10 Sample Letters of Recommendation for Nurse Practitioner School – (Good & Bad Samples)

Written By: Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, nurse practitioner job growth is expected to increase by 45% between 2020 and 2030. That is good news for nurses who are applying to NP school. However, you will still want to maximize your chances of getting accepted into the school of your choice. One way to do this is to provide an impressive nurse practitioner letter of recommendation with your application. You may wisely be asking, “what is a good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school”? This article will give you the guidance needed to formulate an accomplished and inspiring recommendation letter. By detailing a list of Do’s and Don’ts, you will get some ideas about what schools look for in a good letter. In addition, I provide 10 good and bad sample letters to give you an idea an idea as to what makes a good or bad letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school.

What Exactly is a Nurse Practitioner Letter Of Recommendation?

A nurse practitioner letter of recommendation is a brief written communication utilized to help strengthen and support an application for nurse practitioner school. Most nurse practitioner schools require such a letter with the application. If they do not require this essential correspondence, it is recommended that you include one or more such letters for good measure.

A letter of recommendation for NP school should serve as an attribute to a nurse's skills, qualifications, and attitude regarding the nursing profession and personal work experience. This critical document is designed to “sell” the NP candidate by showcasing positive qualities and convincing the reader that the candidate is a top candidate for the school.


Who is Qualified to Write a Letter of Recommendation for Nurse Practitioner School?

Any professional who has excellent writing skills and is personally acquainted with the applicant in the nursing realm would be an ideal person to write a nurse practitioner letter of recommendation. Former nursing professors, nurse colleagues, administrators, and physicians would all be excellent prospects to ask for such a request.

The strongest letter of recommendation for NP School is from someone in the nursing field who has directly supervised you and can speak to your character along with work ethic and experience. In addition, this person should be one that you have an excellent relationship to ensure that they will convey how they perceive you to others in a positive light. A recommender with higher credentials than you have can make an impressive impact.

8 Reasons Why a Good Nurse Practitioner Letter of Recommendation Makes a Difference

You want to provide an exceptional nurse practitioner letter of recommendation because NP programs only accept the best of the best nurses. So, you should take whatever steps you can to strengthen your chances of getting accepted into the NP program of your choice.

Other reasons why a good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school is essential are:

1. Demonstrates Academic Ability-

If you ask a former nursing professor to write a nurse practitioner letter of recommendation, the letter can speak to your academic ability. Your future NP school will be interested to see if you can “cut it” in their advanced nursing program. Your past achievement as a student is an excellent place to start.

2. Highlights Personal Characteristics-

Your future professors will look for students with positive personal characteristics such as a good attitude, the ability to get along with colleagues, and a teamwork mentality.

3. Shows Work Ethic-

Nothing speaks better to a future employer or school as an exemplary work ethic. This virtue can include schoolwork, previous clinical rotations, and as a nurse.

4. Highlights Work Experience-

It is vital to have relevant work experience in the area of nursing that you want to specialize in as a nurse practitioner. Choosing an NP career specialty without any experience as a nurse in that specific area may disqualify you as a suitable candidate.

5. Attributes Positive or Unique Personal Characteristics-

You want to shine on your application and a well-prepared letter highlighting your positive attributes is a testament to your character. Using words like kind-hearted, responsible, mature, resilient, and capable are strong character words that will help to strengthen a good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school.

6. Helps You to Stand Out from Other Applicants-

In addition to having a spotless work record and high academic achievements, you want to find ways to stand out above the other applicants. Picking a recommender wisely can help your application jump to the top of the pile of NP candidates.

7. Gives the Reviewer a More Personal Glimpse of You-

Without a letter of recommendation, your future NP school may not get a complete picture of who you really are. NPs who were not at the top of their class in school or do not have much nursing experience may fall flat in the application process. However, with a well-written letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school, your personal strengths and unique attributes can showcase why you would make an excellent nurse practitioner and shine as a student in a master's in nursing program.

8. Gives a View of You Outside of Work-

Although NP programs are not particularly interested in what you do in your spare time, they do want to know if you are a well-rounded individual. An NP without any other interests or outside activities may prove overly intense and not well-received by colleagues and patients. NP schools particularly love to see a passion for volunteerism and activities that may lend themselves to the school or patients you may be working with.

6 Tips on How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation for Nurse Practitioner School

You would love to get into the best nurse practitioner program that you can. Therefore, you have painstakingly considered who you would like to write a good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school. Next, you need to ask them to write the letter. But what is the best way to go about requesting this favor?

To maximize your chances that your ideal recommender will agree to write your letter, it is best to do the following:

1. Ask in Person-

In-person communication is always better than e-mail or, worse, text messages. The more important the request, the better it is to talk in person. In-person communication involves both parties emotionally, and miscommunication is less likely to occur. Getting accepted into the NP program of choice is a high-stakes endeavor where you want to maximize your chances for success at every juncture.

2. Timing-

As with anything important, timing is everything. It is best to ask for a meeting with your potential recommender to provide an uninterrupted and stress-free time to discuss your request.

3. Be Specific-

Think about what you need to have included in the correspondence to the NP school. Articulate your needs for specific points along with due dates and where they should send the letter.

4. Help the Recommender-

Many times, non-educators may need some assistance in formatting a letter. For example, I asked 2 colleagues for a letter of recommendation for NP school, along with a professor. My professor was accustomed to writing such documents and had no trouble zipping off a letter of recommendation. My 2 colleagues were a different story. They were not familiar with the process and were somewhat uneasy about writing such a letter. I provided them with sample letters and a template. Once they knew how to write such a letter, they were more than happy to accommodate my request.

5. Finesse Your Request-

Before launching your request at your favorite physician, supervisor or professor, exchange a few pleasantries. Ask about their families or interests. Then let them know your dreams to become a nurse practitioner. Give them some background of the specialty area that you plan to pursue. At this point, articulate why you chose them to write a nurse practitioner letter of recommendation for you. Then be specific about what is necessary to include in the letter. Practice what you want to say ahead of time to have perfected your appeal for them to write a thoughtful and persuasive correspondence.

6. Follow-up with an E-mail-

An e-mail follow-up will reinforce what you had discussed, along with providing written details that can be used as points to remember when constructing your letter. Ensure that you include the due date and exact details of where to send the letter. Of course, add liberal thanks for accepting your request to write a nurse practitioner letter of recommendation.

What are the Do’s of a Good Nurse Practitioner Letter of Recommendation?

(Following the 18 Do’s below will help you secure a good Letter of Recommendation for Nurse Practitioner School.)

1. Ask the Right Professor, Colleague, Supervisor, or Physician-

Careful consideration should be given to deciding the best candidates to write a good recommendation letter for nurse practitioner school. Which classes did you excel in? Were there any instances where you stood out as a student? In these instances, the professors who taught you may make an excellent choice to request a letter. Do you have any nursing supervisors who are open to writing such correspondence? What about a physician that you have worked closely with on some complex cases? It is vital to choose someone who has more experience than you and has some positive shared nursing experience.

