How to Write a Retirement Letter for Nurses

Woman with short hair and pink top.
Written by Kathleen Walder Content Writer, IntelyCare
Older female nurse with blue scrubs looking to the side and smiling.

Retirement is one of the milestones in your life. With it comes emotions, both happy and sad. Those feelings may affect one of your necessary tasks — writing a letter to let your employer know your plans. You don’t want it to sound depressing, but you certainly don’t want to sound too happy as if you can’t get away fast enough. If you’re unsure of how to write a retirement letter for nurses, use our sample retirement letter to get you started and some advice to help you make a graceful exit.

Who Should Receive a Retirement Letter?

One of the main questions to address when considering how to write a letter of retirement from nursing is to whom you should present your letter first. The answer is your direct supervisor. Address the letter to them, using their name rather than To Whom It May Concern. You can present your letter in conjunction with a private talk or right after. It’s important to let your supervisor know in person, so don’t leave your retirement letter on their desk.

After your supervisor is informed, give a copy of that letter to your human resources department so they can prepare the official paperwork you’ll need to sign and get your retirement benefits started. If you’re with a temp agency, always tell them first before telling anyone at the facility where you work. And once you tell your coworkers, don’t be surprised if you get some retirement gifts.

How Long Should a Retirement Letter Be?

While you want to cover all the points noted in the sample retirement letter below, your letter shouldn’t sound like a cold form letter. Neither should it ramble on for more than a page. Think of it like a relative of the resignation letter. It needs to be warm and concise. Three to five paragraphs should give you enough space to touch on all the important information you need to include.

How to Write a Letter of Retirement From Nursing: 6 Parts

A standard format helps ensure you’ve covered everything you need to communicate to your employer about your retirement.

1. Use a Formal Header and Greeting

This letter will go in your HR file as a business document, so use a formal heading structure with your name and address, the business name and address, and the date. You may want to add a note about the topic of the letter, as in RE: Retirement Notice.

2. Include Vital Retirement Facts

The most essential function of a retirement letter for nurses is to affirm you are, in fact, retiring. Be sure to include your job title, how long you’ve been with the organization or facility, and the last day you intend to work.

3. Express Appreciation

Leave on a positive note by mentioning something about your job that you particularly enjoyed. Give thanks for the opportunity. Talk about something you will miss or a fond memory. You can say what led you to the decision or let your supervisor know about your retirement plans, but including this information is a personal decision.

4. Offer Transition Assistance

One of the first things that come to a supervisor’s mind when someone is retiring or leaving a job is how they will get the work done after you leave. Offering to help with the transition is a big relief. In your retirement letter, you can offer to train your replacement or put together notes about job responsibilities and how to manage ongoing projects.

5. Address Your Needs

A retirement letter for nurses should document anything that needs to be resolved or closed out before you leave. Consider the following.

  • Note your unused vacation and sick days and ask if you’ll get compensation for them.
  • What you need to do to receive retirement benefits and collect your pension.
  • How to transfer profit-sharing or IRA accounts to your private financial manager.
  • What day you will collect your final paycheck.
  • Include your contact information, especially if your retirement includes a relocation.
  • Ask for any other HR paperwork or actions you need to take before retiring.

6. Finish With a Warm Closing

Continue using a formal letter format like the one in the nurse retirement lettersample, and add another brief word of thanks. Close with something like “Best regards,” then print and sign the letter.

Retirement Letter for Nurses: Sample Template

Ms. Liza Willis, RN
4567 Main St.
City, ST 00000

January X, 20XX

To: Mr. Robert Banter, Director of Patient Care
ABC Residence Corp.
1234 First St.
City, ST 00000

RE: My retirement

Dear Robert,

After having spent a fulfilling 35 years as a nurse and sincerely enjoying the last 10 under your direction, I have decided to retire from my job as an RN with ABC Residence. My last day will be January X, 20XX.

I want to express my gratitude to you and everyone here for making the past 10 years an absolute pleasure. I couldn’t have asked for better coworkers, administrators, or residents. I will miss every one of you. I will never forget the heart-warming surprise celebration you arranged for my 25th year as an RN.

I am preparing to train my replacement to facilitate smooth operation between now and my departure. I’ve compiled a notebook with my job responsibilities and information about this facility to help that person get up to speed.

Before my last day, I will need some retirement information. I am copying this letter to HR since most information will come from that department.

  • I have five days of unused vacation time. Our employee handbook says I am entitled to compensation for that, and I want to verify that’s correct.
  • Please let me know what paperwork I must complete in order to begin my retirement benefits, pension, and the transfer of my profit-sharing balance.
  • My final paycheck should be the Friday after my retirement day.
  • My new contact information in Florida after January X, XXXX, will be

City, State Zip

Again, thank you for all your support through the years. I will miss you and the team.

Warm regards,


Liza Willis

Want to Keep One Foot in the Workforce?

Now that you’re ready to use our retirement letter for nurses, do you like the idea of partial employment? With IntelyCare, you can choose shifts when and where you’d like to work that fit in with your retirement plans. If this sounds like an option you might enjoy, complete your application today.