male nurse in scrubs typing on a computer in a home office while working on a new grad nurse cover letter
Resume Building

What to Put on a New Grad Nurse Cover Letter

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When you’re a new grad nurse looking for your first job, you might be worried that your resume isn’t going to look impressive to a hiring manager. Much of your experience is likely from what you’ve learned during clinical rotations – and that’s okay! To accompany your resume, consider writing a well-crafted cover letter or a narrative, which can play a pivotal role in landing your dream job as a new grad nurse.

Your cover letter not only serves as your introduction to potential employers, but it can also offer a glimpse of your passion for the profession, your skills and strengths, and detail why you’re the ideal candidate for a nurse position – all things hiring managers want to hear from new nurses. In this guide, we’ll go over the essential components of a standout new grad nurse cover letter, giving you tools to make a lasting impression in a few words.

Your Guide to Writing a New Grad Nurse Cover Letter

Introduction

Your cover letter should begin with a strong and engaging introduction that grabs the hiring manager or recruiter’s attention from the start. Personalize your letter by addressing the person by name, if possible. In your opening paragraph, give your name, express your enthusiasm for the nursing profession and the role, and consider mentioning how you learned about the job opening (especially if you learned about it through a referral or networking event).

Education and Training

The next section of your cover letter should highlight your education, clinical training, and any relevant certifications or licenses you are in the process of getting. Emphasize key accomplishments or experiences during your nursing program, such as your favorite clinical rotations, specialized coursework, or roles within student organizations. This is your chance to show that you’re prepared to step in as a new nurse grad and use your academic background to its full force as you learn quickly on the unit floor. You can also highlight any memberships you have for nursing organizations, which will show your enthusiasm for continued growth in the industry.

Clinical Experience and Skills

If you have any prior healthcare experience, such as internships, externships, or part-time roles during your nursing program, highlight these opportunities in your cover letter. Describe specific clinical responsibilities, patient interactions, and skills gained during these experiences, like learning how to empathetically communicate to patients and their families, collaborating with interdisciplinary healthcare teams, or strengthening your critical thinking skills in fast-paced environments. Highlight how these experiences have prepared you for a smooth transition into a full-time nursing role.

Passion and Values

In addition to clinical and technical skills, healthcare facilities are often looking for candidates who align with their values and demonstrate a genuine passion for nursing. Find the organization’s values and mission online and use part of your cover letter to describe how you align with them. It’s important to note that nurse managers want to hear a narrative throughout your cover letter as you highlight what you experienced in your clinical rotations or through a patient interaction that has had an impact on you. Share any experiences or stories that illustrate your passion for nursing, your motivation to make a positive impact in healthcare, or your dedication to upholding the organization’s values. Examples that nurse managers want to see might include:

  • An experience that validated your choice to be a nurse,
  • A time you went above and beyond for a patient and how it changed the patient’s experience,
  • Or a time you found a safety concern and how you corrected it.

You might even go as far as highlighting any of the organization’s unique programs, patient populations, or initiatives that resonate with your own goals and values. This section of your cover letter will show that you’re invested in the opportunity and the facility’s mission, but most importantly, that you are passionate about your decision to become a nurse and contribute to patient-centered care.

Closing

In your closing paragraph, reiterate your interest in the position and express your gratitude for the opportunity to be considered before pointing the reader to your attached resume. End with a professional and courteous sign-off, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your name, email address, and phone number.

Get Ready to Write

Crafting a compelling new grad nurse cover letter requires careful attention to detail, a focus on your strengths and experiences, and a genuine passion for healthcare. By following these guidelines and customizing your cover letter for each job, you’ll increase your chances of standing out to potential employers and securing interviews as you start your professional journey. 

Now, open up a blank document on your computer and get to writing your new grad nurse cover letter. You’ve got this! If you’d like additional help, work with a Nucleus Healthcare recruiter to make your new grad nurse cover letter the best it can be.

Example New Grad Nurse Cover Letter

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

My name is [your name], and I’m writing to express my genuine enthusiasm for the new grad nurse position at [hospital name]. As a recent graduate from [nursing program name] with a deep passion for providing exceptional patient care, I am eager to contribute my skills and knowledge to your team as I prepare to gain my RN license in [month and year].

During my nursing education at [university/school name], I honed my clinical skills through rotations in [short list of clinical settings]. I successfully completed coursework in [list 2-4 courses], earning accolades for my ability to collaborate effectively within interdisciplinary teams.

My hands-on experience as an intern at [healthcare facility name] provided me with invaluable exposure to acute care environments, where I gained and sharpened skills in medication administration, wound care, and patient education. I also collaborated closely with nurses and physicians to ensure timely and comprehensive care plans for diverse patient populations.

My passion for nursing stems from my desire to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. One of the most rewarding experiences during my clinical rotations was [briefly describe experience].

I am particularly drawn to [hospital name] for its reputation for excellence in [name one to two things that stand out to you]. I am inspired by your focus on patient-centered practices and healthcare innovation, and I’m eager to contribute my skills and enthusiasm to your team.

Thank you for considering my application for the [name of position] at [hospital name]. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experiences align with your team’s goals in more detail. Please see my attached resume for your review and let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Email Address]

[Your Phone Number]

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