How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for Nursing School

Do you need to write a letter of recommendation for an applicant to a nursing school, but are unsure where to begin?

If you want to help a former student or employee get into the nursing school of their choice, you should write a compelling recommendation letter for them.

That means you should give it your best, as your letter is a key factor in the admission decision-making process.

In this article, I’ll walk you through each step necessary to produce an effective letter of recommendation.

When we’re done, you’ll feel confident enough to draft an effective letter of recommendation for a nursing school applicant. Even if you’ve not written one before.

What is a Letter of Recommendation?

A letter of recommendation for nursing school is a letter endorsing an applicant by highlighting his or her skills and qualifications. You write this to convince the admissions officer or recruiter that an applicant is a good fit.

Most nursing schools prefer a recommendation letter that is succinct, concise, and formal. So, when writing one, it is important to write in a clear and professional way. As this will simplify things for the reader, who may have a lot of letters to sort through.

Your letter is meant to give the school a third party perspective on the student mentioned in the recommendation letter.  Therefore, even though you’re meant to introduce yourself, a significant portion of your letter should concentrate on the student’s knowledge and abilities.

Parts of a Letter of Recommendation for Nursing School

Just like in every other formal letter, a recommendation letter for a nursing school should have the following parts:

Start With an Introduction

This is where you introduce yourself, state the purpose of the letter and your relationship with the applicant. Therefore, This is a very important part of the letter, as it is where the reader would determine the strength of the recommendation.

Your qualifications would prove if you’re in the best position to judge whether an applicant merits admission or not.

Therefore, while keeping it short is key, making sure it is convincing enough is even more crucial.

Talk About Your Personal Experience With the Applicant

Having stated your relationship with the applicant, it would be more authentic if you could briefly but clearly explain the details of your relationship.

This is where you talk about situations where you’ve seen the applicant demonstrate a character trait that places them as good candidates for admission.

Talk About Their Skills and Qualifications

This is the stage where you talk about what qualifies that applicant to be admitted into the nursing school.

Their skills, qualifications, and special characters should be mentioned here. You have to be as specific as possible here.

Definitely, all the applicant’s skills and qualifications will not be relevant here. Skills acquired while working in a non-health organization may not be needed in the recommendation letter.

Remember, it’s a professional letter, so there’s no need to give elaborate, lengthy descriptions here. Especially when you could achieve the same thing with just a few lines of words.

Highlight Their Skills With Examples

If there are specific instances where you’ve seen the applicant implement the skills mentioned above, this is where you can state that. It would, in fact, give more credibility to the skills and qualifications mentioned above.

Your letter of recommendation could help shed more light on their learning abilities. You can do this by highlighting situations where you’ve seen them show how fast they are in grabbing concepts. And how passionate they are about practicing what’s taught in class.

Describing situations like that could give them an edge in the admission selection process.

Conclude With a Convincing Recommendation

Having stated their skills and qualifications and why you think they are a good fit, this is where you authenticate the entire claim

You do this by strongly recommending them for admission, as you believe in their exceptional abilities.

You might also want to check out The Best 10 Nursing Schools in Chicago, IL

A Sample Recommendation Letter to Guide You

[Sender’s Name]



[Recipient’s Name]


[Subject Line]

Dear [to whom it may concern]

It gives me great pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for Marcus Peters, who has applied for admission to your school, ABC Nursing School.

I am Joshua GrayWood, Peters’ professor/supervisor at XYZ Nursing School or Hospital. I have known Peters for four years and without mincing words, I can tell you he’s one of the most dedicated students out there. His great compassion for others makes me sometimes wonder if he ever thinks a little more about himself.

During practical clinical sessions, Peters is always at the forefront of every activity. He pays great attention to details, as he’s always curious to know why certain things are done the way they are done.

His vast knowledge of medical terminology and nursing protocols earned him a lot of respect and admiration from his fellow students. That is obviously why most teachers enjoy teaching him, as he’s very easy to teach.

There was a particular scenario during a clinical practice where Peters carried out a complete clinical practical without any external contribution. The entire staff was amazed at his wealth of knowledge and clinical skills.

This is why I have no doubt he would be a great student to you. One that you will surely be proud of. So, I sincerely recommend him as a worthy candidate for your nursing school.

I would be glad to respond to any additional questions or information you may want.

Yours sincerely,


Joshua GrayWood.


XYZ Nursing School or Hospital.

To improve your writing skills, you might want to try one of these Top 20 educational games for English language students

Who Qualifies to Write a Letter of Recommendation for Nursing School Applicants?

When it comes to writing a letter of recommendation to formal institutions like nursing schools, only qualified people should do so.  

If the applicant is going for an undergraduate nursing program, then the most suitable people to write the recommendations are:

  • The applicant’s teachers from high school
  • The high school principal
  • Or any other person who can recommend the applicant’s academic performance. 

However, if the applicant is a Registered Nurse going for further studies, the recommendation letter should come from:

  • The former supervisor of the applicant (Could be a Medical Doctor (MD), or a more superior nurse)
  • A colleague
  • Professor or teacher from former nursing school
  • Or any other person who can attest to the candidate’s academic performance or work ethics. 

How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation for Nursing School

You can ask for letters of recommendation or reference in person, by email or through a phone call.

However, it is advisable you do so in person. This will afford you the opportunity to give to the writer any information they will need to write an effective recommendation letter.

Which Nursing School Programs Do Not Require Letters of Recommendation?

Here are the few nursing programs you can get into without a letter of recommendation:

Second Degree Accelerated BSN Program by The University of Villanova

Accelerated Career Entry (ACE) BSN Program by Drexel University

Basic BSN track by Oakland University

The 5 Easiest Nursing Schools to Get Into in the US

Some nursing schools have strict requirements for admission. This is mainly because of the high number of applications they receive yearly. However, there are other schools with more flexible requirements. But that doesn’t in any way affect the quality of education they give students. Here are the top 5 easiest nursing schools to get into in the US, with 100% acceptance rate:

1. Cox College, Springfield

2. The University of St Francis, Fort Wayne

3. Bethel University, Indiana

4. Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing and Health, Geneva

5. Joyce University of Nursing & Health Sciences

Wrapping it up on writing letters of recommendation for nursing school

Writing a letter of recommendation for a nursing school requires a lot of thought. You have to bear in mind that your letter could be the reason someone is granted admission to study nursing.

Nursing is a profession that requires one to be really selfless and compassionate. That means it’s not just about the person you’re recommending. It is more about those who will be left under his or her care in the future. 

Therefore, you have to be as honest as you can in your recommendation.

Frequently Asked Questions on Letters of Recommendation for Nursing School

How Long Should a Recommendation Letter Be?

A letter of recommendation could be between one and two pages. However, the length doesn’t matter much. What matters is its relevance.
This doesn’t mean you should write a recommendation letter that contains just a few lines. It has to be as detailed and clear as possible.

How Many Letters of Recommendation Should I Have for a Nursing School Application?

The number depends on the school you’re applying to. Most schools request between two and three, while some request up to four recommendation letters.

Do Colleges Really Care About Recommendation Letters?

Letters of recommendation are very important to admission officers. They are used to determining what your character and other important attributes are like.

Do Colleges Verify Recommendation Letters?

Reports show that few colleges verify the recommendation letters sent during admission applications. However, once you’ve been interviewed, the college might randomly pick up recommendation letters to verify their source.

Can Letters of Recommendation be from Family?

Getting letters of recommendation from family members is not completely ruled out by colleges. However, their credibility would be low compared to the ones from your supervisors or professors. 


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