Personal Statements for Graduate Nursing Applications: 4 Tips

Woman writing with a quill pen.

A personal statement is required for almost any nursing application. Here are some tips to consider to strengthen your application. 

While your resume and transcripts provide the admission committee an overview of your academic and work history, your personal statement is an opportunity to describe what drives you to become an advanced practice nurse. You should also demonstrate why you’re a good fit for the school or program. While this application component is a good opportunity to be creative and showcase your personality, there are a few things you can do to ensure your statement is as strong as it can be. 

Answer the questions.


While we want students to write creative statements that represent themselves, we also are asking you answer specific questions. Before you write your personal statement, you should read through the questions and then formulate your answer. Once you write your statement, reread the questions, and make sure that you answered them fully. Not answering the questions is detrimental to your application. 

Be professional.

This is a professional program, and your documents should have a professional look.

Make sure your statement is properly labeled. Use traditional formatting and fonts , and ensure fonts are consistent across your documents. Be concise and remember to adhere to the word count specified in the instructions.

Traditional Formatting

An example of traditional formatting is double-spaced with 12 point Times New Roman font.

Revise your document. Look for grammar and punctuation errors, repetition and passive voice[SG1] . Also, if you’re able, ask a someone to proofread your document. A second set of eyes can help you identify gaps and things that are unclear to other readers.

Use an active voice for your personal statement.

Active voice means the subject (the writer in this instance) performs the action.


  • Passive voice: The personal statement was written by me.
  • Active voice: I wrote the personal statement.

Tailor your statement to the program.

If you are applying to multiple programs, you need to use different statements for each application. Even though you are applying to graduate programs in the same discipline or field, each program has different requirements. You should also tailor your application to each institution or program to demonstrate why you would be a good fit.

By writing new statements for each application, you’ll ensure that you are answering the correct questions. There’s nothing worse for your application by uploading a statement with a different institution’s name on it.  

Be timely.

Don’t write your statement too far in advance. Nurses like to prepare, which is a good thing. However, when it comes to writing your personal statement, writing too far in advance of applying could mean you are potentially answering the wrong questions. The main reason is that the questions we ask could change for different application cycles. If you write your statement months before the application opens, there is a chance that you’ll be answering the wrong questions. Additionally, your personal statement should to be as up to date as possible. 

Need more information?

If you have any questions about personal statements, feel free to email me at or watch our video about personal statements below! 

-Tanner Gelatt, Assistant Director of Graduate Recruitment 

Published February 18, 2023