2. Make Sure the Writer Knows You Personally-

You should consider selecting someone who knows you very well. The words they choose in their letter need to paint an accurate and detailed picture of who you are as a nurse or student. If your writer expresses you or your work in general terms because they do not know you well, they may not illustrate your positive attributes to their fullest. It is often hard to get to develop a working relationship with a professor. It may behoove you to start to plan to get to know your instructors right off the bat by scheduling time to meet with them to discuss your classes, goals, and concerns. For this reason, it is a good idea to keep in regular contact with the nursing department leaders.

3. Well-written Letter-

When deciding who to select for your essential letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school, consideration should be given to the writer’s ability to construct a well-written correspondence. It is a pretty good bet that most professors can write an eloquent and grammatically correct letter. The same should hold true for the majority of physicians due to their extensive education. Nurse colleagues, in general, should possess adequate writing skills. However, on occasion, you can make the mistake of choosing a colleague who is not skilled with the written word. Therefore, it is wise to figure out ahead of time which of your candidates can articulate your attributes best via a well-constructed letter.

4. Be Specific in Your Request-

If you want your recommender to hit all of the necessary details for your all-important letter, you need to be very specific when discussing the required content with your writer. Just asking for a letter is not enough. Explain what school you are applying to and the specific NP specialty program. Detail what should be included in the letter. Make sure that you include the due date that you want them to submit the letter. Follow-up via e-mail with all essential details to provide them with a written guide when preparing your recommendation.

5. Offer Suggestions-

For those writers who may be hesitant or not accustomed to writing letters of recommendation, you can help them out. Ask them if they would like you to provide them with sample letters and/or a template. In addition, you can e-mail them a guide to writing letters of recommendation that may be helpful. Hopefully, they will not provide a cookie-cutter replica from a template but instead, use your suggestions as a springboard for their own ideas for the letter.

6. Give Your Writer Plenty of Time-

As soon as you receive your NP school application information, I recommend that you start to work on your letters of recommendation. A non-hurried letter is much more likely to be well thought out and written than one scribbled off last minute. In addition, your writer most likely is a very busy professional who may not have much free time to work on quality correspondence. Giving them ample time to think about and construct their entry increases your chances of receiving a quality nurse practitioner letter of recommendation. In addition, please give them a due date far in advance of the actual date required in case of unexpected delays or cancellations. You may need to fall back on “Plan B” for another writer on a rare occasion and then you will be thankful that you built in some extra time.

7. State Purpose of Letter in Introduction-

The purpose of a good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school should be simple and forthright. It is recommended that you start the letter by addressing a specific individual at your future school. You may need to call the school for specifics. If you do not have any luck, write To Whom It May Concern. Explain why you are writing this letter. An example is, “I am writing this letter on behalf of Jayne Doe RN, who is an applicant for Widener University Family Nurse Practitioner Program”.

8. Include Writers Relationship to You in the Introduction-

Your writer will need to include how they know you. A direct connection to the nursing profession is vital for this relationship. The writer should state their role in this relationship also. For example, I have had the pleasure of supervising Jayne Doe at Johnny Appleseed Hospital for the last 5 years. As the director of nursing, I have been able to observe Ms. Doe …”

10. Briefly Describe Your Character in the Introduction-

You will want your writer to give the reader a quick glimpse into your exemplary character right from the start of the letter. This is accomplished by the writer choosing 1 or 2 choice words to describe your most outstanding characteristics (which will be discussed further on in the body of the letter). Words like extremely capable, bright, nursing leader, dedicated, an asset, and promising all lend themselves to formulate a picture describing a future shining star applicant.

11. Body of Letter is to be 1-2 Paragraphs-

The body of the letter is the “meat” of the content. This is where the writer can list how great you are and why. One paragraph is acceptable, especially for nurses without a wealth of experience. However, 2 sections are preferred to make you stand out from the crowd on multiple levels. The paragraphs should be at least 3 sentences each and it does not hurt to name the nursing school you are applying to along with the specific program.

12. List Positive Characteristics in 1st Paragraph of Body of Letter-

Hopefully, your writer will be able to come up with a significant list of positive characteristics that describe you as a nurse as well as a person. However, if your writer comes up a bit short on adjectives describing your positive attributes, you may need to help them a bit. Although it may be challenging for some of us to discuss ourselves positively, I bet that there are numerous flattering and descriptive words to describe yourself favorably. Sometimes providing a few keywords to your writer is all they need to get going on your necessary letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school.

13. Provide Examples of Your Nursing Experience-

This 2nd paragraph of the body of your letter provides real-life examples of why you are such a great nurse candidate. For this reason, it is wise to choose a writer who knows you well and has worked with you for an extended time. Brief verbal glimpses of your work ethic, nurse-patient relationship, communication skills, academic achievements, and teamwork are all excellent illustrations to include. If leadership is one of your outstanding qualities, it should be included via example also. If your writer does not have enough content for 2 paragraphs for the body of the letter, they can incorporate the illustration into the 1st paragraph.

14. Include Examples of Times that You Went Above and Beyond Your Job Duties-

As nurses and students, we want to be recognized for our outstanding achievements, especially when we exceeded expectations. These examples are what make us stand out as exceptional candidates for nurse practitioner school. Extraordinary nurses and students make successful nurse practitioners so your future school will be especially interested in learning more about you as an achiever. You may want to prepare a list for your writer of extra programs or procedure guidelines that you developed, additional assignments that you picked up, awards received, special initiatives for patients or staff that you originated, or other coursework.

15. List Additional Skills-

A good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school should include all skills that you possess. Well-rounded nurses are the best candidates for NP school so encourage your writer to briefly list other skills that you may have beyond those involving nursing. If you have a family, work other jobs, are an excellent writer or possess astute business skills, all of these outside attributes will showcase how you can be a talented and resilient student. Some successful NPs have dual degrees such as business or marketing. Additional and unrelated college degrees and significant non-nursing career experience can also be added in this section to highlight another aspect of your varied background.

16. Conclusion-

The writer should summarize positive attributes in the last portion of a nurse practitioner letter of recommendation. The conclusion should consist of one last paragraph in the letter. Two-3 sentences should suffice. It is important to emphasize that you will be an excellent candidate for NP school and briefly state why. The writer will often express their belief that you will be highly successful and an asset to their program since you were such an extraordinary nurse or student. For a good letter of recommendation for NP school, this wrap-up should be succinct yet end on a strong note.

