Professional Nurse Extern Cover Letter Examples for 2024

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Your nurse extern cover letter must quickly capture the employer's attention. Highlight your commitment to the nursing profession and your enthusiasm for gaining hands-on experience. Demonstrate your knowledge by mentioning specific skills that align with the job description. Be sure to express how your educational background has prepared you for this externship.

You've polished your resume and started applying for your dream nurse extern position, but then you hit a snag: they're asking for a cover letter. Writing an effective cover letter often feels daunting—it's tricky not to simply rehash your resume but instead highlight a proud professional moment that defines you. Your cover letter must be concise, formal yet personal, and steer clear of tired phrases, all within the limit of one page. Let us guide you through crafting a cover letter that stands out for all the right reasons.

Discover our guide on writing your nurse extern cover letter with tips and tricks on how to:

  • Introduce your profile to catch recruiters' attention;
  • Use professional templates and examples to make sure your nurse extern cover letter follows the best industry standards;
  • Settle on your most story-worthy achievement to shine a light on what makes your application unique;
  • Write a nurse extern cover letter, even when you lack professional experience.

Ready to start with the basics: upload your resume to Enhancv's AI, below, to see the nurse extern cover letter it would write for you.

Nurse Extern cover letter example


Fort Worth, Texas


Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing with great interest in the nursing extern position at your esteemed healthcare facility. In reviewing your commitment to patient-centered care, I recognized a shared value in prioritizing both immediate and long-term patient health outcomes, a principle that has consistently guided my educational and professional journey in nursing.

During my tenure as a Healthcare Volunteer Coordinator with Texas Health Resources, I spearheaded the organization of twelve health fair events. The strategic planning and promotion efforts of my team and I yielded a 30% increase in community engagement over a half-year period. My highlight achievement was introducing a streamlined volunteer feedback system, which effectively resolved 90% of volunteer grievances. This directly translated into a 25% boost in volunteer retention rates. The success of these initiatives underlines my capability to improve organizational operations while nurturing a culture of health education and advocacy.

I am eager to bring this proactive approach and dedication to your team, extending my track record of orchestrating programs that have a real impact on community health. I am confident that my blend of hands-on training, academic knowledge, and practical experience will be an asset to your department.

I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my background, skills, and certifications align with the goals of your nursing team. Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience to arrange an interview.



Nursing Student
What makes this cover letter good:

  • Emphasizing relevant experience: Highlighting the role as a Healthcare Volunteer Coordinator and the related achievements, such as increasing community engagement and volunteer retention rates, demonstrates applicable skills and a successful track record.
  • Aligning personal values with the organization: The applicant references a shared commitment to patient-centered care, thereby showing personal alignment with the facility's values, which can be crucial in healthcare roles.
  • Demonstrating impact: Citing specific outcomes, like the introduction of a feedback system and the resolution of volunteer grievances, provides concrete evidence of the candidate's ability to enact meaningful changes within an organization.

Designing your nurse extern cover letter: what is the best format

Let's start with the basics, your nurse extern cover letter should include your:

  • Header
  • Greeting
  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph
  • Closing statement
  • Signature (that's not a must)

Next, we'll move to the spacing of your nurse extern cover letter, and yes, it should be single-spaced (automatically formatted for you in our cover letter templates).

Don't go for a old-school font (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman), but instead, pick an ATS-favorite like Chivo, Volkhov, or Raleway, to stand out.

Our cover letter builder is also set up for you with the standard one-inch margin, all around the text.

Finally, ensure your nurse extern resume and cover letter are in the same font and are submitted in PDF (to keep the formatting in place).

P.S. The Applicant Tracker System (or ATS) won't be assessing your [job] cover letter, it's solely for the recruiters' eyes.

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The top sections on a nurse extern cover letter

  • Header: This section includes the nurse extern's contact information, the date, and the employer's contact details, ensuring that the recruiter knows who is applying and how to respond, setting a professional tone.
  • Greeting: A personalized greeting to the hiring manager by name shows attention to detail and that the nurse extern has taken the time to research the facility and demonstrates a genuine interest in being part of the team.
  • Introduction: This section should clearly state the position the nurse extern is applying for, briefly mention how they learned about the job opening, and express a strong interest in the position tied to a passion for the nursing profession.
  • Body: In this section, the nurse extern should articulate their relevant clinical experiences, skills, and any nursing-related coursework, highlighting how these elements make them a fitting candidate intimately familiar with the healthcare environment.
  • Closing: The closing should reiterate the applicant’s enthusiasm for the opportunity, invite the recruiter to review the enclosed resume, and include a statement about looking forward to discussing the externship in an interview, showing both courtesy and eagerness to engage further.
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Key qualities recruiters search for in a candidate’s cover letter

  • Clinical competence and technical skills: Demonstrates the ability to perform basic nursing duties and an understanding of medical equipment and procedures.
  • Eagerness to learn: Shows a strong commitment to expanding clinical knowledge and skills through hands-on experience.
  • Strong communication skills: Ability to effectively communicate with patients, families, and healthcare team members to provide quality care.
  • Compassion and empathy: Exhibits a genuine care for patients' well-being and the capacity to provide emotional support to patients and their families.
  • Team collaboration: Willing to work cooperatively with other healthcare professionals and contribute to a positive team environment.
  • Adaptability and resilience: Ability to handle high-pressure situations, adapt to various patient care settings, and bounce back from challenging experiences.

