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Sample Cover Letter for ER Nurse
Health Callings is introducing a new feature on our website: sample cover letters. Check back often to find an example that suits your specific profession. This letter would be appropriate for an experienced, bi-lingual ER nurse.
About this letter
•If you don’t know a specific person to address in the letter, use “Dear Human Resources at XX Company.” Or, call the provider and ask for the name of the person accepting applications so you can personally address your letter.
•The words in boldface throughout the letter below are keywords that were used in the job description. Using the same keywords in the cover letter will get it through the organization’s applicant tracking software.
•The application includes a letter of recommendation from a nurse who supervised the applicant in the ER.
•Mentioning a location’s demographic diversity, and your skills in other languages, indicates your knowledge of the area and healthcare’s increasing focus on cultural competency.
•It’s contained on a single page.
•This letter is specifically written toward the job description found at the bottom of this page.
A template for your own cover letter
Human Resource Department
Dear Human Resources at XX Company,
This letter is in response to your job posting at HealthCallings.com for the position of ER nurse in South Florida.
I am a Florida-licensed RN with a BSN from [name of school], and an ACLS certification. I grew up in Broward County, and my 10 years of experience in ER nursing has been spent at several Florida hospitals, where in just one shift I’ve handled victims of multiple car accidents, twin brothers’ poisoning from a kitchen cleanser, a severe dog bite wound, a broken collarbone from a horseback riding accident, an emergency appendectomy – and several people ill with the flu who opted for ER treatment.
So I have honed the gamut of ER nursing skills from cleaning wounds and changing dressings, to evaluating patient care needs to better assist physicians.
That background also has given me a great deal of cultural competency in handling the patient diversity encountered in Florida and, in particular, the Hispanic population. I also am fluent in Spanish. That helps me be a good listener, instruct and educate patients and their families about treatments and procedures, and to coordinate their discharge planning – in their native language, if necessary.
I’ve enclosed a recommendation from a former supervisor who I worked with for five years at [name of facility]. You’ll note that he especially notes my ability to prioritize patients with little supervision during some highly stressful shifts.
I am available in [timeframe], and I look forward to sharing more of my experiences in caring for a diverse ER patient population.
Your name, with credentials
Your phone number
The Emergency Department RN provides direct nursing care in accordance with established policies, procedures and protocols of the healthcare organization. The tasks and responsibilities include: Assesses, plans and evaluates patient care needs; prioritizes patient care based on acuity level and available resources; carries out physician orders; assists physician during examination, treatment and procedures; administers prescribed medications, changes dressings, cleans wounds, monitors vital signs; serves as the primary coordinator of all disciplines for well-coordinated patient care; monitors, records and communicates patient condition as appropriate utilizing computerized documentation systems; instructs and educates patients and families; assesses and coordinates patient’s discharge planning needs with members of the healthcare team; provides age and culturally appropriate care; orients and mentors new staff members; follows standard precautions using personal protective equipment as required.
Qualifications: Current RN license, BLS Healthcare Provider certification, ACLS certification preferred, graduate of an accredited school of professional nursing, customer service abilities including effective listening skills, critical thinking skills, decisive judgment and the ability to work with minimal supervision in a fast paced environment; and ability to perform work that requires frequent standing, bending, reaching, squatting, kneeling, moving, lifting of patients and/or equipment up to 50 pounds.
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Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Cover Letter
You know the old saying about first impressions being lasting ones. That especially goes for cover letters. Whether your BSN is brand new or you’re a seasoned surgical floor nurse who has seen and done it all, your cover letter is as important as your resume. Here’s what to consider in the four sections of your letter.
Address the letter to a specific person. If you don’t know a specific name, call the facility or go online and search the staff directory. If you are replying to an ad or posting, use “Dear Human Resources Manager” or “Dear Mr./Ms. Nurse Recruiter.” Whatever you do, don’t use “To Whom It May Concern,”
ABC Medical Center
123 East St.
Dear Ms. Smith,
2. The introduction
Try to make a personal connection to get noticed. For instance, you might mention a conversation you had with Ms. Smith or Dr. Jones at a conference, who referred you or a common contact in a professional group. As a last resort, mention the specific ad you are answering. Managers and recruiters are busy people. “You only get a second to capture someone’s attention,” says Rae Ellen Douglas, senior search consultant for long-term care and home care at Kaye/Bassman International in Dallas.
