Getting hired as a nurse can be competitive, with many qualified candidates applying for limited openings. While your resume summarizes your skills and experience, the supporting statement gives you an opportunity to expand on key details and make a compelling case for why you are the ideal candidate. In this comprehensive guide, learn how to craft an attention-grabbing supporting statement that will help your nursing job application stand out.
Understanding Supporting Statements
Also referred to as a personal statement, cover letter, or letter of intent, a supporting statement for nursing jobs accompanies your resume and explains why you want the job and how you are qualified. It allows you to highlight your suitability for the role in your own words.Supporting statements are typically one page in length and consist of 3-5 concise paragraphs.
They should be tailored to each specific nursing position you apply for rather than reused for multiple applications.An effective supporting statement should cover:
- Why you want to work for the healthcare organization or unit
- How your skills, values, and experience align with the job description and organization
- Examples that demonstrate you possess the required competencies
- What unique strengths you would bring to the nursing team
Spending time crafting a thoughtful supporting statement is worth the effort, as it can make the difference in whether your application gets noticed. Hiring managers use it to evaluate your communication abilities, motivation, and potential cultural fit.
Crafting an Impactful Opening Paragraph
Your opening paragraph needs to capture the hiring manager’s interest straight away. There are several approaches you can use:
Referencing the job description.
Mention the exact nursing position and specialty you are applying for. This shows you have carefully reviewed the job description.
I am writing to apply for the Registered Nurse position specializing in pediatric critical care at Children’s Hospital.
Lead with your nursing license type (RN, LPN/LVN), education level, certifications, and years of experience to showcase your qualifications.
As a licensed family nurse practitioner with over 5 years of experience and dual certification in adult-gerontology and psychiatric mental health, I am thrilled to apply for the Nurse Practitioner position in your Neurology Clinic.
Highlighting your passion.
Open with a sentence about why you are passionate about the patient population, clinical environment, or nursing specialty. This helps demonstrate cultural fit.
Providing compassionate end-of-life care to hospice patients and their families is my true passion in nursing.
Mentioning a connection.
If you have a contact at the organization or hospital, briefly state how you are connected to convey interest.
Jane Smith, Chief Nursing Officer at Community Hospital, suggested I contact you regarding the open ICU Nursing Supervisor role.
Using a relevant quote.
Consider incorporating an inspiring quote from a prominent nurse or healthcare leader that reflects values important to you.
As Florence Nightingale once said, “I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.” I live by those words as a nurse every day.
Describing a defining moment.
Share a 1-2 sentence powerful anecdote that sparked your interest in the specialty to build rapport with the reader.
Seeing the joy on a patient’s face after rehabilitation helped him walk again inspired me to pursue a career in physical therapy nursing.
Spotlighting an achievement.
If you have received an impressive award or recognition, mention it to highlight your capabilities.
As the 2024 recipient of the Magnet Nurse of the Year Award at my hospital, I have a proven track record of nursing excellence.
State the value you offer.
Demonstrate what makes you a strong candidate by clearly stating the key attributes you would bring to the organization.
As an RN with 10 years of medical-surgical experience and a passion for mentoring novice nurses, I am well-prepared to excel in the Nursing Professional Development Practitioner role.
Set yourself apart.
Mention a standout qualification, skill, or personality trait not evident from your resume alone that distinguishes you.
Fluent in Spanish after living abroad, I can easily communicate with and bridge cultural gaps to provide quality care for Hispanic and Latino patients.
The next section of your supporting statement should expand on what initially attracted you to the open nursing job. Consider including:Your professional interests. Share what piqued your interest in applying for the job and why it appeals to you. Show how the role aligns with your career goals in nursing.
As an operating room nurse passionate about the fast-paced surgical environment, I am eager to take on a leadership position as the OR Nurse Manager at your hospital.
Personalized praise for the organization. Let them know you researched the healthcare facility, hospital, or unit. Compliment a quality, achievement, or aspect of their mission that resonates with you.
I have followed University Health’s outstanding reputation over the past 5 years and regularly refer patients to your top-notch cancer center. The nursing research studies led by your team are truly best-in-class.
Patient population interests. For patient-facing nursing jobs, describe what draws you to caring for the particular patient group you would work with.
I am committed to supporting individuals battling substance abuse to turn their lives around. As a psychiatric nurse, I would welcome the chance to positively impact patients undergoing addiction treatment in your rehabilitation facility.
Unit environment interests. If applying for a hospital nursing job, explain what interests you about the workflow, technology, or team structure of the specific unit.
The state-of-the-art NICU at Children’s Hospital, with a cutting-edge electronic medical records system and collaborative patient rounding model, provides an optimal environment to grow as a neonatal critical care nurse.
Location or schedule interests. For candidates relocating or with scheduling needs, emphasize benefits related to placement or work arrangements that attracted you.
My husband’s job recently relocated to the Dallas metro area, so I am thrilled to discover a Pediatric Nurse opportunity at a well-regarded hospital system like Texas Children’s close to our new home.
Advancement opportunities. Share your career goals if applying for a nursing job you see as a stepping stone to progress professionally long-term.
