve included a sample resignation letter. Nurse resignations don’t need to be long or overly detailed — just follow our template to write your own.

Nurse Resignation Letter Example

Shania Walsh, RN
555-555-5555
shania@email.com

Reagan Larson, RN
Director of Nursing

January XX, XXXX

Dear Ms. Reagan Larson,

This letter is my official resignation from my staff nurse position at Cherry Hill Residence. My last day of work will be February XX, XXXX.

Please let me know how I can help you with the transition. I am pleased to organize notes for my replacement’s onboarding, interview candidates, or train someone before my last day.

Thank you for making my time here so rewarding. Serving our residents and being part of your team has been a privilege. It’s been an enriching experience for me, and I wish the Cherry Hill staff and residents all the best.

Warm regards,

Shania Walsh, RN

Nurse Resignation Letter — Email Version

Subject: Shania Walsh Resignation Notice

Dear Ms. Reagan Larson,

This email is my official resignation from my staff nurse position at Cherry Hill Residence. My last day of work will be February XX, XXXX. Attached is a signed PDF version of this notice.

Please let me know how I can help you with the transition. I am pleased to organize notes for my replacement’s onboarding, interview candidates, or train someone before my last day.

Thank you for making my time here so rewarding. Serving our residents and being part of your team has been a privilege. It’s been an enriching experience for me, and I wish the Cherry Hill staff and residents all the best.

Warm regards,

Shania Walsh, RN

555-555-5555
shania@email.com

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