Example of a Resignation Letter for Nurses (Template)

Drafting a resignation letter for a nursing job can be very difficult, and nurses are often unsure where to begin.

Below is an example of a nurse resignation letter.

As a nurse, the goal of a resignation letter is not to burn bridges when you resign but to create and maintain goodwill.

You always want to be able to come back even if you think you never will.

*Disclosure: This article on resignation and exit letters may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see my disclaimer.

Introduction

Here’s my video going over resignation letters. It’s on YouTube and if you’re not already subscribed, click here to subscribe.

Resigning from your job as a nurse may be necessary when accepting a new position or choosing a new career path.

Perhaps you’ve gotten a better offer at a different hospital or only intended to stay at your current location for a specific time.

No matter the reason for resigning, submitting a nurse resignation letter is often a requirement.

If you need help writing this letter, the following guide is for you.

Here’s everything you need to know about resignation letters for nurses.

Plus, I’ll give you several nursing resignation letter examples and templates you can use to craft your perfect resignation letter regardless of whether you’re a licensed vocational nurse (LPN or LVN) or a registered nurse (RN).

What Is a Nurse Resignation Letter?

A nursing resignation letter is a written notice letting the hospital administrators know about your plans to leave your current position. It’s one of the first steps you need to take when leaving your nursing job.

Besides writing the letter, it’s a good idea to let your superiors know about your plans. If possible try to give as much time as possible.

You might be wondering, “if I already tell my bosses that I’m leaving, why do I also need to submit a letter?”

There are three reasons you would want to turn in an official notice.

  1. It acts as a legal document and is often needed by the HR department for recordkeeping purposes.
  2. In the event of a dispute or legal matter, the letter provides a legal record of the time and date that you plan to resign.
  3. It’s considered etiquette and some employers will mark you as a “no rehire if you resign without giving proper notice.

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What Does a Nurse Resignation Letter Include?

The resignation letter doesn’t need to be too detailed.

It’s simply a formal notice indicating the intended date of departure and possibly the reason for leaving.

The letter may also include any provisions that need to be followed in the final weeks, such as reduced work hours.

Here is the basic structure of the typical resignation letter:

  • Formal Letterhead
  • Salutation
  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph
  • Conclusion
  • Formal Sign-off
  • Signature
  • Typed Name
  • Date

The top of the letter should include your name and address followed by the date.

Below this section, include the name of your hospital director/supervisor and the hospital’s address.

template on how you should structure your nurse resignation letter
This is how you should structure and write a nursing resignation letter when leaving your job.

The salutation and introduction are typically short and to the point. It summarizes the purpose of the letter:

Dear Jane Smith,

Please accept this as my official notice of resignation from my current position as JOB TITLE at HOSPITAL NAME. My final day of employment will be DATE.

The body paragraph is short and may include why you’re grateful for your time at the hospital.

The conclusion is also short and simply gives you a chance to say thank you for the job and the opportunity.

End the letter with a formal sign-off and then sign and date the letter. Below your signed name, type your name.

Get the PDF

I have everything you need right here in this post to craft the perfect nurse resignation letter, but it can be a long process for some.

If it’s more convenient for you, you can purchase the PDF version of this post for only $4.99.

This way, you can print it out, and it will be available to you offline or on your desk if you want to refer back to it. It also helps support the work we do.

What Should You Discuss in the Body Paragraph?

While most of the letter is direct and formal, the body paragraph is where you can get a little more informal.

Include a few details about why you enjoyed working at the hospital and how you plan to make the transition easier for the remaining staff. For example, you may agree to help train the incoming nurse.

When writing your resignation letter, remember future employers may contact your former employer. It helps to leave on good terms.

Example Nurse Resignation Letters for Reference

If you’re still having trouble drafting your nurse resignation letter, looking over an example should help you get a few ideas.

Try not to copy the example word for word. Use it as a guide and tailor it to suit your specific situation.

