How to Write a Nursing Resignation Letter (With Examples)

Updated 26 May 2023

If you're a nurse looking to change jobs, it may be necessary for you to write a formal resignation letter to your current employer. A well-written letter can help ensure you maintain a positive relationship with your them. Understanding how to write and format this type of letter can be helpful when it's time to resign. In this article, we describe what a nursing resignation letter is, list a step-by-step guide for writing your letter, outline tips for different formats and provide a helpful letter and email example.

What is a nursing resignation letter?

A nursing resignation letter is a formal letter that lets your employer know you're leaving the organisation. In most cases, you give your letter to your manager or HR representative after you've spoken to them to inform them of your intention to leave. A warm resignation letter that thanks your employer for their support during your employment can help to maintain a positive relationship with former colleagues, managers and senior leaders. Good relationships can make it easier to work there again if you wish to return and help with references when looking for future employment.

Related: How to Become a Registered Nurse (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to write a resignation letter

Consider following these steps when writing your resignation letter:

1. Start with your contact information

Like any formal business letter, it's important to start with your contact details. Firstly, consider using your document's header and include your name, title and contact information. Also, write the date of the letter and your employer's contact details. Decide who to address the letter to, and include their full name, job title and contact details.

Related: Business Letter Format: Template, Example and Tips

2. Use a formal salutation

Even if you're on casual terms with your manager or HR representative, it can be important to use a formal greeting in your letter of resignation. For example, Dear Mr Smith or Dear Andrew. Sometimes, if you're a senior nurse at a large hospital, for example, it may be necessary to address your letter to your team or department.

Related: What is a Letter Salutation? (Definition and Examples)

3. Include a statement of resignation

Your statement of resignation indicates your last day of work at the organisation. It's essential to state that you're writing to submit your resignation and remember to include your job title. Check your employment contract to determine how much notice to provide. Many organisations can ask for between two and four weeks, depending on the role. You may wish to offer more notice to help give your employer as much time as possible to find a suitable replacement. You can include details if you require any special provisions in your final weeks at work, such as reduced hours.

Related: How Long a Notice Period Should You Give

4. Incorporate a statement of gratitude

It's optional to include a statement of gratitude as part of your resignation letter to say thank you to your employer. You may wish to thank your manager or the organisation for any training or professional development they offered you and mention any opportunities for growth you had during your time there. This can be a helpful way of ending your employment on a positive note.

5. Provide reasons for leaving

It may be appropriate to mention your reasons for leaving. If you decide to do so, provide a concise explanation to your employer, making only positive comments about your colleagues and work environment. For example, suppose you're moving from a public to a private hospital or into an area of specialisation, such as oncology, you may wish to mention this in your letter and thank your employer for the development opportunities that were available to help you progress in your career.

6. Offer to assist with the transition

Another optional inclusion is to offer to help with the transition period. For example, you may wish to specify your willingness to help with training, produce handover notes or even assist in the recruitment process if appropriate. A general statement saying you're happy to help in whatever way necessary to aid the transition can be worthwhile, so that your manager understands your commitment and support.

Related: Strategies for Succession Planning (7 Steps to Follow)

7. Close with a formal sign-off

Using a formal business sign-off, such as Sincerely or Thank you, at the end of your letter makes a positive impression. Write your full name and job title. You can also include a contact number, which may be helpful if you send the letter to HR and they wish to contact you to clarify any details.

Related: How to End a Letter

Tips for writing your resignation

Depending on your organisation's policy, you may send your resignation in the form of a letter or email. Here are some tips for both formats:

Tips for your resignation letter

Here are some tips to consider when writing your letter:

  • Keep it to less than one page. Your resignation letter is ideally only one page long. If there is more detail to discuss with your manager regarding your transition, you can do this in person.

  • Consider your format. A traditional font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, between sizes 10 and 12 helps ensure your letter looks professional and easy to read.

  • Use correct spacing and margins. For a professional letter, consider using single spacing, left align your text and use 2.5cm margins.

  • Proofread before sending. Your resignation letter is important, so check that all information is correct and ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors before submitting.

  • Sign your letter. It's important to sign your letter, as your employer may require an official printed and signed version for record keeping, and if you're sending your resignation via email, you can incorporate an electronic signature. Check with your HR team or a senior leader to clarify, if you're unsure of your organisation's policy.

Related: Resignation Letters: Tips, Templates and Examples

Tips for your resignation email

Consider these tips when writing your email:

  • Use a clear subject line. Stating your resignation in your subject line makes it easy for the recipient to understand the purpose of your email. For example, Derek Shark – Notice of Resignation. You may also wish to consider flagging your email as urgent if appropriate.

  • Incorporate the standard elements of a resignation letter. While setting out your letter like a formal business letter is unnecessary, the body of your email ideally replicates the information you would include in a standard resignation letter.

  • Check your format. Try sending the email to yourself first to check the formatting before forwarding it to your manager or HR team.

Related: How to Write an Email: Your Complete Guide

Resignation examples for a nurse

Here are two examples of resignation messages in different formats:

Letter example

Here's an example of a nursing resignation in letter format:

Mia Jenkins
20 Johnstone Street, Brisbane, Queensland

10 September 2022

Mrs Danica Jones
Regional Nursing Manager
Geebung Regional Hospital
123 Smith Street
Geebung, Queensland, 4034

Dear Mrs Jones,

I am writing to inform you of my resignation as a registered nurse at Geebung Regional Hospital, effective two weeks from today.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my work at the hospital and the invaluable learning opportunities I have had over the past three years. It's been an honour to work alongside such dedicated and professional staff whose focus is on delivering outstanding patient care. I'd like to thank you for the support you've provided and the many opportunities I've had to grow in my nursing career at Geebung. I wish the staff all the best for the future.

My decision to leave was difficult, but, as I previously discussed with you, my passion for specialising in paediatric care meant that when a role became available in this area, I would be excited to pursue the opportunity.

I am happy to assist with the transition period, including providing training or handover notes to my successor. Please let me know if I can help.

Thanks again for all your support and help.

Yours sincerely,
Mia Jenkins

Email example

Here's an example of an email resignation which may be a more appropriate method, depending on your employer's requirements:

Subject: Cameron Mitchell – Notice of Resignation

Dear Dr Eriksson,

Please accept my resignation effective 10 October as a staff nurse at Days Family Medical Clinic.

My time at the clinic has provided me with valuable skills in family patient care, and I wish to thank you and the team for the opportunities to learn from you over the past two years.

While I've thoroughly enjoyed my time working in a family-run medical clinic, I've decided to pursue maternity nursing and am excited to take on the new challenge of gaining experience in a large public hospital.

Please let me know if there's any assistance I can offer when finding or training my replacement.
Thank you again for all your support and guidance. I look forward to staying in touch with you and the team in the future.

Cameron Mitchell

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