What Is a Nursing Personal Statement?

A nursing personal statement is a personal essay or statement that is usually part of a list of requirements to be admitted to a nursing program. It has similar objectives to a graduate school personal statement wherein it offers a glimpse of the applicant’s character and qualities through the lens of a personal essay.    

According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, more than 275,000 additional nurses are needed from 2020 to 2030, based on a projection by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further, employment opportunities for nurses are expected to grow at a faster rate of 9%, compared to all other occupations from 2016 throughout 2026.   

Qualities of a Good Nurse

What makes a good nurse? Of course, there can be a long list of qualities and qualifications that would make someone a good nurse. But the following examples are just some of the basic and fundamental qualities that a licensed nurse ought to possess in order to thrive and succeed in the field of health and medicine.  

Organized. Working in the healthcare sector is not a walk in the park. You do not even have to be a doctor or nurse to know that hospital and clinic work is demanding work. Hospital staff and non-medical auxiliary workers work just as hard as medical professionals, albeit in a different capacity. Nurses are known to assist doctors and help run daily operations in a clinic or hospital. Because they are in the business of providing health care and services, they have to be organized in order to properly deliver the services to patients. Keeping tabs on patients, monitoring their progress, documenting patients’ medical history and files and conducting physical exams all require a strong sense of organization and coordination. Having things in order can help promote a more systemic and efficient process. Empathetic. Another key trait a good nurse possesses is empathy. The overarching work of a nurse essentially falls under the category of caregiving. They are in the business of caring for and looking after their patients. Without nurses, doctors cannot do their job properly or it would be a monumental task for them. Caring for patients requires an empathetic attitude and mindset. If you compare the service of a rude or callous nurse and a gentle and compassionate nurse, a patient’s experience would obviously be very different. But if the nurse or healthcare professional knows how to relate and sympathize with patients, it evidently shows in the way they treat them. In hospitals and other similar institutions, it is understandable for patients and their families to feel afraid, anxious, confused, tired, or even angry. Showing empathy does not make these emotions disappear; but it can help ease, relieve, and reassure patients despite it. Dependable. As mentioned earlier, how well a nurse performs their duties is measured by their ability to care and serve. But treating patients well and caring for their needs is only one aspect of it. Care is also exhibited in how dependable and responsible a nurse is. For nurses or any healthcare professional, people will always rely on you. Whether it is the doctor, patient or your co-nurses, a good nurse knows that he or she must be dependable and trustworthy enough to get the job done properly. The sense of responsibility and accountability are clearly present as well. The job may be far from easy, but a qualified and competent nurse understands that the patient’s trust and welfare are what matters most. Industrious. With the heavy workload and all kinds of demands healthcare practitioners face, a nurse cannot afford to be lazy. You simply cannot be a good nurse without putting in the work. Being industrious and hardworking is anything but easy. And nurses around the world display this day in and day out. In countries where severe shortage of nurses and hospital manpower is evident, healthcare professionals often have to work even harder and longer. Looking after dozens of patients at the same time while staying on top of paperwork and other essential duties is, unfortunately, a sad reality for many. It is no secret that nurses and doctors are often compelled to work long hours and extend beyond their regular shifts. Thus, hard work is not merely optional or preferred, but it’s an essential ingredient for all nurses and health professionals.

Tips for Writing a Nursing Personal Statement

Crafting a personal statement takes a certain degree of introspection and self-awareness. If you want to improve the quality of your personal statement, you need to be willing to take a long and hard look at yourself. The following tips may help improve your approach and the content of your nursing personal statement. 