Here are some examples to help you out:

Staff Nurse Resignation Letter #1

Jane Doe, RN
1234 Pine Street
City, CA 12345
(555) 555-5555

April 11, 2019

Mr. John Smith
Hospital Manager
General Hospital
1234 Healthcare Lane
City, CA 12345

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am submitting this letter to formally inform you of my resignation from my current position at General Hospital, effective May 23rd, 2019.

I have enjoyed my time at General Hospital. Over the last few years, I have learned a tremendous amount, allowing me to become a better nurse. The rest of the staff have been like family, as have the patients. I will always appreciate the opportunity you and the hospital gave me when I first accepted this position. Over the next six weeks, I will gladly help in any way to help make the transition easier for you, the hospital, my co-workers, and the patients.

Thank you for your support. I wish you and the rest of the staff at General Hospital the best.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe, RN
Staff Nurse

Registered Nurse Resignation Letter #2

Jane Doe, RN
1234 Pine Street
City, CA 12345
(555) 555-5555

April 11, 2019

Mr. John Smith
Hospital Manager
General Hospital
1234 Healthcare Lane
City, CA 12345

Dear Mr. Smith,

I would like to inform you that I am resigning from the position of Staff Nurse at General Hospital. My last day of employment will be May 23rd, 2019. As per the hospital’s policy, I am giving you six weeks notice.

Working at General Hospital has been one of the most profound experiences in my life. When I first accepted this position out of nursing school, the staff at General Hospital helped me feel at home. Every day has been a learning experience, helping me become the nurse I am today. Without this support and guidance, I would not have developed the skills needed to move on to the next chapter in my career. For this, I will always be grateful.

I understand the challenges that my departure may bring. To assist with the transition, I will help with the hiring and training of my replacement if needed.

Thank you for allowing me to thrive in an environment that is often stressful yet incredibly rewarding. I wish nothing but the best for you and the staff at General Hospital.

Regards,

Jane Doe, RN
Staff Nurse

Nurse Resignation Letter Example #3

This is the example I’m hoping you can fill in the blanks to make your letter. Make sure to change the dates.

John Doe
Address
Email
Phone #

June 1, 2007

__________ Hospital
Address

Dear [Name of manager/Supervisor]

I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as a behavioral/psychiatric-health nurse at _________ Hospital effective June 15, 2007.

Thank you for the opportunity you have given me these past few years. It has been an honor and a pleasure to have worked for ________Hospital. I am grateful for the experiences gained and the positive impact it will have on me moving forward as a healthcare provider.

Sincerely,

[Signature]

John Doe

Find Your Next Nursing Job

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1. What Are the Typical Steps for Resigning as a Nurse?

Leaving a job can be stressful, whether you enjoyed your time at the location or not.

If you’ve accepted a new position or simply decided to move on, you may become anxious about informing your employer.

The first step is to finalize your starting date for your new position. This gives you a date to work with when choosing your last day at your current facility.

Next, let management know about your plans.

Don’t start discussing your plans to resign with co-workers, as gossip spreads quickly in any place of employment. You want your superiors to be the first to know.

When you talk to your superiors, let them know the intended date of your last day. They should have as much time as needed to deal with the transition.

After discussing your resignation with management, it’s time to submit the resignation letter.

As your final day at the hospital approaches, do not slack off or leave your co-workers without the support they need.

Fulfill the words you wrote in the letter and help make the transition easier for everyone.

It’s always a good idea to leave gracefully, especially if you hope to receive positive comments when future employers seek references.

Below is a video of Dave Ramsey’s phone call about a caller wanting some advice on putting in his 2-week notice. Minus some of the snarkiness, there’s some really good advice in there about leaving with grace.

2. Is a Nurse Resignation Letter Required?

Resignation letters are not technically required in most fields. Discussing your plans with your superiors is often all that is needed to get the wheels rolling on your resignation.

However, the letter gives the human resources department a signed document verifying your intention to leave.

(For example, travel nurses/contract nurses wouldn’t really write one for their assigned hospital because there’s already a predetermined start and end date.)

While most employers do not require these letters, every hospital has its own policies. Before resigning, talk to someone in the HR department. Find out if the letter is needed and whether additional steps are needed.