I hope to gain broad medical-surgical experience as an RN at Tampa General Hospital that I can leverage to specialize eventually in oncology nursing and care coordination.
Existing professional relationships or connections. If you know someone at the healthcare organization or were referred by an employee, mention that relationship.
After connecting at a professional development conference last year, Kelly James, Chief Nursing Informatics Officer, encouraged me to consider open roles on your innovative EMR optimization team at Kaiser Permanente.
Matching Nursing Skills and Experience to the Role
The next section is your chance to connect the dots between your background and the nursing job’s requirements. Avoid simply relisting items already on your resume. Instead, spotlight 2-3 standout experiences showcasing capabilities needed for the position.
For each example you provide, follow the STAR method:
- Situation – Briefly explain the setting and your role
- Task – Describe a major duty or responsibility you held
- Action – Share what steps you personally took to complete tasks or resolve issues that arose
- Result – Quantify your accomplishments and positive outcomes achieved
When determining which credentials and nursing competencies to highlight, carefully compare the language used in the job description against your own background. Also emphasize any overlays with the organization’s mission and values.Here are examples of aligning background and skills to common nursing job requirements:
Patient care delivery experience
As an RN in the pediatric unit, I was responsible for the daily care of up to 10 young patients. When a medical emergency arose with a nonverbal autistic boy, I kept him calm using therapeutic communication techniques while swiftly administering the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge an obstruction. This quick reaction prevented a grave outcome, reflecting my competence managing stressful situations. Patient satisfaction scores consistently ranked in the 98th percentile under my care.
Healthcare technology skills
As the lead super user during my hospital’s transition from Meditech to Epic EMR, I rapidly learned system functionality to develop 25 tip sheets and train over 100 nurses on charting, eMARs, medication scanning, and order entry to boost user adoption rates to 90% within 6 weeks post-go-live. My informatics nurse manager commended these efforts, which were published internally as best practices for the healthcare system.
Leadership or management experience
While serving as the weekend charge nurse, I resolved a patient complaint escalated to the CNO regarding cold food with empathy and ownership. After analyzing root causes, I spearheaded a process improvement plan, collaborating cross-functionally with dietary and facilities staff to upgrade insulation and heating on meal carts. Patient satisfaction scores subsequently jumped from the 62nd to the 81st percentile over the next quarter.
Quality and safety track record
As patient safety chair for my unit-based council the previous year, I partnered with infection prevention to champion proper PPE technique through educational posters and competency checks. These initiatives led hand hygiene compliance rates to reach an all-time high of 98% by Q4, reducing HAIs hospital-wide 10% below the national benchmark. I received the DAISY Award for my efforts driving cultural transformation.
Previous specialty exposure
Through my nursing externship rotation, I directly cared for chemotherapy patients in the hematology/oncology clinic, thoroughly learning infusion protocols for various anti-neoplastics while closely monitoring for adverse reactions. Additionally, I educated newly diagnosed patients and families on treatment plans, effects and side effects using lay terminology and nonverbal cues to ease anxiety. My person-centered communication style earned praise from patients and staff alike.
Mentorship or teaching experience
As a nurse residency program preceptor for two years, I taught, coached, and evaluated 10 newly graduated nurses transitioning from academia to practice. Drawing from my own experience as a novice nurse, I developed an extensive orientation checklist covering unit workflows, documentation, equipment operation, and typical patient scenarios. My constructive feedback, paired with compassionate support through errors, boosted my preceptees’ confidence and competence. My current and former orientees still consult me as an informal mentor.
I actively maintain and enhance my professional competencies, recently completing an accredited course on proper NG tube insertion and care through ANA’s Center for Continuing Education. Additionally, I hold an MSN in Nursing Education, further cultivating my clinical instruction abilities. I have presented in-services on restraint alternatives and delirium prevention at my hospital. Pursuing lifelong learning enables me to provide higher quality, evidence-based nursing care.
As a native Spanish speaker, I served as an interpreter to break language barriers during appointments for Spanish-speaking families in my pediatric clinic, allowing them to make more informed healthcare decisions regarding well-child visits, vaccinations, and basic care instructions. My bilingual capabilities fostered better patient understanding and satisfaction.
Other relevant credentials
In addition to holding an active RN license and BSN degree, I obtained my Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) certification last year, validating mastery over a broad range of emergency and trauma care topics. I believe this expertise in critical thinking, assessment, triaging, wound management, and diagnostics would transfer well to a fast-paced Emergency Department RN position at your hospital.
Aligning Your Nursing Values
It is also important your supporting statement reflects how your nursing values and priorities align with those of the healthcare organization.First, thoroughly research their mission statement, philosophy of care, community initiatives, and culture to identify commonalities you share.
Next, describe 1-2 anecdotes or examples from your background showcasing how you embody these shared values in your nursing practice:Patient-centered care
One teenage boy with chronic illnesses resisted necessary treatments because medical experiences scared him. I built rapport through games and books, gaining insight on his fears, interests, and coping mechanisms. This mutually trusting relationship promoted his willingness to adhere to therapies, epitomizing my patient-centered, holistic care approach.