Focus on lessons and growth. When it comes to writing a nursing personal statement or any graduate school personal statement for that matter, try to keep in mind that you are revealing an intimate part of yourself to an admissions officer or committee. While it is important for them to know your story and personal goals and ambition, it is perhaps even more important for them to see that you are capable of growth and development. They will be looking at how well you apply the lessons learned from your personal experiences. Like any good story arc, there needs to be character development present. In order to achieve this, try to focus your statement on the lessons and insights you gained from your journey so far. But make sure it is relevant to your objective (i.e., entering a nursing program). By articulating your understanding and discernment, this shows depth and self-awareness. Be authentic. Another important tip to consider when drafting your nursing personal statement is to be genuine and real. It is understandable to want to present an amplified version of yourself in order to impress an admissions board or committee. However, this approach may backfire on you. Some people can see right through smoke and mirrors. Thus, it is best to stick to an honest and authentic approach. It would be more appreciated, or even endearing, to open up about yourself, your struggles, or your journey to get where you are. When it comes to personal essays or statements, it is important to build a story by using engaging language and detail. Use personal narratives and be descriptive in your writing. All these can help build a more genuine statement. Plan and review. A practical tip to always keep in mind is to prepare adequately. As the popular saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Two important phases must precede and proceed the actual drafting of the statement. First, you need to plan out your approach. This does not have to be a complicated process. You can start with a simple outline just to organize your thoughts better. Then afterwards, you can come up with a rough draft. A key process of writing is revising and rewriting. You need to go back to your rough draft and polish it further. Once you have completed your final draft, you can then review it yourself or have someone else check it for you. Ask a trusted friend, colleague, or close family member to proofread your nursing personal statement and get their honest feedback. They may spot errors that you could have overlooked.

How to Create a Nursing Personal Statement

As discussed in the previous sections, a personal statement is typically part of a list of requirements for admission to an academic course or in this case, a nursing program. If you are looking for predesigned templates to use as a reference or guide, choose from among dozens of sample personal statements above. Simply choose one that suits your needs and follow the steps below. 

Step 1: Plan and Outline

The first step in crafting a nursing personal statement is to effectively plan it. As discussed earlier, adequate planning and preparation is part of the whole process. Each person may have their own planning methodology; it all depends on their objective and preferences, after all. But one simple and practical thing anyone can do is to write an outline. Having an outline can help you organize your ideas and main points better. The outline acts as a guide, in case you get lost in your thought processes or meet an unexpected roadblock. Keep it simple but make sure it has a logical and smooth transition of ideas.     

Step 2: Introduction

Every good essay starts with an interesting and engaging introduction. The same goes for a nursing personal statement. You want to be able to hook the reader with the first few lines of your statement. This can be achieved in a number of ways. All it takes is some creativity and imagination. It’s also helpful to remember that an introduction should never be too long. It’s a brief section that helps the reader transition better into the main points. Anything that’s too long can bore the reader or lead them to lose interest. Keep it brief, interesting, and relevant to your objective. 

Step 3: Personal Narrative

The next step is to craft the actual statement. A nursing personal statement is usually a narration of a personal experience or an overview of the reasons for wanting to apply to a nursing program. The narrative can be framed or packaged in a variety of ways, depending on the individual’s preferences and needs. When in doubt, review and consider the tips in the previous section. There are no rigid rules that must be followed when it comes to personal statements. As long as you are being truthful and transparent with yourself, you can learn to craft a personal statement that works.   

Step 4: Insights 

The last step in writing a nursing personal statement is to incorporate what you learned from your experience. It is not enough to just end with a personal narrative or story. You have to share to the reader the insights you gained or how you plan on applying what you learned. This is especially important for personal statements wherein you will be gauged by your ability to express yourself. Admissions officers can assess how self-aware you are based on the insights or lessons you put in your statement. Be descriptive and candid in this section. Because as much as possible, you want the reader to be able to see a genuine and authentic side of you.    


What should a nursing personal statement include?

Ideally, a nursing statement ought to include either a descriptive or narrative account of a personal experience or journey that is relevant to nursing or the medical field.

What should you avoid in a personal statement?

As much as possible, avoid bragging or thinking too much (or even too little) of yourself. When crafting a personal statement, try to strike a balance between exhibiting modesty and confidence in your abilities. Anything too vague or irrelevant should also be avoided in a personal statement.

How do you introduce yourself in a personal statement?

You need to have an engaging introduction in your personal statement in order to draw the reader in. Be straightforward and candid about your intentions or motivations for applying. Keep it brief but interesting.

A nursing personal statement should reveal your true intentions and offer a glimpse of your character and values. Browse the extensive library of sample templates above, choose one that meets your needs and create your own nursing personal statement now!