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How to Resign from Your Nursing Role Gracefully and Leave on Good Terms

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Accepting a new nursing role is a time of celebration – new challenges and opportunities lie on the horizon, especially when the job you’ve just taken is a much better fit for you (with slightly higher pay).

You’re enthusiastic about starting your new role, but before you get to enjoy whatever your new position is going to bring, you have to do the uncomfortable part – resigning from your current role.

Resigning from a nursing role can be stressful even when you have wanted to leave for a while, and there will always be colleagues who you are sad to leave behind – nursing teams form such strong bonds due to the pressures of the work they undertake so it can be difficult for everyone involved when a team member announces they are leaving.

You will want to resign gracefully from your current role and leave on good terms; it gives a good lasting impression of your character and is a positive, rather than a negative experience for everyone – yourself, your team and your Managers.

Let me explain how best to resign gracefully from your current nursing role to make the transition to your new role as stress-free as possible.

Prepare for Your Resignation

I would strongly advise only to put the wheels in motion to leave your current position after the ink is dry on your new contract. You will probably have a rough date in mind for your new role as many Hiring Managers now discuss during the interview general time frames for when they expect the new employee to start; for transparency and clarity.

Only when you have finalised your new job offer and have been given a start date, should you begin the proceedings to leave your current role.

Collect all the information you will need to tie up loose ends from your current employer; The Balance has a great checklist resource you can use.

Write Your Resignation Letter

While your resignation letter only needs to serve one purpose – to inform your manager of your last working day, it can serve as more than this.

I advise that you use your letter to thank your current employer for the opportunity to work at their hospital or care home, and depending on your situation, you can state your new place of work – I’ll explain why in a moment – but it should not be used to go into details of why you are leaving.

Whether you have experienced problems with the management or other staff, have felt that the organisation was understaffed and the employees suffered from workplace stress, or have outgrown the role and needed a career change; your resignation letter is not the time or place to bring these issues up.

If the reason for your departure is a negative one, you can write another letter to the necessary bodies, separate to your notice of resignation - this keeps your resignation appropriate, formal and gracious.

Keep Your Contacts

So, why did I suggest you include your new place of work? This is all dependent on the geographical area you work in. If you plan to stay in the same area to progress your nursing career, there is a chance you will work for several different organisations throughout your career.

This means that you may come into contact with fellow employees and Managers throughout your nursing journey. When you have good working relationships, it makes sense to keep these secure and amiable in case you end up working with, or for, the same people at some point in the future.

A current colleague, or even a manager, might be spurred on to take the same leap as you if they have also been thinking about leaving for a while and they find out that you have landed a role at the new medical centre in town.

The Resignation Conversation

After you physically hand your notice of resignation into your manager, they will usually want to have a conversation or even an exit interview with you.

Staff retention in nursing is a huge issue in the sector at the moment, with the nursing shortage affecting many organisations; losing a good Nurse always comes as a blow.

If you are leaving because there have been failing on the part of your employer – this is time to tell them, especially if you felt as though you couldn’t raise the issues during your employment.

Informing your manager of bad practices, troublesome staff or faulty equipment can help them to make changes for better, but stay away from complaining about things that it would be unable for the manager to change, like the long hours or a particularly tricky past patient.


Are you currently thinking about applying for a new nursing job? Get in touch with Clayton Recruitment today – we specialise in finding nursing candidates their perfect role, and our no-hassle process takes all of the stress out of looking for your next position.





Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989 and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, Nursing, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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