Mary Smith, who I know through the [local chapter] of the American Nurses Association, suggested I contact you. She spoke highly of ABC Medical Center’s new venture into [the project that is drawing your interest]. I believe my accomplishments are suited to your effort.
I’m responding to the Aug. 31 posting at HealthCallings.com for an ER nurse.
3. The reason for writing
Link your accomplishments to the position. For example, certified nurse-midwife Sandie Mulcrone, a hospitalist in obstetrics triage at Advocate Christ Medical Center in a Chicago suburb, got her job after contacting the hospital director and nurse manager about her accomplishments in OB triage at another hospital. Mulcrone’s former employer had just been designated a magnet facility, and ACMC was seeking redesignation. So she knew that mentioning “magnet” and “model of care” in OB triage would get attention. After calling the director and nurse manager, Mulcrone mentioned those buzz words in an e-mail that served as a cover letter. She was also aware of projects that hospitals in her healthcare system were working on. How? She used the medical center’s Intranet to keep tabs.
Example from the University of Pennsylvania:
As the enclosed resume indicates, my clinical and research interests and expertise are in women’s healthcare. I have performed physical examinations and provided counseling for women in all age groups in clinic and inpatient settings, and I have experience in planning and presenting client education sessions on women’s health topics. In particular, I have developed patient education seminars on routine well-women care and on premenstrual syndrome, and I have helped numerous clients with PMS symptoms. Assisting women with fundamental health concerns is my passion, and my current and former supervisors can attest to my high professionalism and enthusiasm for my work.
4. The wrap-up
Keep it short and helpful. According to writing etiquette, indicate below your signature that your resume is enclosed.
Thank you for taking the time to review my resume. I may be reached at (515) 555-1212 or (provide your e-mail address). I look forward to hearing from you.
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4 Skills You Must Mention in Cover Letters
A well-written cover letter, accompanying your resume, is the first step towards that an interview with a potential employer. Your cover letter needs to get noticed. You need to stand out from the other candidates. Hiring managers say, again and again, it’s the cover letter that determines if a candidate gets invited to the party.
Your cover letter is not a mere summary of your resume. Big no-no. Instead, the cover letter is your chance (in a single page, two at most) to elaborate on your specific skills and experience as it relates to the potential employer and job. Remember this point: As it relates to the employer and job.
The changing healthcare environment calls for new skills
In today’s healthcare environment, medical centers, physician offices and supporting networks face challenges, due to societal changes and how the Affordable Care Act mandates delivery of quality care and electronic medical records. Show you’re smart and on top of the issues healthcare providers face, by making these key points in your cover letter:
1. Your cultural competency. In today’s diverse society, you’ve undoubtedly treated patients with ethnic, social, religious and language differences from your own. If the potential employer treats large numbers of minority patients, let them know you’ve provided culturally competent care to diverse patients in your former jobs. And definitely mention if you are bilingual, or currently taking classes to improve your linguistic skills and patient relationships. Haven’t started taking Spanish classes yet? Maybe now’s the time.
2. Your computer skills. The Affordable Care Act mandates electronic medical records, and if you have any specific IT skills an employer will be attracted to that. Nurses especially are being recognized as the key leaders in developing the infrastructure of effective health information technology. If you’ve recently advanced your knowledge of electronic health records through continuing education — or even at a class taught through your current employer — this is worth mentioning. Also point out how that training improved your job performance.
3. Your certifications that relate to today’s biggest health issues. Obesity, heart disease and diabetes are three of the most serious health challenges in America. If you’ve gained advanced training in treating any of these conditions, your potential employer will recognize the value of those skills. Give an example of how you provided quality care to a patient with diabetes or heart disease, and what the outcome was.
4. Your knowledge of the employer. Make it clear you’ve researched the company, and identify how your skills can help them maintain or exceed their patient satisfaction scores. Is the hospital recognized as a community leader in diabetes prevention? Suggest how you might further their mission in your hometown. You don’t need to go on-and-on about the company — just a sentence or two will show you’ve done your homework and how you can be a prized piece in their big puzzle.
It’s OK to drop a name or two — someone who already works for the employer and recommended you apply for the job. Just make sure that person’s reputation is impeccable.
What’s your letter say?
It’s possible not every cover letter will include all of these key points…that’s because each letter is customized for the specific position. But by providing contemporary examples of your experience that fit into the new healthcare realities, you’ll look like a sharp go-to person who brings the necessary skills to perform the job, and one who can easily adapt to change.