Advice for those new RNs looking for jobs - page 2

by himilayaneyes 7,740 Views | 16 Comments

Hi. I gave this advice to someone else on here who's a new grad looking for a job. The same rules pretty much apply for every new RN looking for a job. So here's some advice that I hope helps. As far as the resume...send... Read More


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    Write your own reference letter and have your instructor sign it??!!

    Wow! That would be a horrendous practice.... how about actually earning the respect and compliments from your instructors. Already there are new grads who benefit from nepotism,.. the real hard workers, the ones who actually know their stuff don't need this added to their struggle.

    What if it was your job? What if it was you who was passed over because some idiot in a slack school was buddy buddy enough with the professors to get a ridiculously inflated and false reference letter.

    Lets all have some respect for ourselves and actually work for our goals. And no, just passing the NCLEX is not enough. It is how you carry yourself, its your obvious dedication to learning, and its how you treat people every day. If your worth anything at all you wouldn't have to put words in your professors mouth.

    The only thing that I would suggest is to request a copy of it before it is sent out. Any good professor who dislikes a student shouldn't be afraid of saying no to the request of a reference. And if he had at least something decent to say then it shouldn't be a problem for you to view it. I've had professors make spelling and grammar mistakes in my reference letters, and their knowledge is a reflection on you so you should always view it if possible.
  2. 0
    As a manager, whats your advice on when is close enough to graduation to apply for jobs? I graduate the first week of December and plan to take NCLEX right after, but don't want to annoy the managers by applying to early.
  3. 0
    Start applying three months before graduation. In our class, the students that got their dream jobs are the ones that started looking early! Good luck.
  4. 0
    I would research the hospitals in your area and learn when they post the job listings for new grads that would be starting in Jan/ Feb. Where I am, many of them actually post in Sept/ Oct/ Nov, even though the start date isn't until February. The timeframes involved vary from region to region and hospital to hospital (some won't let you apply until you pass the NCLEX, where as others will, for example). You need to be familiar with your own area, to make sure that you don't "miss the boat." In many hospitals, the next new grad start after Feb isn't until July.
    I also fully agree that you should NOT be writing your own letter. I was in management before I went into nursing, and I once had someone bring me their annual eval with my portion already filled in. While I did get a nice chuckle from some of the things he had to say, I was appalled that he thought this was appropriate (apparently his last boss did things this way).
    I also don't agree that you should leave out clinicals that aren't specifically in the area you are applying for. Yes, a SNF is different than OB, but there are core nursing skills to be learned there, and especially if you have no previous experience, this at least shows an exposure to a variety of nursing. Also, different nursing programs have different clinical areas their students are exposed to, as well as varying hours. I guess if you were from that area and you knew for sure that they were totally familiar with all aspects of your program, then it might be ok, but if not, I wouldn't leave anything out (though obviously you would want to draw more attention to the time spent in the area you are applying for).
  5. 2
    Quote from I_See_You_RN
    Write your own reference letter and have your instructor sign it??!!

    Wow! That would be a horrendous practice.... how about actually earning the respect and compliments from your instructors. Already there are new grads who benefit from nepotism,.. the real hard workers, the ones who actually know their stuff don't need this added to their struggle.

    What if it was your job? What if it was you who was passed over because some idiot in a slack school was buddy buddy enough with the professors to get a ridiculously inflated and false reference letter.

    I agree with what you're saying, however you'd be surprised by some instructors. The really good instructors will write you a reference letter with no problem, but some are either really busy, really lazy or don't really know what to write. When I began asking for reference letters from my professors, I decided to basically just ask most of them and then figure out which ones were best to send for particular jobs. I asked 6 instructors... 2 didn't respond, 2 wrote me a glowing reference on their own and 2 asked me to write the letter and send it to them so they could fix it and sign it.

    Sometimes you just have to take the initiative. I don't believe the instructors that asked me to write the letters would have signed it if they had disagreed with what I wrote, but I would not have gotten the reference if I didn't write them.

    P.S. I was a good student and well liked so that was not the issue.
  6. 1
    Thank you previous poster. A lot of instructors will give you a reference...if you write it...b/c they are simply too busy to do it themselves. And why in the world would they sign a letter of reference you write yourself if you haven't already earned their respect. You have to remember that every single nurse in your class is going to be asking those professors and clinical instructors for letters of reference...guess who'll will get theirs first...the person who wrote it themselves and gave it to the prof to sign. I had a NP/nurse educator tell me to do that. So I See You RN...you have a right to feel how you do...but I think I'll stick with what the nurse educator said. Quite frankly, if someone is that awful of a student...they should have been kicked out of the program in the firstplace...I know we started with 200 students and ended up with 80.

    PS. Like the pp, I was well liked as a student and graduated cum laude from nursing school. 3.8 gpa..so grades and being liked wasn't the issue...it was the professors not having time...although I do understand your point.
    Last edit by himilayaneyes on Sep 27, '10
  7. 0
    How about asking the professors to write the reference letters about you being honest etc. and sending it to the hiring manager. More than one copy......That's a good idea. Or get a doctorate/masters professor and have him send a letter of recommendation to the ceo of the hospitals etc.


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