Can a Nurse Write a Work Excuse Note? 6 Things to Know in the USA 

Debra Riley


In the United States, people who can write your work excuse note often depend on your employers’ rules. Usually, since a nurse is a healthcare professional, they are pretty knowledgeable about these notes. Always, however, for legitimate medical reasons.

But different companies or employers have different take on these matters.

So, it’s best to look at some things you need to double-check before asking your nurse friend for a sick note.

work excuse note

Things to Consider Before Asking a Nurse for a Work Excuse Note

Your Company Policy

Your company has a big say on whether you can ask your nurse for off-duty slips. It’s your company’s control over employees’ presence and absences. Usually, employers set up standards and policies on who they can recognize as the right person to issue an excuse letter, even if it’s a medical one. 

Some companies only accept medical notes written by doctors. On the other hand, other businesses require their employees to go to a government doctor or their company physician only. 

Nurse Authorization

You may confirm with the nurse if they’re authorized by your company to provide medical certifications. Some employers choose the healthcare providers and medical professionals who can issue these notes. That’s why some nurses are especially authorized to accommodate these requests.

There are also healthcare companies that use a doctor’s note for work template in PDF that nurses are authorized to fill up and sign on behalf of their physicians. It gives doctors more time to attend to their patients while nurses take care of these work-related requests. 

Many clinics and healthcare providers are into this setup because they find it more convenient to efficiently deliver their services.

The Nature of Your Illness

Sometimes, employees fake their illness to be excused and go somewhere other than their legitimate work. But that’s cheating, plain and simple. The nature of your illness has to be authentic and worthy of a medical excuse so your nurse can help you out. 

The nature of your illness sometimes will tell the nurse whether they can issue a medical note for you or not. In companies that accept nurse-written sick notes, nurses are typically given authority strictly for legitimate medical reasons. 

However, the seriousness and kind of illness may affect who can issue these notes, especially if there’s a need for diagnosis and treatment plans. Asking your employer and the agency requiring the sick note would be better.

It’s where you can best check if the nurse can issue the medical excuse form instead of a doctor.

nurse writing a note

The Seriousness of Your Condition

It’s better to see your doctor when you need to apply for extended absences due to a serious ailment. It’s smarter to consult and have the excuse note written by your doctor at the same time. 

However, some employers would require that physicians really check your condition if you apply for long absences. It’s because a doctor’s expertise has a way of reassuring your employer that your sickness and leave application is authentic.

A doctor’s sick note will give your employer a clearer understanding of the gravity of your health. In some cases, the number of days you’ll be excused from work depends on how severe your sickness is.

When it’s a serious medical issue, involving a medical pro is the gold standard for securing that crucial work excuse note. It’s all about credibility and complete documentation.

Professionalism and Respect

Professionalism and respect are very important words when approaching someone, especially if you want to request something, like an excuse note. 

So, it’s more apt to approach the nurse with respect, recognizing that they are professionals with a core duty: your health. They’re there to give the best care and guidance to help you recover from your ailments.

Maintaining courtesy and understanding the demands of their work will inspire them to help out the best they can to assist you with your needs, like your request for a sick excuse note. It’s actually like an expression of mutual respect to achieve your goals.

a nurse writing

Privacy and Confidentiality

In all circumstances, safeguard your privacy rights and always note that your medical details are confidential. Nurses are expected to handle your unique case discreetly, respecting the sensitive nature of your health information.

Writing your work excuse note can give the nurse access to your medical information, so you must ensure that they keep your information between yourselves. Aside, of course, from the information that needs to be written in your sick note.


Whether or not a nurse can write a work excuse note for you can easily be answered positively. Nurses are professionals in the healthcare industry qualified to better serve every patient in whatever they need and for their best interests.

Writing the note is not really a problem. You’ll have a hitch, however, if it’s your employer who will call your attention and tell you they want a note from a medical doctor.

There may be exceptions to these requirements, but it will still depend upon your employer’s discretion.