17. Send Your Letter in Well Before the Deadline-

You do not want to take any chances with your all-important letter of recommendation for NP school. Make sure that you have it sent in well before the deadline. I recommend that you send the letter in at least 2-3 weeks before the final due date, earlier if possible. You may have heard the saying, “the early bird gets the worm”. Well, it is the same as your letter. The reviewer will look favorably upon those who do not cut the deadline close. In addition, if you send it in early, the reviewer will have ample time to look over and appreciate your letter that required so much hard work.

18. Remember to Send Your Writer a Thank-You-

Don’t give your writer reason to question why they agreed to write your letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school. Once they have submitted the correspondence, follow it with a thoughtful and complimentary note thanking them for writing such a professional and flattering letter. They may appreciate being kept in the loop about how you made out with the application process. Now that they have “skin in the game”, most writers become your cheering section and are curious about the final results of both of your efforts to get into the NP program of your dreams.

What are the Don’ts of a Good Nurse Practitioner Letter of Recommendation?

(Avoiding the 18 Don’ts below will help you secure a good Letter of Recommendation for Nurse Practitioner School.)

1. Not Asking the Best Person to Write Your Letter-

As described above, careful consideration should be given regarding who to request a nurse practitioner letter of recommendation. This one crucial tip could differentiate between a bad and a good letter of recommendation for NP school. It may be simpler to just ask a few nurse friends for this favor but this avenue is generally not to your advantage. Encourage yourself to reach out to those who taught or supervised you and feel like you excelled under their tutelage. Remember, seek writers who are your superior but still share a positive history.

2. Your Writer Does Not Know You Well-

Along the same lines as listed in #1, the person writing the letter makes all the difference. If you ask someone to write your letter that does not know you very well, you may not receive a quality letter. If you want a glowing letter full of stories and examples of how great you are as a nurse and student, you need to have a history with the writer related to your academic or work achievement. Hopefully, you will have developed a relationship with a professor who can pick you out of the nursing student crowd and knows more about you than looking at your GPA. A clinical professor or advisor are good choices as they most likely know you better than a teacher from a group lecture.

3. Your Recommender Is Not a Good Writer-

Nothing looks worse than a letter full of grammatical errors. It would be best to select a recommender who is confident and fluent in the written English language. You will want a writer who knows how to formulate a business letter with a heading, an introduction, the recipient's address, a salutation, the body of a letter, a conclusion or wrap-up, and a signature line. They should include separate paragraphs to break up the content. Like I mentioned earlier, college professors are a sound choice for a good letter of recommendation for NP school due to their exceptional writing skills.

4. You Do Not Provide Important Details-

If you do not provide criteria and expectations for your letter, you cannot expect your writer to magically know how to write it to the specifications of the college. In addition, you want the letter tailored to you so you will need to fill your recommender in on your exact college and career plans such as which NP college and which NP program you are choosing. In addition, a little background regarding your previous work history and interests is helpful. It is recommended that you prepare a written list of exactly what you want to have included in your letter. This list should consist of the college name, address, and who to address the letter. It would be an excellent idea to forward your detailed resume to your writer for more information about you.

5. You Allow Your Writer to Flounder-

As stated previously, some recommenders may not feel confident formulating a good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school. If they were hesitant, it would not behoove you to pressure a colleague or other writer by telling them to “just write a letter of recommendation”. Your generalization and minimizing the importance of the letter will only make them feel as if they were floundering even more. By assisting them with the process and content, even the most reluctant candidate may be willing and able to write your letter without difficulty. By providing instructions and a template, in addition to talking your writer through the letter-writing steps, you will help them gain confidence in their writing ability. Sharing a few examples of letters of recommendation for nurse practitioner school is also helpful. If necessary, you may construct the letter yourself with input from the recommender, if they so choose.

6. Did Not Give Writer Enough Time-

Nothing is worse than feeling the pressure of a time crunch. Since you are asking for a favor, you do not want your candidate to feel ill at ease or reluctant for any reason related to your request. If your writer feels pressure due to a lack of time to prepare, it is your fault. You need to give your recommender plenty of time to think about, formulate ideas, and discuss any aspects of your schooling or letter, if necessary. The worst-case scenario would be if your writer refuses to write a letter, does to come through, or cancels last minute. It would be best if you build in extra time for the due date if any unforeseen problems crop up. Your future school may not take late entries and either way, it would look bad for you.

7. Forget to Include Purpose-

The reader of letters of recommendation often needs to screen applicants for multiple NP programs in one school. You want to be crystal clear about which program you are applying for at the school. The letter's purpose will introduce you and state that the writer is recommending you for the (type of) nursing program at their (named) institution. If the purpose is not included, the letter will leave the reader wondering.

8. Writer Did Not Include Relationship to You-

For some reason, many recommenders forget to link how they are connected to the applicant. Although this is a minor point to include in a letter of recommendation for NP school, it is essential. You should make sure that your writer states how they know you and their position in relation to you and your work or school. I have seen NP letters of recommendation that forget this vital point and it lends the reader to confusion and the need to surmise who they may be. Clarity will take the guessing game out of this detail.

9. Did Not Describe Your Character-

Describing your character is the meat of the content so without this element, your letter has no substance. Powerful, descriptive wording to describe your best attributes should be incorporated into the letter's body. Your writer might as well not write your correspondence if this aspect of the content is not included. A good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school always consists of at least one paragraph detailing the characteristics that make you an outstanding nurse who will be successful in NP school and beyond. If your writer needs help in this area, many articles on the web describe qualities that make a good nurse.

10. Not Providing Relevant Personal Examples-

Anyone can write a few flowery words describing positive personal characteristics. But including real-life examples of how you deal with everyday nursing situations can paint an accurate and descriptive picture that will catch the reader’s attention. Failure to correlate your attributes to stories that back up the writer’s words will leave the letter flat and make the reader wonder if you really are as wonderful as the letter states. If your writer needs a little push in this area, you can remind them of a few exceptional stories that are relevant to refresh their memory.

11. Too Short of a Letter-

Once, I saw a letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school that was literally one paragraph. To make it worse, it was typed in very small font so that it only took up a quarter of a page. Yikes! Letters that are too short don’t bode well for the candidate—the brevity screams of little relevant experience and not much good to say about the nurse. When requesting your recommendation, ask your candidate to write a one-to-2-page letter. That will clue them in as to what the expectation is regarding length.

12. Mediocre Terms-

Describing you in terms that do not highlight you as a top achiever may pull you down in the eyes of the reviewer. Terms like performs well and above average, although generally positive, don’t embody a student who will shine above the others. You don’t want to be seen as someone in the middle of the pack, per se. Occasionally, you may receive a recommendation that can be judged as mediocre. Asking to see your letter of recommendation prior to it being sent out, although slightly awkward, can help prevent a mediocre recommendation to go into the trash instead of to your school. However, you had better have a backup candidate ready in the wings if this happens to you.

