A well-crafted cover letter is essential for every new graduate nurse seeking their first job. It can make or break your chances of landing that coveted nursing position.

In this guide, I will take you through the process of writing a new grad nurse cover letter that showcases your skills and passion for nursing.

Keep reading to the end, where I included an example of a cover letter tailored for a new nurse ICU position.

How to Write a New Nurse Cover Letter

Understand the Purpose of Your Cover Letter

Before diving into the writing process, it’s essential to grasp the purpose of your cover letter. A cover letter is your opportunity to:

  1. Introduce yourself to the hiring manager
  2. Express your interest in the position
  3. Highlight your relevant skills and experiences
  4. Explain how you will contribute to the organization

Even though it’s a “letter,” you need to keep it professional with this one intention, “how you will benefit the company.”

Research the Healthcare Facility

Before you start writing, thoroughly research the healthcare facility you are applying to.

Take note of their goals, recent achievements, and any specific nursing practices or protocols they use.

Understanding the organization’s culture, values, and mission will help you tailor your cover letter to resonate with the hiring manager.

Be Professional but Personal

Write your cover letter in a professional tone, but don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.

With that said, you’ll want to air on the professional side, avoiding contraction and ensuring it’s grammar and error-free.

Use a Strong Opening

Your opening paragraph is crucial in grabbing the reader’s attention. Start by stating your interest in the position and briefly mentioning your qualifications.

You can also use a compelling story or anecdote from your nursing education or clinical experiences to create an engaging hook.

Highlight Your Skills and Experiences

In the body of your cover letter, focus on the skills and experiences that make you an excellent candidate for the position.

Be specific and use examples to demonstrate your nursing competencies. Consider discussing your:

  1. Clinical rotations and any areas of specialization
  2. Nursing skills, such as patient assessment, care plan development, and medication administration
  3. Soft skills like communication, teamwork, and critical thinking
  4. Any relevant certifications or training, such as BLS or ACLS

Show Enthusiasm for the Position

Express your excitement for the opportunity to work in your desired nursing role.

Explain how this position aligns with your career goals and why you are passionate about joining the organization.

Discuss the unique aspects of the healthcare facility that appeal to you and how you believe you can make a positive impact.

End with a Strong Closing

Wrap up your cover letter by summarizing your qualifications and reiterating your enthusiasm for the position.

Thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration, and express your interest in the opportunity to interview.

You can also mention your availability for a follow-up conversation or provide any additional information the hiring manager may find helpful.

Tips for a Standout New Grad Nurse Cover Letter

Address the Hiring Manager by Name

Whenever possible, address your cover letter to a specific person.

This personal touch can help you stand out and show that you’ve taken the time to research the organization.

If you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, use resources like LinkedIn or the organization’s website to try and identify the appropriate contact.

Be Concise and Clear

Keep your cover letter concise and to the point.

Aim for one page in length and use clear, concise language to get your message across effectively. Avoid repetitive phrases and unnatural sentence structures.

This will make your cover letter easier to read and demonstrate your strong communication skills.

Use Action Verbs

Employ action verbs to describe your nursing experiences and achievements.

Words like “administered,” “collaborated,” and “assessed” can make your cover letter more engaging and impactful.

These verbs can help paint a vivid picture of your nursing abilities and create a dynamic narrative.

Proofread and Edit

A well-written cover letter, free of errors, demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail. Proofread and edit your cover letter several times before submitting it.

Ask a friend or mentor to review your letter for additional feedback and suggestions.

How to Format Your New Grad Nurse Cover Letter

Use a Professional Font and Layout

Choose a professional font, like Arial or Times New Roman, and use consistent formatting throughout your cover letter.

This includes margins, line spacing, and font size. A clean and organized layout will make your cover letter visually appealing and easy to read.

Include Contact Information

At the top of your cover letter, include your full name, address, phone number, and email address.

Make sure your contact information is accurate and up-to-date, as this is how the hiring manager will get in touch with you.

Use Proper Salutations and Closings

Begin your cover letter with a formal salutation, like “Dear Mr. Smith,” and end with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards.”

Example of a New Grad Nurse Cover Letter

Below is an example of a new nurse cover letter for an ICU position.

[Your Full Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]
[Your Phone Number]
[Your Email Address]

[Today’s Date]

[Recipient’s Full Name]
[Recipient’s Job Title]
[Healthcare Facility Name]
[Healthcare Facility Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]

Dear [Recipient’s Full Name],

I am excited to submit my application for the New Graduate ICU Nurse position at [Healthcare Facility Name]. As a recent graduate from [Your Nursing School] with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, I am eager to begin my nursing career in a challenging and dynamic environment like your ICU. My passion for providing high-quality patient care, combined with my strong academic background and clinical experiences, make me a perfect fit for this role.

During my clinical rotations, I had the opportunity to work in various hospital settings, including medical-surgical, pediatrics, and the emergency department. My experience in the emergency department allowed me to develop essential critical care skills such as rapid patient assessment, hemodynamic monitoring, and administering life-saving interventions.

My strong communication skills, adaptability, and ability to work well under pressure have consistently been praised by my clinical preceptors. I am confident that these qualities, combined with my passion for critical care nursing, will enable me to make a significant impact on the lives of my patients and the overall success of [Healthcare Facility Name]’s ICU.

I am truly excited about the opportunity to join the dedicated team of professionals at [Healthcare Facility Name] and contribute to the exceptional care provided to your ICU patients. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further and learn more about this exciting role.


[Your Full Name]

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Have You Read These Yet?

Frequently Asked Questions

Emphasize your nursing education, clinical experiences, and any additional certifications or relevant skills that make you a strong candidate for the position.

Aim for one page in length, as hiring managers typically prefer concise and focused cover letters.

Only include your GPA if it is particularly impressive or the job posting specifically requests it.

While you can use a similar structure for each cover letter, it’s essential to tailor your content to the specific job and organization. This demonstrates genuine interest and shows that you’ve done your research.

If you cannot find the hiring manager’s name, use a general salutation like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern.”

To make your cover letter stand out, use a strong opening, tailor your content to the specific job and organization, and showcase your enthusiasm for the position.

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