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This is a discussion on need help with references in General Nursing Discussion, part of General Nursing ... I recently graduated in May 2011, and passed the NCLEX-RN exam a few weeks ago. After enjoying the...by BethanyB Aug 28, '11I recently graduated in May 2011, and passed the NCLEX-RN exam a few weeks ago. After enjoying the summer summer with my family it is now time to begin applying for jobs. I am aware that I will need reference letters, but I have none. I know this probably sounds ridiculous, but I am very quiet, and in school I was too shy to aproach the instructors to ask. Unfortunantely I have not had a job in five years, and none related to healthcare so I really have no one to ask besides my former instructors. I guess what I am asking is would it be to late to contact my nursing instructors and ask them for a reference? What would be the best way to approach them? Should I email them, call, or maybe stop in when I know they have time between classes? Thanks in advance for any advice.
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- Aug 28, '11 by Mandychelle79I have asked instructors since school left out. They were willing to do it for me, but told me it would take a little bit since they were not in school yet. However, if the school is back in session, it wouldnt hurt to ask.
- Aug 29, '11 by linsmirnit's never too late to ask. i’ve been out of school for 4 months and recently asked two of my former instructors. i tried calling them both, but they were always busy so i e-mailed one and facebooked the other, . get to them however you can, but calling is always the first step. good luck
- Aug 29, '11 by Sehille4774I guarantee you that your prof's are used to getting requests from everyone for letters. Because that is all that many students have to go with.
Nursing students are discouraged from working anyway...And if asked by a prospective employer all you have to say is you were very fortunate to be in a position that you could focus on nursing school without having to work.
My nursing prof's wanted a formal letter to them to request a reference letter. The liked to tailor the letter to the specific job you were applying to...so for instance if you were applying to a med-surg job they would talk about your strengths in those areas. Your CLINICAL instructor is the best person to ask as they were able to observe you first hand. They also liked to know the name of the person to address the letter to and contact info and a little about your career goals.
I was applying to so many early on that one of my profs gave me a nice generic letter on a disk with permission to customize the date and contact info for the new employer as needed. Worked well b/c many recruiters like e-mailed reference letters.
- Aug 29, '11 by i.am.a.nurseDon't hesitate to ask your instructors. At least two letters of recommendation from clinical instructors are required for new grad applicants in my areas. Clinical instructors expect to be asked for these all the time and they usually have some sort of a template and may adjust it to each individual student. Especially good references will be from a person who was one of your professors and also a clinical or lab instructor.
You will be usually be asked to explain your gap in employment. As long as you have a reasonable explanation, I think it's OK.
- Aug 29, '11 by assidereMost instructors won't mind one bit. They get asked A LOT! Generally, you 'll need at least one from a direct clinical instructor. Those were the ones I got closest to, so it wasn't a problem for me.
I'd say caling and e-mailing are the best options. Facebook isn't professional , and their schedules are so busy, its probably easier for them to read a quick e-mail or listen to a voicemail than to sit down and speak with you for several minutes...