How To Write a Nursing Resignation Letter

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In the world of nursing, job change is a regular path to promotion or at least getting out of an unsatisfactory situation. However, for whatever reason you have decided to leave your nursing job, it’s essential to have a positive exit strategy. Your last impression of your current job can impact your career prospects for years to come.

What to Do Before Turning in Your Resignation Letter

When leaving a job, there is a good chance your place of employment might be unsuspecting of your departure. To mitigate some stress on their end and help with the transition process there are several steps you should take before handing in your resignation letter. These steps will help ensure that you leave your job on a positive note and in good standing with your previous employer.

Organize Your Work Space

Whether in a clinical or office environment, leave your work area in good shape for your successor. Tie up all loose ends and make your files easy to understand and locate. Also, as with any workplace exit, be sure to delete personal files and emails from your computer, along with your browsing history, cookies, and saved passwords. And make sure you have contact info for people you want to stay in touch with.

Get The Details

Check your contract with your hospital/clinic HR about proper resignation procedure; you may be required to provide a specific length of notice beyond the standard two weeks. Also, find out what employee benefits and salary you are entitled to when you leave, such as continuing health coverage, unused vacation, and sick pay, and rolling over 401K.

How to Write a Nursing Resignation Letter

Here’s where the KISS principle applies – keep it super simple. Along with your name and title, give plenty of notice and include the date your resignation will be in effect. If realistic, offer to help during the transition. 

But most importantly, avoid any negativity. Your resignation letter could be included in your employment file and shared with future employers. If you end up moving to a different team within the same hospital or in other medical corporation, this is even more important.

You don’t want any nastiness to get back at you down the road, so before venting any frustration, remember what Moms around the world have at least once told their children: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.

Nurse Resignation Letter Example

Letters of resignation are often a formality and they can typically be short and to the point. See the example below:

Your Name

 Your Address

 Your Contact Information

Date

Name

 Title

 Company Name

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

Please accept this letter as notification that I am leaving my *nursing position title* with*company name* on *last day*.

I was extremely grateful for this nursing opportunity and learned a lot during my time here. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help during this period of transition. 

Sincerely,

Your Signature

Ask For a Reference Letter

Before you leave the hospital, ask for a reference or letter of recommendation from your house supervisor, chief nursing officer, attending, department chief, etc… Such a reference documents your credentials for future prospective employers, whether they’re within the same organization or a new hospital or clinic.

Say Goodbye to Coworkers

Take time to send a farewell message to co-workers and attend any farewell gathering that might be planned for you. This sounds like a given but it’s important to do this, regardless of the relentless pace of most medical jobs, right until you clock-out for the last time. Give out contact info if you wish to stay in touch. 

 Even though you may never work with your coworkers again it is only beneficial to build a positive relationship with them. In the future, they could provide you with a recommendation or referral letter for another job. So it is important to take these extra steps in saying goodbye.

Take Time Out For You

Lastly, keep in mind that any job change can drain you of mental, physical, and emotional energy. Take time to recharge your batteries so you can be energetic and enthusiastic in your new position.

If you are thinking about leaving your job, you may want to consider other nursing employment options that have built-in end dates, so there is no pressure of writing a nursing resignation letter. Per diem nurse jobs offers you the flexibility to work shifts around your schedule. As a travel nurse, you typically are contracted to work a set amount of time and then move on to your next assignment elsewhere, all while traveling the country.

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Tera Rowland
Contributor Tera Rowland

Tera Rowland is the vice president of Soliant and has worked in the healthcare staffing industry for almost 20 years in public relations, social media, marketing and operations. In addition to Soliant, Tera worked at the Mayo Clinic as an internal communication manager and for the Children’s Miracle Network. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and the American Staffing Association. Also, Tera has served on the board of directors for the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum as part of the communication committee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations as well as a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of North Florida and has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare Traveler Magazine, and Scrubs Magazine. Make sure to read the rest of Tera's blogs!