how did you go about getting your numerous letters of recommendation? Most of the hospitals that actually have a New Grad Residency Program implemented require at least 3 letters of recommendation. Would it be appropriate to ask your instructor for numerous hard copies or ask for an e-format? Should I ask them to address it to "To whom it may concern"?
I have a feeling that my instructors may be hesitant to write me a letter if they don't know exactly where it is going.
Maybe I should have a list ready of places I will be applying to? (I'm applying all over the US.)
I just don't want to have to continuously bug them for numerous letters. If they could just write me one and be done with it, that would be great.
Also, I'm going to be graduating in 4 months. Would it be appropriate to ask them for letters of recommendation now? Maybe around spring break?
Any advice would help!
Jan 26, '13
Ask your, professors, clinical instructors, the Dean of Nursing, nurses who precepted you in clinicals, the managers of departments that you talked with extensively about your goals in nursing. Make sure they are people you had good relations with and are sure they will give you a great recommendation. Having an MSN or PhD after their names helps too. Get copies or the originals on official school/hospital letterhead and send them as attachments with every resume you send.
If your instructor is feeling "hesitant," don't ask for a letter from them. I have seen some letters that say, "I don't know this person very well, but..." Those are just awful. Make sure that you ask the writer if they can promise you a stellar review.
You can have a list of places you're applying to, but you will end up to applying to dozens of places you never expected. A letter of recommendation will come in handy in either situation. The writer understands this and should feel that their recommendation of you should be freely advocated anywhere.
Get the letters now. the sooner, the better. Start applying for jobs now. It takes about 3-6 months for most new nurses to find jobs.
I am 8 months into a year-long training course for new grads in the OR. It is 1/3 classes and 2/3 working in the OR. It is very exciting with rotations in every department; ortho, vascular, heart, etc.
Jan 26, '13
I got electronic copies of my reference letters and then just attached them to all of my resumes. One of my professors felt better about giving me a hard copy, so I just scanned it into my computer and saved it as an electronic copy. They should all have a generic heading such as "To Whom It May Concern:".
Yes, start getting letters now!! Some professors take a while to get them to you and need to be gently reminded. Get more than three if you can. That way you can review them and pick the best or just pick the ones the highlight the experience the particular residency program is looking for (i.e. med/surg preceptor for med/surg position).
I don't know where you live, but I'm in CA and I did try applying to jobs before I graduated but none of the places I applied to would even consider my application until I was licensened.