Health equity and community health
I volunteered delivering vaccines and medical supplies to underserved neighborhoods during a meningitis outbreak, providing culturally competent education to increase vaccination acceptance among hesitant immigrant groups. Helping vulnerable communities access healthcare and overcome barriers aligns with my vision to reduce disparities.
I continually reference current peer-reviewed journal articles and clinical practice guidelines when developing customized care plans for my patients, evaluating the scientific merit behind existing protocols before adopting standard nursing interventions. Advocating evidence-based best practices leads to optimal patient outcomes.
Compassion and caring
I build meaningful connections with my geriatric patients through active listening and small kindnesses like greeting each by name or keeping their favorite snacks on hand. Nurturing their spirits through genuine human interaction makes every day brighter, even during advanced illnesses. Spreading compassion is fundamental to my nursing ethos.
Continuous quality improvement
I believe even reliable processes can be enhanced. I engage in performance improvement to strengthen nursing workflows, volunteering to pilot the trial of new initiatives. My proactive participation in unit projects to optimize patient transfers, central line maintenance, and discharge education advanced quality of care.
Thorough research is the foundation of an effective supporting statement tailored to a specific nursing position. You must demonstrate solid understanding of the organisation and role through your statement.
Being as specific as possible confirms your genuine interest. It also enables you to shape your examples and achievements around the position’s requirements.Ensure you have a clear picture of elements such as:
- The organisation’s culture and values
- Challenges and opportunities currently facing the team
- Knowledge and skills essential to the post
- How your strengths can contribute to service objectives
Check the organisation’s website along with the job description to build this understanding.
Structuring Your Nursing Supporting Statement
With word counts often restricted, structure is key to developing an engaging nursing statement that flows logically. This ensures you make the most persuasive case for your suitability within the limits.Follow these steps when structuring your statement:
1. Engaging Opening
Your opening paragraph is crucial for immediately capturing attention. Avoid generic statements about why you want to be a nurse. Instead opt for an interesting anecdote, statistic or question to draw the reader in.
For example, you could refer to a recent news story or report reflecting challenges within that field of nursing. This demonstrates your awareness of the current landscape.
2. Nursing Motivation
The next section should expand on what motivates this application. Communicate your reasons for pursuing this area of nursing with sincerity.Discuss aspects of the specialism that align with your interests, values and aspirations. Referencing patient groups you’re passionate about working with adds authenticity.
3. Relevant Knowledge and Skills
This section forms the main body of your statement. Systematically outline your major strengths and achievements tailored to the role requirements.Group these into 2-3 paragraphs ordered by importance, h.
Nursing Supporting Statement Example
Now let’s explore a sample supporting statement showcasing the above structure and principles.
After reading the Royal Marsden’s latest annual report, I was excited to discover a new Children’s Unit is being developed. Having trained at an excellent paediatric placement, I would relish the opportunity to join the team establishing this specialist service. Seeing young patients develop in confidence and ability through compassionate nursing care is intensely rewarding.My passion for paediatric nursing stems from my previous hospital volunteer work. Assisting with recreational activities for children undergoing treatment sparked my interest in boosting mental wellbeing. Additionally, as a former special needs teaching assistant, I understand the importance of adapting communication approaches. My aim is to continue leveraging this experience to forge trusting nurse-patient relationships with children.Core capabilities I will bring to this role include advanced clinical skills such as venepuncture, nasogastric tube insertion and administering injections. During my training, I consistently received positive feedback on gently gaining paediatric patients’ cooperation for procedures while explaining things clearly. My dissertation research into distractions for needle phobia also reflects my dedication to developing my expertise. Additionally, I have proven ability de-escalating situations through conflict resolution training.In summary, this role appeals because of the considerable scope to enhance the hospital experience for young patients. My ambition to qualify as a children’s nurse while continually expanding my specialist knowledge equip me to positively impact outcomes. I look forward to applying my passion for building rapport and trust with patients to support the Royal Marsden’s excellent reputation.
This example hits all the key sections in a succinct and compelling manner. It quickly establishes the writer’s genuine interest and suitability for this children’s nursing position.
The writer uses active language, relevant examples and a professional tone throughout. Grouped paragraphs and brief yet informative sentences also aid scannability for the reader.
Further Supporting Statement Resources
To recap, an impactful nursing supporting statement requires:
- Demonstrating understanding of the organisation and role
- Conveying passion and motivation convincingly
- Systematically structuring relevant capabilities and accomplishments
- Using precise examples and data to support claims
- Writing concisely with excellent grammar and style
For more guidance, utilise these additional resources:
A tailored supporting statement is vital for showcasing your talents and disposition for nursing roles.
Follow the advice in this guide to produce an accurate, coherent and compelling statement.Conducting research, structuring content methodically and adopting best practice writing principles will help your application stand out.
Avoid common pitfalls like exaggeration and poor formatting.If you methodically apply the steps in this guide, you can create an exceptional supporting statement that secures you that all-important interview.So start drafting today and equip yourself to achieve your nursing career ambitions!
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