How Do I Write a Letter of Recommendation for a Nursing Program?

Nursing recommendation letters are similar in many ways to other recommendation letters, but are distinguished by the types of strengths, skills and character traits highlighted. An admissions officer for a nursing program likely puts less emphasis on a candidate's hobbies or leisurely activities, so descriptions should relate directly to nursing and character traits that are important for nurses and nursing students.

  1. Understand the purpose

    Before writing, think about the purpose of the letter. Consider how formal the letter should be, and establish a proper tone for the letter. These letters should almost never have a conversational tone, but there are certainly different levels of formality. Unless you know the person reading the letter, address the recipient as, "To whom it may concern" in the greeting.

  2. Introduce the subject

    Tell the reader who you are recommending for which position or program. Then give a brief summation of the reasons you are recommending the person.

  3. List accomplishments and character traits

    Provide more details about what it is like to work or interact with the subject. List skills and other characteristics that pertain to the position. Avoid listing unrelated information, but remember that some personality traits or skills may be applicable, even if they are not explicitly related. Do not assume a non-nursing skill is not applicable to nursing; give it some thought.

  4. Predict the future

    Before concluding, write a paragraph that tells how you anticipate the subject's performance if accepted to the target program or position. For example: "I am confident that XX will be a perfect fit and has the skills to succeed in the YY position (or program)."

  5. Close and sign

    End the letter with a formal closing such as "Sincerely," or "Sincere thanks." If possible, be sure to include an actual signature, generally placed above a typed version of your name.