13. Repeat of Your Resume-

Although you do want to give your recommender a copy of your resume as a guide, you do not want your letter just to reiterate the content of your resume. Your school will also have a copy of your resume so they don’t need to know what undergraduate school you attended, your GPA, or your employers' names. However, a good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school can incorporate parts of your resume. Areas listed on your resume, such as unique or relevant interests and charity work, can add dimension to your recommendation that will make you stand out.

14. Generic-

Your NP school program most likely receives hundreds of recommendations letters each year. They know what an original and quality letter should look like. Although it is acceptable to follow a letter of recommendation template as a guide, it does not look good if all of your letters were a cookie-cutter version of each other. Even though there is a basic format for a good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school, each of your letters should be unique. By seeking a variety of candidates, you most certainly should receive individualized letters.

15. Spacing Incorrect-

Writers that do not know how to set up a business letter may inadvertently write a recommendation that looks unprofessional. Does your writer know to use single spacing except for between paragraphs (then it is double spaced)? What about font size? Font should be 10-12 point. Also, it is best to stay away from fancy fonts and stick with the basic fonts such as New Times Roman and Calibri. One last point to remember is the margin spacing. Margins should be set 1 inch all the way around for a business letter.

16. Hand-written-

The days of hand-written formal correspondence are long gone. It may go without saying that your recommender will type up your nurse practitioner letter of recommendation but one never can be totally sure. When giving your writer a concise list of guidelines, it is best to include the wording “typewritten” correspondence. There is one area that should be hand-written, however. That is the signature of the recommender. The signature can be ink and pen on a copy of the typed letter or you can let your computer do an “electronic signature” for those who prefer.

17. Ended Letter Abruptly-

Don’t forget a conclusion that wraps up the letter. Without a conclusion, the letter will appear unfinished. In addition, the lack of a conclusion may make the letter too short compared to other submissions. This final wrap-up is an important component of every good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school. The writer should leave the reader on a high note illustrating why you are a perfect candidate for their program and school. Once again, if you ask the writer to allow you to read the letter prior to submission, you can check for this important end detail.

18. Did Not Include Credentials-

It is essential to consider writer credentialing when choosing someone to compose your letter—selecting a nurse, physician, or professor who is more highly educated and credentialed than you is a general rule of thumb to follow. A strong candidate is also in the field or specialty to which you are applying. After carefully selecting high-quality candidates for your nurse practitioner letter of recommendation, it would be a shame not to include their credentials, which gives them clout as a recommender.

What are Some Examples of Good Letters of Recommendation for Nurse Practitioner School?

By reviewing the following examples of 5 good recommendation letters for nurse practitioner school, you will find numerous ideas to use as a guide for your all-important letter for school. I know that I would have loved a little help on how to formulate such a correspondence when I applied to my MSN family nurse practitioner program. Hopefully, these examples will make your application process a little easier and help turn out a brilliant recommendation letter to impress.

Good Sample #1

Dear Dr. Campbell,

I am writing on behalf of Joan Rader, a brilliant nurse and student applicant for your adult-health nurse practitioner program. I have known Joan for four years as her clinical professor at John Hopkins University. I have had the pleasure of watching her develop into a very competent and outstanding RN. Joan is memorable and has made a positive impact on our nursing department, her graduating class, and those she has served as a nurse.

First, I unequivocally can say that Joan was one of the best all-around nursing students that has ever graced our school. Graduating at the top of her class, Joan was also a leader among her peers. Joan was the President of the Student Nurses Association and was active in all parts of nursing student life. Well-liked by her peers, professors, nurse preceptors and patients, Joan positively impacted wherever she was. Clinically, Joan was always well-prepared, calm, and competent while nursing her patients. Her bedside manner put her patients at ease and she was always thorough in their care. In addition, I have had the pleasure of working alongside Joan on occasion in the CCU where she is now employed and her caring, competent and thorough nursing skills also shine through in her job.

In her critical care rotation, I was especially impressed by Joan. Her intelligence and character were distinguishable above the rest of the students. In fact, it was hard to differentiate between the seasoned nurses and Joan as a student nurse. Joan’s nurse preceptors took me aside to give a glowing report on the expertise and professionalism she demonstrated. They were more than comfortable allowing her greater freedom in taking care of their critically ill patients due to her competency.

In addition to being an outstanding student and nurse, I have been fortunate to get to know Joan on a personal level. Her non-work life is a fantastic tribute to humanity. Joan’s parents died while she was a teenager and Joan has raised her 2 younger brothers on her own. Money was short and Joan has always worked a full-time job in addition to caring for her family and going to school full-time. I am beyond impressed with this young woman with the ability to juggle many responsibilities and do it well.

Due to her perseverance, leadership abilities, compassion, reliability and capable character, Joan has made me proud to be her professor, peer and friend. I believe without a shadow of a doubt that Joan will make a positive impact on your program and be a highly successful adult-health nurse practitioner. I would be happy to answer any questions or discuss Joan’s application and previous experience further. Feel free to reach out to me at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

John Sayers
John Sayers DNP, FAAN
Associate Professor
John Hopkins University School of Nursing

What Makes This Letter Good: In this sample letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school, the salutation was addressed directly to Dr. Campbell, which is preferred over “to whom it may concern”. Also, the letter was addressed to a formal name (Dr. Campbell) instead of his first name. Since this is a business letter, first names alone are not recommended. Mr., Mrs., and Dr. plus their last name are appropriate.

The body of the letter is 2 paragraphs which is preferred for a nurse practitioner letter of recommendation. The first paragraph should consist of general words describing your character, which this sample illustrated well. The 2nd paragraph gave a personalized example to justify the affirmation of character words listed in the 1st paragraph.

Notice that an extra paragraph was included in the body of this sample letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school. Although the body of a recommendation letter is generally 2 paragraphs, a 3rd can be added if there is a lot to say about the candidate. This is especially relevant if the candidate has an extensive background, additional skills, or unique or relevant outside attributes that will better describe positive character traits. In this particular instance, Joan juggles many responsibilities and overcomes hardship, both of which should impress her future school.

Next came the conclusion paragraph. In this final paragraph, the writer should briefly impress upon the reader why the candidate will make an excellent addition to their program. In his conclusion, John Sayers provided a short yet impressive list of characteristics for Joan. He rounded out his correspondence by again recommending Joan for the program, which is necessary to end the letter.

Finally, the writer included contact information. This piece can be added to the conclusion or the signature line. Contact for a phone number or e-mail legitimizes the letter.

A signature was added, which included a place to hand script a name, typed full name and credentials, professional title, and where employed. These are all essential elements in the signature of the writer.

