RN Cover Letter Writing Tips

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Written by Ayana Dunn, BSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
Latina nurse working on her cover letter on a laptop.

The basic components of any job application are a resume and a cover letter. While a resume shows off your impressive accomplishments and credentials, a nursing cover letter lets your future employer see your personality and what makes you unique. If you’re wondering how to make your nursing experience shine or are looking for an RN cover letter sample, check out these RN cover letter writing tips.

Make Your Potential Employer Feel Special

Does hours of skimming through job applications sound exciting? Probably not. It’s the kind of task that makes someone’s eyes glaze over, which is why it’s important to leverage your RN cover letter to form a personal connection as soon as possible. Research the name of the hiring manager. If you can’t find this detail, look on the employer’s website or LinkedIn, do a Google search, or address the reader by their department.

You don’t simply want an RN job — you want this specific RN job. This is how a nursing cover letter functions differently than a resume. The employer knows what services they offer, and your resume shows what you can do.

Use your cover letter to tell them why they are your top choice. Are you passionate about their specialty? Eager to gain skills unique to their facility? Do they suit your personality? If your choice to work with them is because of a referral or an employee’s positive opinion, this is an opportunity to let the reader know you have insight into the reality of the work environment.

Prove Why You Are the Right Fit for the Job

Strengthen your cover letter by highlighting your soft skills. Using examples from your professional experience is ideal, but your options are limitless. Do you readily adapt to new cultures from traveling? Have you succeeded in stressful situations for which you were unprepared? Have you had to take the lead during a crisis?

If you can incorporate hard skills too, great! If not, don’t worry. Your RN resume accomplishes that task. You can also use your cover letter to elaborate on your certifications, awards, and career gaps.

Even if you’re a new grad, you can boost your cover letter by describing your pre-nursing experience, clinical rotations, and hobbies related to the position. Your unique background gives you far more transferable skills than you realize if you are strategic about how you present them.

Use Templates for Inspiration

You can use an RN cover letter template to get started, but remember your uniqueness is your key to success. Your own voice, enthusiasm, and authenticity will shine best through your original words. Take a step above the rest and customize your cover letter to each role.

RN Cover Letter Example

The RN cover letter example below is for a pediatric hospital application from a nurse who has worked on an adult medical-surgical floor for one year. This might not match your situation, but it shows the importance of tailoring cover letters to yourself and your experience.

Ms. Lela Stewart, RN, BSN
444 Flower Drive
Flowertown, PA 19143

Ms. Tracy Cane, MSN, RN
Springfield Children’s Hospital
610 Civic Center Street
Philadelphia, PA 19144

Dear Ms. Cane,

I’m writing to apply for a nursing role on your medical-surgical unit. As an RN with a passion for helping children and who has shadowed nurses at Springfield Children’s Hospital, I would make a great addition to your team.

My clinical rotation at Springfield Children’s Hospital solidified my desire to work in pediatrics. Although my long-term career goal is to care for children, I have been working for the past year on an adult medical-surgical floor to gain a solid foundation. I learned a slew of nursing skills such as catheterization, tube feedings, various assessments, and other tasks as described in my resume, which prepared me for a role on your medical-surgical unit. While shadowing nurses at your hospital, I learned how I would alter procedures to accommodate children.

I recognize that although my focus is on my patients, I must also prioritize caregiver needs. I continually make conscious efforts to cultivate my emotional intelligence and self-awareness. I use my patience, empathy, and compassion to ensure successful bedside communication with patients and their caregivers. Lastly, I am an adaptable individual with integrity who completes short-term tasks on time while remaining mindful of long-term goals.

I appreciate you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.


Lela Stewart, RN

RN Job Outlook

The median salary for a RN is $77,600, but your salary will be affected by your years of experience, the facility that employs you, as well as where in the country you work. The top five states with the highest percentage of employed RNs are:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. New York
  4. Florida
  5. Pennsylvania

Take Your Next Step With IntelyCare

Are you ready to get your RN cover letter some exposure? IntelyCare is the job board created for nurses only so you can find top opportunities in the field. Start looking for great RN jobs today.