The nurse extern cover letter salutation: how to address hiring managers

After covering the format of your nurse extern cover letter, let's look at the salutation.

Back in the day, the cordial "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir/Madam", might have worked out fine.

But, nowadays, your cover letter should approach hiring managers on a more personal basis.

So, what to do about your cover letter salutation?

If you've messaged the recruiters and are on a first name basis or a more formal one, use the hiring manager's name in the greeting (e.g. "Dear Sophie," "Dear Ms. Givens", or "Dear Mr. Everett,").

Always aim to make the effort to find out the name of the hiring manager, who'd be assessing your application. Search on LinkedIn, double-check the advert on the corporate website, or message the brand on social media to find out more about the role.

If you can't find the hiring manager's name (and still want to sound professional), use "Dear HR Team,", "Dear Hiring Manager,", or the likes.

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List of salutations you can use

  • Dear Hiring Manager,
  • Dear [Department] Team,
  • Dear [Hospital or Clinic Name] Recruiter,
  • Esteemed Colleagues,
  • Dear Nurse [Last Name],
  • Dear [Mr./Ms./Dr.] [Last Name],

Using your nurse extern cover letter intro to show your dedication

We know just how difficult it is to start writing your nurse extern cover letter introduction.

There are so many great qualities you have as a professional, which one should you choose?

How about writing up to two sentences about your passion and commitment to the work you do or are set to do?

Try to describe exactly what you enjoy about the potential role.

A positive attitude from the get-go will help you stand out as a motivated nurse extern professional.

Intro Paragraph
With a deep respect for the legacy of comprehensive patient care at St. Jude’s Medical Center, I am eager to contribute my academic knowledge and collaborative spirit to your esteemed nursing team.

Storytelling in the middle (or body) of your nurse extern cover letter

You've got your whole resume sorted, detailing your achievements and skills. What else can you write in your nurse extern cover letter?

For starters, take the time to re-assess the job requirements and re-discover the most crucial skills and requirements (or keywords).

After making a list of these important keywords, look back on your experience to select just one of your past accomplishments.

Choose the achievement that is the most noteworthy, relevant to the role, and matches the required skills.

Use the next between three and six paragraphs to narrate how:

  • you've grown your skill set, thanks to your achievement;
  • you'd use the know-how you've gained in your new role;
  • your accomplishment could help your potential employers grow.

Remember that recruiters don't need a retelling of your whole resume, but want to find out what makes you, you.

Body Paragraph
During my final semester practicum, I identified a recurring error in medication charting that posed a potential risk to patient safety. By implementing a double-check system, I reduced medication errors by 40% in my unit. This experience honed my attention to detail and underscored the importance of systematic checks in patient care, aligning with the rigorous standards expected of a nurse extern at your esteemed institution.

A sincere and original way to end your nurse extern cover letter

When writing their nurse extern cover letter, candidates tend to use one of these phrases, "Sincerely yours" or "I look forward to hearing from you".

Both statements show good manners, but your cover letter should end in a more actionable manner.

Write about:

  • how you see yourself growing in the role/organization;
  • the benefits you would bring about (you'd impress even more with tangible metrics);
  • the next steps in the process (provide your availability for interviews).
Closing Paragraph
I am eager to contribute and learn through the nurse extern position. Please contact me to arrange an interview at your convenience.

What to write on your nurse extern cover letter, when you have zero experience

The best advice for candidates, writing their nurse extern cover letters with no experience, is this - be honest.

If you have no past professional roles in your portfolio, focus recruiters' attention on your strengths - like your unique, transferrable skill set (gained as a result of your whole life), backed up by one key achievement.

Or, maybe you dream big and have huge motivation to join the company. Use your nurse extern cover letter to describe your career ambition - that one that keeps you up at night, dreaming about your future.

Finally, always ensure you've answered why employers should hire precisely you and how your skills would benefit their organization.

Key takeaways

Turning your nurse extern cover letter into a success is all about staying authentic to yourself and relevant to the job:

  • Be creative with your nurse extern cover letter introduction by stating something you enjoy about the company (that is genuine) or about your skill set (to get the recruiters' interested);
  • Use single spacing and have a one-inch margin wrapping all around the content of your nurse extern cover letter;
  • Select just one past achievement from your career or life to tell a story of how you've obtained job-crucial skills and how they'd be beneficial to the role;
  • The finishing paragraph of your nurse extern cover letter doesn't necessarily have to be a signature but could be a promise of what you plan to achieve in the role;
  • Instead of focusing on your lack of experience, spotlight your transferable skills, one relevant achievement, and career dreams.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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