Good Sample #2

Dear Dr. Simpson,

I am delighted to write a recommendation letter on behalf of Dana Albright RN to support her candidacy for the pediatric nurse practitioner program at Wilson University. Ms. Albright is an experienced and dedicated school nurse of 5 years who has a keen interest in pediatrics. Her additional inpatient pediatric background of 4 years has molded her into an expert in the area of child health, both inpatient and outpatient. As the school physician, I have worked closely with Dana and have been impressed by her drive, insight, and knowledge in all aspects as a nurse.

Dana is well-loved in her school by the staff, children, and parents. She has established a warm and caring rapport with her small charges. In addition, the parents know that they can rely on Dana to care for the day-to-day well-being of their children. Her diabetic patients are in good hands when Dana is on duty. At one school where Dana works, there are two classes for students with complex medical conditions such as seizure disorders, quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injury. Dana is adept at seizure care, tube feedings, and treatment planning for all medically intricate issues. Dana is also skilled in health teaching both in the classroom and clinic. In addition, Dana has kept her hand in direct patient care by working part-time in home health and the summers at a ventilator and diabetes camp.

Besides always being prepared and on-point, Dana goes above and beyond the normal duties of a school nurse. When Dana sees a need, she gets to work on a resolution. Dana has developed and administrated a considerable list of outstanding programs over the years to benefit her patients. Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, Dana has a drive for food, clothing, and gifts for the families in need in her community. In addition, if there are any similar needs during the year, the staff know that they can count on Dana to find a way to provide for the students. Some other programs Dana instituted were diabetes club, health club, girls club, first aid badges for boys scouts and an orientation program for new students. Dana can be counted on as a leader among her nurse colleagues for support, advice, new nurse training, and volunteer as a preceptor.

As the community’s beloved nurse, Dana will make an outstanding pediatric nurse practitioner. For all of the reasons above and many more, I highly recommend Ms. Albright as a candidate in your esteemed pediatric nurse practitioner program. I am certain that Dana will make a lasting impact as an NP once graduated. Please feel to discuss Ms. Albrigths qualifications further at xxx-xxx-xxx.

Kelly Slaughter
Kelly Slaughter D.O.
Physician Milton Area School District

What Makes This Letter Good: The above sample nurse practitioner letter of recommendation structurally follows the basic suggested outline for this type of letter: salutation, introduction, a body of the letter, example paragraph, conclusion and signature and contact information.

In addition, this letter of recommendation provides an excellent illustration of Dana's multifaceted abilities as a nurse. The description and examples offer the reader a vivid story pointing to many reasons why Ms. Albright would be an excellent candidate for their program.

Good Sample #3

Dear Dr. Groh,

I usually am not inclined to write letters of recommendation for nurses when requested. However, I gladly made an exception when Diane Good RN requested a letter for her application to Widener University in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. Diane has made such a positive impression as a nurse while employed at John Harris Hospital that I am honored to recommend her for your program. As a co-worker and supervising physician in Pediatrics, I have had the distinct pleasure of working alongside Diane for three years in the department of pediatric and adolescent psychiatry and med-surg unit. Diane is one of the most caring and dedicated nurses I have worked with, making each patient feel like they were her most important priority. The patients she has nursed in our facility have greatly benefited from having her as their nurse.

As a new nurse on our unit, Diane caught on very quickly to the routine and needs of the patients. Her knowledge base expanded at an impressive rate, making her a competent nurse for our unit right from the start. I am always assured that the patients will be well-cared for when Diane is on duty. With a calm and patient personality, Diane won over her colleagues and became a favorite among the staff as well as the patients. Over the years, I have seen Diane grow into a nurse leader with her peers and a skilled preceptor for new nurses and our CNAs.

One particular skill that stands out about Diane is her wiliness to go above and beyond what is expected in our unit. While caring for Covid patients in isolation, Diane really stepped up to the plate for both the patients and our staff. An adept writer and organizer, Diane took the lead in organizing and setting up our newly designated Covid unit. From establishing procedures and educating staff regarding isolation set -up and procedure to donning and doffing PPE, Diane drafted much of our protocol and Covid guidelines. Diane did much research to stay abreast of the ever-changing landscape during the early Covid pandemic to organize our staff and keep them safe as well as our patients.

In addition, Diane revealed her creativity and compassion for our young patients during their isolation on our unit. Diane made up fun booklets and computer programs to entertain the patients and keep boredom at bay. She also made a case for and recommended more windows for the negative pressure rooms. These windows could be used to entertain the children through the glass as well as more visibility for the staff to keep them safe. In addition, Diane organized birthday banners, celebrations, and other fun activities that could be seen through their window to help bolster the patient’s spirits.

Diane is an all-around genuine person and an extremely competent nurse. If you are looking for a steadfast and experienced NP candidate who will go the extra mile, you have found your person in Diane. I assure you that Diane will be a very successful nurse practitioner who makes her patients a priority. It is for these reasons, that I highly recommend Diane to your program. Please feel free to contact me at any time via my e-mail or office number, listed in my letterhead.

Brandt Singleton MD
Brandt Singleton MD
John Harris Hospital
Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine

What Makes This Letter Good: This sample letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school is a great example of a colleague candidate as a recommender. First off, the writer has higher credentials than that of Diane, making him a great candidate to write such a letter. Additionally, the recommender has worked with Diane for several years. A recommender should have an ongoing personal working relationship with the NP applicant.

In the body of the letter, numerous examples were provided to illustrate why Diane was an excellent and impressive nurse. He also listed some unique attributes and illustrations that made her stand out among her peers. Stories of Diane’s compassion, creativity, writing skills, and leadership during a stressful period for nurses will surely gain some attention from the reader. In addition, Dr. Singleton ends the correspondence with a few descriptive positive characteristics and a glowing wrap-up.

Good Sample #4

Dear Dr. Jamison.

With extreme pride and pleasure, I am writing this letter on behalf of Lisa Robinson, an applicant for the women’s health nurse practitioner program at Penn University. As Lisa’s nursing supervisor at Hershey Medical Center, I have had the opportunity to work alongside and supervise Lisa’s exemplary work as a nurse assistant manager in our women’s health outpatient unit for five years. During this time, Lisa has proven to be a bright and effective leader, warm and caring nurse, and innovator at our facility. Her dedication to the profession of nursing and to her staff has impressed me in every aspect.

As a nurse, Lisa is a shining star, making her patients comfortable and confident in their care due to her capable nursing skills and warm and effective communication. Additionally, when Lisa first came to our unit, our staff and department needed organization and team building. Lisa jumped right in and efficiently organized the unit, motivating and drawing the staff together to bring them to where they are today; a tight-knit unit that effectively works for the betterment of our patients. Lisa has been asked to join numerous hospital committees and present her innovative ideas professionally, all of which she gladly accepted. Besides being a leader, Lisa is a quick student. New skills such as egg retrieval for infertile couples were quickly learned and mastered when Lisa first came to our department. She is now an expert in this area, teaching others to do the same.

