How to write a letter of reference for nursing

Updated March 23, 2017

Reference letters are often a requirement of open job positions as they allow the hiring committee to learn what former employers and working professionals think about a job applicant. Nurses working in your organisation who seek to advance either internally or externally may need a reference letter to apply for a specific job. If you're asked to do this it's important you learn how to write a letter of reference for nursing that will help them get a job offer.

Explain your relationship. Begin the reference letter by informing the reader how you know the applicant. Include how long you've known the person. A positive letter from a former employer is often given more consideration than a reference letter written by friends or family members.

Assess their strengths. Detail the strengths the applicant can bring to the nursing position. Get a copy of the job description from the applicant, and match your reference letter to the requirements listed in the job. Explain how the applicant would be a great fit for this specific position based on his personal characteristics.

Provide contact information. Include your contact information in the letter, as this allows the hiring organisation to get in touch with you if they have any questions. This can be beneficial if it comes down to two applicants for one spot.

Submit the letter in a timely manner. Ask the applicant for the due date for the letter when you agree to write it. Get the letter to the applicant prior to this date to ensure she is able to apply for the job before it closes. Make sure that you send it to the correct address if it must be sent by you rather than submitted with the application. Failing to get your reference letter to the right place by the deadline may result in the applicant being automatically eliminated from consideration.

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About the Author

Allison Dodge has been a writer since 2005, specializing in education, careers, health and travel. She has worked at educational institutions for more than 10 years. Dodge has a master's degree in education administration.