Related Article: Example of a Nurse Retirement Letter

3. How Much Notice Should You Give Before Departing?

In most industries, a two weeks notice is standard practice. In a hospital setting, your employers may appreciate having a little more time. Six to eight weeks is a common timeframe.

You should also keep in mind that replacing you may result in heavier workloads for the other nurses.

Bringing in a new nurse before your last day allows you to help train the new employee, providing an easier transition for everyone, including your co-workers.

Hiring a new nurse is not easy. Your replacement needs to be trained and brought up to speed on how things are done at your hospital.

Even with experience at other healthcare facilities, your replacement may not be used to how tasks are completed at your current place of employment.

Giving your employers more time to find a replacement is a respectful thing to do, especially if you have enjoyed your time at the location.

4. Can a Nurse Quit Without Notice?

Except in very rare circumstances, you should not quit without notice. For the reasons stated above, you want to avoid burning bridges.

I wrote an in-depth article, “Can a Nurse Quit Without Notice?” on this subject. Check it out for more detail.

5. Who Should You Give the Resignation Letter to?

The letter should be given to your manager. Remember to let your manager know about your plans before giving the letter. It also helps to set up a meeting instead of telling your manager as you pass in the hall.

6. Should You Type the Resignation Letter?

Type and print the letter instead of handwriting it. While you may think that writing the letter on a piece of paper makes it seem more personable, the letter doesn’t need to be personable.

It’s a formal letter declaring your intent to vacate your current position.

7. Is this Similar to an Exit Letter for Nurses?

A nurse exit letter and a nurse resignation letter are the same things. Many times nurses and administrators will use both terms interchangeably.

8. When I’m Writing a Nurse Resignation Letter, is there a Difference if it’s for Personal Reasons?

Writing an RN resignation letter due to personal reasons will be similar to what we gave above.

Try to give at least a two weeks notice (unless your employer’s rules say otherwise). You can give as little reasons for your departure as you want. Remember to leave and speak gracefully.

9. Should I Write a Resignation Letter if I’m a Per Diem or PRN Nurse

Yes, you should. Whether you’re PRN or per-diem, you really should write one.

While we’re at it, you should also write one regardless of what area of nursing specialty you’re in. So whether you’re a school nurse or an ICU nurse, you should write one.

So to recap…

Based on the example above, you want the resignation letter to be as concise and to the point as possible.

  • Do not play the blame game.
  • Even if you’re leaving because of a toxic environment, blaming the employer does nothing but harbor ill will. Since you’re leaving anyway, it will come off as you didn’t care enough to stay and try to make changes.
  • Focus on the positive aspects of your job.

Who Do You Tell

Make sure your immediate nursing supervisor(s) receives a copy of the resignation letter. Also, give a copy to your human resource department.

I would recommend giving your nursing supervisor the resignation letter first. Then human resource department or you could risk HR notifying your supervisor before you do.

Notice that the date at the top is the date you give out the notice. Your effective resignation date is at least two weeks from that.

In the body of the letter, make sure you show gratitude for the opportunity you had working with the organization.

Emailing a Notice of Resignation

Similar principles apply if you decide to send a resignation letter via email instead of a hard copy.

Send it to the same people. You can use similar formatting for the email body.

For the subject of the email, make sure it’s something that makes it clear what is in the email.

For example, “John Doe- Notice of Resignation.”

The subject should be clear so that the receiver is alerted to the importance of the email.

Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!

Lastly, have someone other than yourself look over the letter. This is crucial to ensure the letter is grammatically correct, error-free, and has a professional tone.

Again, your goal in writing the resignation letter for your nursing job should always be to leave as gracefully as possible.

You never know when other nursing staff, providers, or support staff will be seen again!

Did I miss anything that should be included in a formal resignation letter? Let me know in the comments.

Find Your Next Nursing Job

Use our nursing job board to start looking for and applying to great nursing jobs near you.

a pen and paper with the wording example resignation letter template
  • I LOVE this! Couldn’t agree more that the letter needs to avoid any emotion, blame, or negativity. You never know who you might cross paths with again… nursing is a small world, believe it or not. You don’t want to burn any bridges. Great article! Sharing.