Lisa established an innovative and necessary patient-centered change; the nurse-to-nurse hand-off. This is when an outpatient clinic OB patient needs to be transferred via ambulance to the inpatient medical center due to an impending emergency. In the past, when one of the clinic's pregnant women or their babies were in distress and could not be handled outpatient, an ambulance was called to transfer the mother across the campus to inpatient labor and delivery. The hand-off was from the clinic to the EMTs who had no labor and delivery training. These gravely ill women and their babies rode alone to the hospital and the transfer was communicated from the unknowing EMTs to the inpatient nurse. Lisa felt it was safer to ride herself with these women to care for them in the ambulance and ensure there was a safe and efficient hand-off nurse to nurse in labor and delivery. After transfer, Lisa has often stayed with the laboring mother and assisted inpatient at the hospital to ensure an efficient, complete, and seamless transition. This has helped ease the mother's fears and also has prevented some grave outcomes for the babies.

Lisa will make an excellent nurse practitioner. She is sharp and driven while still making sure that those around her at work are well taken care of. For the reasons listed, I highly recommend Lisa for your NP program and know that she will make a difference in the area of women’s health wherever she may be employed. I will be happy to discuss Lisa’s qualifications further. My contact information is listed below.

Mary Miller RN
Mary Miller MSN, RN, RNC-OB
Office Phone xxx-xxx-xxxx
Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center
Women’s Health Department

What Makes This Letter Good: This sample letter of recommendation illustrates how Lisa has gone above and beyond the usual expectations for a nurse in her position. The letter flows as it should with the introduction highlighting the purpose of the letter and the relationship of the writer. A nursing supervisor is a good candidate for a recommendation letter as someone in this position is usually non-biased and has the authority to write such a correspondence. It is a good idea to have a variety of recommender types and an administrator can help add an influential viewpoint for your application.

Additionally, in this example letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school, the body of the letter sums up many of Lisa’s excellent leadership and nursing qualities and ends with a personalized example to support it. The conclusion finishes on a strong note to emphasize one last time why Lisa would be a good candidate for the NP program.

Good Sample #5

Dear Dean Brown,

As an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner at Los Andres University Hospital, I have had the distinct gratification of working with Jo Jo Kline RN for over 15 years in our nutrition and weight management department. Jo Jo is the brightest, most capable, and dedicated nurse I have ever worked with. In fact, she is the heart of our department and has basically trained all of the staff, NPs and doctors included. Today, I proudly recommend her for the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner program at the University of California.

It is no wonder that Jo Jo graduated at the top of her class in her BSN program. To sum up Jo Jo as a nurse, I would describe her as a dynamo, a go-getter, and extremely intelligent. If something needs to get done, Jo Jo will make it happen and do it well with an infectious laugh thrown in. She is an expert at health teaching for patients as well as for the staff. She knows her medical niche of weight loss, nutrition, gastrostomy tubes, and bariatric surgery better than anyone I have encountered. Jo Jo’s patients benefit from her vast knowledge and love her for it.

Los Andres University Hospital is a better institution due to Jo Jo Jo’s expertise and influence on the department. In fact, in appreciation, Jo Jo has received numerous accolades and rewards over the years for her nursing excellence, including the Excellence in Nursing Award and the Daisy Award. Jo Jo consistently ranks at the top of patient satisfaction surveys, making sure that her patients are always well-cared for and an integral part of their medical team.

Jo Jo is the total package as a nurse plus a whole lot more. She is smart, a leader and team player, patient-centered, and an achiever. As a nurse practitioner student, I unequivocally know that Jo Jo will be one of your most prized students and go on to be a highly successful adult-gerontology nurse practitioner. In fact, if I were in your place, I would make haste to accept Jo Jo’s application as you will not be sorry.

Shannon Briar CRNP
Shannon Briar CRNP
Office Phone xxx-xxx-xxxx
Los Andres University Hospital
Department of Metabolic Disorders

What Makes This Letter Good: First off, don’t you want to hire Jo Jo because of this nurse practitioner letter of recommendation? This sample letter of recommendation painted a very appealing picture of this nurse to illustrate why she would make a great candidate for the NP program at the University of California. Secondly, the letter was written by a colleague that was a nurse practitioner. The rule of thumb is to have a recommender with higher authority or better credentialed than you to give your application more credibility. Since Jo Jo was aspiring to become a nurse practitioner, a letter from an NP she has worked with is an excellent addition to her application.

Another way to improve a nurse practitioner letter of recommendation is to include additional skills or awards. Since Jo Jo has been recognized for her excellence on numerous occasions, it is valuable to point out her nursing awards.

What are Some Examples of Bad Letters of Recommendation for Nurse Practitioner School?

Now that you have seen 5 excellent examples illustrating what a good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school should look like, here I have provided 5 letters that are lacking and would not be deemed as an impressive letter. See if you can spot some missing essential elements and mistakes in these bad letters of recommendation to better understand how to formulate your best letter of recommendation. Hopefully, you will learn from these mistakes.

Bad Sample #1

To Whom It May Concern,

I am honored to write a recommendation letter for Janine Reisinger. She has applied to Georgetown University in the cardiology nurse practitioner program. As an RN on the cardiac unit at DC General Hospital, I have had the pleasure of working alongside Janine for many years. Janine is a competent and bright nurse who takes exceptional care of her patients on the unit.

Janine is one of the smartest nurses that I have ever worked with. She is knowledgeable about cardiac care and competent in all cardiac nursing skills. She works well with the physicians and nurses on our floor and is a team player. Janine is a real asset to our department and will be missed when she leaves to further her education and career.

I highly recommend Janine for your cardiac nurse practitioner program and know that she will prove to be a top-notch student and cardiac nurse practitioner.

Jane Doe
Jane Doe RN
Staff Nurse
DC General Hospital

What Makes This Letter Bad:

In this example, the writer started off the letter “to whom it may concern”. On occasion, this may be necessary but in general, the best salutation is to address the letter to whoever will be reading it personally. Finding the correct person may involve a phone call if it is not listed on the application instructions.

This particular letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school is generally kind of bland and does nothing to make the candidate for NP school stand out. If Janine is the smartest nurse that Jane has ever worked with, hopefully, more descriptive phrases and examples can go along with that statement. Besides not giving any examples to demonstrate Janine’s exceptional attributes, the letter is overall too short. A letter that is too brief leads the reader to the conclusion that there is not much nice to say about the candidate.

Lastly, choosing a peer with credentials the same or less than yours is not your strongest choice for a recommendation letter writer. A peer-to-peer relationship is not taboo but there may be better options to consider.

Bad Sample #2

Dear Susan,

Recently, Tristine Savon RN asked me to write a recommendation letter to Carson-Newman University to go with her application to the pediatric nurse practitioner program. I am happy to comply with her request as I highly respect and admire Tristine. As the senior attending nurse at Tennessee University Hospital, I felt fortunate to serve as Tristine’s preceptor and supervisor for the past year. Tristine is a quick-minded and dedicated nurse that is very popular among our staff and patients.

Fresh out of college, Tristine has brought our unit new life and innovative ideas. She has caught on to the skills necessary to care for our young patients competently. As her preceptor, she made my job easy as Tristine needed very little direction and literally no follow-up from me. Her wit and gregarious personality make the work environment a happier place for both staff and patients. Trisitne’s skills and personality are a perfect union for a pediatric nurse. She is kind, never complains, always comes across as upbeat, and is a very hard worker. Positive light and vibes seem to emanate from Tristine.

This year in particular has been a tough one on our unit. Due to the Covid pandemic, our staff has been stretched to the limits. Tristine has gone above and beyond to fill in staffing gaps, working whatever shifts and days were necessary to help keep the unit covered. Even when tired, Tristine had a small and kind word for each patient, making them feel special and always well cared for. Tristine could be counted on to buoy our staff’s flagging spirits and her attitude was infectious. I feel that Tristine’s influence during hard times has helped all of us get through the last year.

Jennifer Dougherty RN
Jennifer Dougherty MSN, RN
Tennessee University Hospital

What Makes This Letter Bad:

The writer starts off the salutation with a casual greeting of “Dear Susan”. First names alone are not acceptable for a letter of recommendation for NP school. The writer goes on to paint a flattering description of Tristine in the introduction paragraph.

Although overall, there are many great aspects about this letter, it can be improved by incorporating a few vital points. One crucial item that was left out of this sample letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school is what unit, floor, or specialty area did the writer and Susan worked in together. Since Tristine is applying for a pediatric nurse practitioner program, it is important to highlight her experience in pediatric nursing. Since she only has one year of experience as a nurse, her background needs to be relevant to the specialty area she plans to pursue as an NP.

Ms. Dougherty forgot one final chance to convince the reader that Tristine will be an excellent candidate for their program and that was in the missing conclusion.

Bad Sample #3

Dear Dr. Deacon,

I am pleased to recomend Leslie Bowman RN for your psychiatric nurse practitioner program at Williams Sonoma University. As a colleague at the Harrisonburg Psychiatric Hospital, I have worked with Leslie for 10 years. Her and I have worked well together taking care of our patients who are in need of mental health therapy and care. Leslie is one of my favorite nurses and I will be sad to see her leave if she goes back to college.

Leslie is a hard worker and at times, pretty funny. She seems to enjoy assisting her patients and they respond well to her as a nurse. Leslie went to college at Utica College for 4 years in 1999. She received her RN degree and then Leslie worked at a long-term care facility as a staff nurse for 5 years. Leslie then took a few business courses at a local community college and worked in the administration office at the long-term care facility as an interim business manager for 1 year. Leslie then took a job as a staff nurse at Harrisonburg Psychiatric Hospital. I also know Leslie on a personal basis from church and our local actors guild. Leslie sings in the church choir and has acted locally in numerous plays and musicals at a variety of venues. Leslie is a talented singer and actres as well as a trusted friend. I highly recommend Leslie for your program and feel that she will make a good psychiatric nurse practitioner. Feel free to contact me with any questions at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

John Eastman
John Eastman

What Makes This Letter Bad:

Spelling and punctuation errors and poor grammar make this sample letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school look sloppy and discredits the writer. Poor business letter structure is evident from the one long run-on paragraph. In addition, the writer failed to mention who he is and keeps the reader guessing about his role at the hospital and to Leslie.

Overall, the letter is pretty blah and does not impress upon the reader that Leslie is a high achieving and likely candidate for their program. The writer seemed just to reiterate what was on Leslie's resume, which is unnecessary. Although it sometimes behooves the candidate to have additional skills listed, the main focus should obviously be nursing experience and expertise. He did nothing to indicate why Leslie would be a successful MSN candidate or psychiatric nurse practitioner. In fact, the writer seems to build a more flattering picture of Leslie’s outside skills than her nursing attributes. I would say that this letter may land Leslie in the “No” pile for NP applicants.

Bad Sample #4

Dear Ms. Johnson,

When asked to write a letter of recommendation for Gwen Adams RN, I was more than happy to accommodate. Gwen is an applicant for the family nurse practitioner program at Berkley University. I have had the pleasure of working with Gwen as the lead physician in the adolescent primary care center at Las Vegas University Hospital for seven years.

As one of the supervising providers, I witnessed how much Gwen has flourished at our center. She is a leader among the staff and has taken on many managerial duties due to her exceptional pediatric and adolescent health knowledge, take-charge personality, and leadership skills. When on duty, Gwen is the charge nurse, both in title and actions. She demonstrates teamwork with the entire staff. Gwen can be seen helping wherever she is needed, no matter what the task. She is also not afraid to delegate work and does so in an efficient, fair, and thoughtful manner. Those who work with Gwen enjoy their job due to her positive energy and ability to create a team spirit whenever she is at work. In fact, some nurses and CNAs have specifically requested to be on the same shift as Gwen for this reason.

Gwen goes above and beyond her job description. If she sees a need, Gwen will remedy it. One such instance was our new employee training process. Gwen noted a deficiency in the current orientation method and written protocol. After receiving permission to do so, Gwen developed a training program and manual for new nurses and CNA’s. Gwen then took over the role as the new employee trainer, ensuring that all new employees were thoroughly oriented by the end of their onboarding period.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

Dr. Jessica Stater
Dr. Jessica Stater
Lead Physician
Las Vegas University Hospital

What Makes This Letter Bad:

Although this sample letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school does an excellent job of selling Gwen's positive aspects as a nurse, the writer ends the correspondence abruptly without wrapping up the conclusion. It is a shame that such a strong letter just fades off without a convincing wrap-up. Your nurse practitioner letter of recommendation should end on a high note with a few choice words about why you are an excellent choice for the program and include a send-off with the writers glowing endorsement of you once again.

In addition, Dr. Stater did not include any contact information for additional questions if needed. Although it is doubtful that the reader will contact a recommender when submitting a letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school, it is necessary to include an e-mail or phone number or both.

Bad Sample #5

Dear Mr. Lingle,

A student rarely stands out among others in such a distinguished manner as Jill Sinai. As Jill’s professor for Anatomy and Physiology I and II and her advisor, it is with great pride that I recommend Jill for the family nurse practitioner program at Widener University. Jill is one of the most caring and thorough nursing students I have advised in my many years at Widener. She is an exacting student who takes a keen interest in the well-fare of her fellow students and those she touches.

As a student in my classes, Jill was always a top performer. Through her written and oral participation in class, it was evident that Jill was a bright, conscientious student. Jill had also volunteered to be a lab assistant in my Anatomy and Physiology I class in her junior year. She provided exceptional assistance to our freshman students showcasing her care for others, teaching abilities, and advanced knowledge. As Jill’s advisor, I have gotten to know her on a personal level. Jill shows dedication to the field of nursing by her thoughtful choices of advanced nursing classes and outside interests.

Jill is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society, vice-president of the Student Nurses Association, and works on weekends in a nearby nursing home. This past summer, Jill volunteered and participated on a medical mission trip with her church to Haiti.

Besides being an exceptional student, Jill is a well-rounded, competent and caring person who has all of the qualities necessary to be a successful nurse practitioner. For this reason, I highly recommend Jill for your family nurse practitioner program. I can guarantee that she will make Widener University proud. If you need to reach me for questions, I am available from 9-5 daily at xxx-xxx-xxxx or feel free to e-mail me at mrocker@xxxxx.xxx.

Mark Rocker PhD
Mark Rocker, PhD
Associate Professor
Widener University

What Makes This Letter Bad:

Overall, this sample letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school is pretty good. The one crucial missing aspect is personal examples illustrating why Jill was one of the professor's most capable students. He had the opportunity to provide such examples on several points, such as her medical mission experience, work in the nursing home, or even as a lab assistant. Without stories to help back up his kind words, the letter does not feature some of Jill’s most outstanding attributes.

What Next After You Have Secured a Good Letter of Recommendation for Nurse Practitioner School?

Remember to send a thank-you note to those who were kind enough to write you a letter of recommendation for NP school.

Once your letters are submitted, I advise that you check with your school regarding the application process and timelines following your application submission. Most schools, such as Vanderbilt School of Nursing, have specific guidelines outlining the entire procedure for applying to an NP program.

The amount of time you need to wait to hear back after submitting your application and letter of recommendation for NP school varies widely according to each school’s timetable. However, if you have made “the cut” to the next level in the application process, be aware that most NP schools request a personal interview.

If you are awarded an interview, consider it an honor to be one of the chosen few to make it this far. You are on the right path to nurse practitioner school. Of note, the nursing interview is not to be taken lightly. You will need to be prepared for rigorous questioning.

But for now, take one step at a time. Your nurse practitioner letter of recommendation is one of the first steps towards successfully achieving your goal to become an NP.

My Final Thoughts

If you have made it to the end of this article, congratulations! You should now have your answer to the important question of “what is a good letter of recommendation for nurse practitioner school”? With the right tools for your application and a lot of drive, you are on your way to the NP program of your dreams. I hope that I have assisted in your goal to become an NP by providing 10 bad and good sample letters of recommendation for nurse practitioner school. I wish you the best in your pursuit of a rewarding profession as a nurse practitioner.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Our Expert

1. How Many Letters Of Recommendation Do I Need For NP School?

In general, it is recommended that you submit 3 letters of recommendation for NP school. However, many schools have specific guidelines about the recommendation letter process, including who should write the letter. It is crucial that you follow your school's criteria for recommendation letters carefully.

2. How Should I Request My NP Letter Of Recommendation?

As outlined previously in this article, you need to choose a good time to discuss your request personally. Scheduling an appointment with your candidate is optimum.

3. How Long Should My NP Letter Of Recommendation Be?

Most NP letters of recommendation are one full page. Two pages are the maximum recommended.

4. Does My Letter Of Recommendation Need To Be On Letterhead?

Your letter of recommendation may be on letterhead but it is not required. However, it is necessary to include contact information for the writer somewhere in the letter.

5. Who Needs To Sign My NP Letter Of Recommendation?

The writer is the one to sign the letter of recommendation. Once again, check with your school for their writing requirements for submissions.

6. How Do I Follow-Up With My Recommender?

An e-mail or handwritten letter of thanks is always appreciated and is considered proper etiquette after enacting your request.

7. How Do I Thank My Recommender?

A simple thank-you note is sufficient to thank your recommender.

8. Can I Read My NP Letter Of Recommendation?

As much as we want to read your letters of recommendation, they are often sent directly to the admissions department. In the US, applicants can read their letters of recommendation but only after acceptance to the program.

Most professors customarily do not allow their students to read the recommendation letters. However, other writers may want you to read their submission before sending it in for accuracy.

9. How Do I Submit My Letter Of Recommendation?

Your college of choice will specifically outline the directives to submit your NP recommendation letter. Typically, the writer will send it directly to the college.

10. Can I Use The Same Letter Of Recommendation For Different NP Schools?

You can use the basic contents of the same letter of recommendation for different NP schools. However, the heading and introduction paragraph may need to be altered to individualize the name of the university and recipient.

11. Can My NP Letter Of Recommendation Ever Expire?

There is no rule about what is considered to be “too old” for an NP school recommendation letter. However, a new correspondence is definitely preferred. One way to utilize old letters is to ask the writer to “refresh” their previous letter. That way, they can update any essential areas such as the date and recipient and add any new thoughts that may bolster your application.

12. Can I Request My Friend For An NP Letter Of Recommendation?

A good letter of recommendation for NP school can be written by a friend if the friend fits the criteria for a suitable candidate as a recommender. Check with your school's guidelines for who can write a recommendation letter along with the tips given in this article to see if your friend fits the standard.

13. Can Family Members Give Letters Of Recommendation For NP School?

Typically, a family member should not write a letter of recommendation for NP school. The exception will be if the family member is relevant to your nursing career, such as a medical colleague or professor you took classes from. It may be wise to leave out that they are a relative and instead just stick with their professional association to you.

14. Are There Any Online Apps Or Tools That Help Writing A Good NP Letter Of Recommendation Easy?

As with most any form of correspondence, there are templates to help the writer. For letters of recommendation, there are numerous templates to choose from. Some are free but many require a fee. Most templates are not exclusive to nurse practitioner school applicants. A general letter of recommendation for a college template may suffice. Even better, choose google templates designed for graduate school, doctors, nurses, or physician assistants.

15. What If I Can’t Get An NP Letter Of Recommendation, Can I Write It On My Own?

It is not recommended that you write your own letter of recommendation for NP school. However, if you cannot get anyone to accept your request, it may help if you pen a letter yourself. I am not saying that you should mail a letter signed by you. But, if you have a trusted friend or colleague, perhaps they will agree to co-write a recommendation with you and agree to sign their name. If they are uncomfortable or don’t have time to write a letter, you can draft one yourself and have them look it over, make any additions, etc. and then they can just sign their name. This option is not ideal but may be used if no other choice.

Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN
Donna Reese is a freelance nurse health content writer with 37 years nursing experience. She has worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in her local community clinic and as an RN in home health, rehabilitation, hospital, and school nursing.