What do you need when you start applying for RN positions?

  1. 4
    Thought I would post this question ( really more of a comment and heads up) because I am feeling unprepared at the moment. I passed the NCLEX this month and started applying online and sent out a few app's directly to those I had either HR or unit manager's name for.

    I finally got a bite and the recruiter asked for two letters of recommendation (LOR) from clinical instructors and my transcripts. I did already have my transcripts. I had asked an instructor for a LOR at one time but as a student our instructors were not allowed to give these to us directly. We had to fill out a form, turn it in to the office and then that instructor would send something out to the employer... not us, and we would never see it. I just wanted one for my records, to have on hand, so I didn't pursue it any further at the time.

    So a word to those up and coming, if you have a great connection with any of your clinical instructors, ask them for LOR's right away if they are allowed to give it to you directly. I had no idea that anyone would ever ask for something like this but apparently some do. I have had one say she will write me one and 3 that have not gotten back to me yet. So it's kind of a "get it while their hot" situation. Don't wait until after your done with school and looking for a job.

    Hopefully this will help some of you down the road
    llg, Marisette, Esme12, and 1 other like this.
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  4. 9 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    Welcome to AN! The largest online nursing community!

    moved to first job assistance for best response.

    CONGRATS! on passing your boards.
    suzi-Q likes this.
  6. 0
    My first interview out of school was for a new grad RN residency. During the interview she seemed kind of hurried and not really interested. Then she asked me if I had a letter of reference, but I didn't have any. I didn't know that you needed a letter of reference and I thought just having the names and contact information on your resume was enough. I talked to my aunt who is a nurse and she told me she never heard of carrying around a letter of reference. I didn't get the position and I think it was because I didn't have that kind of reference. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have asked my instructors about writing one because they are really busy now with their current students and don't want to be bothered during their break in between semesters.
    Last edit by heather18_RN on Jul 30, '13
  7. 0
    I had to submit a copy of my diploma for one of my first job appications right out of school. That's probably not the norm but it can't hurt to have it ready to submit if asked.
  8. 0
    I have 7 years as an LPN and just passed my RN. Yes, it is hard to get an interview. I also applied for the internship programs with FL Memorial but didn't make it this try. I will keep trying. Any suggestions would be helpful. I'm about to go on line and get directors names for depts. and send my resume and cover letters directly to them, instead of human resources.
  9. 0
    Quote from heather1988
    My first interview out of school was for a new grad RN residency. During the interview she seemed kind of hurried and not really interested. Then she asked me if I had a letter of reference, but I didn't have any. I didn't know that you needed a letter of reference and I thought just having the names and contact information on your resume was enough. I talked to my aunt who is a nurse and she told me she never heard of carrying around a letter of reference. I didn't get the position and I think it was because I didn't have that kind of reference. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have asked my instructors about writing one because they are really busy now with their current students and don't want to be bothered during their break in between semesters.
    At my school we have a file with reference letters that we obtained throughout nursing school from professors. I was sure to ask each professor at the end of the semester to add a letter to my file, most did, a few said they would, but never did. We're not allowed to see the letters and definitely not allowed a copy of them. I was told when I have an interview to tell the lady in the careers dept at my old school to send the reference letters to the interviewer.
  10. 0
    I carried around all of my reference letters.

    It has the person's contact information right on the letter, if there was any question as to the veracity of the letter, it would be easily verified.
  11. 0
    Quote from KJM-RN
    At my school we have a file with reference letters that we obtained throughout nursing school from professors. I was sure to ask each professor at the end of the semester to add a letter to my file, most did, a few said they would, but never did. We're not allowed to see the letters and definitely not allowed a copy of them. I was told when I have an interview to tell the lady in the careers dept at my old school to send the reference letters to the interviewer.
    That's nice! Wish it had worked that way at my school!
  12. 2
    During my last semester we were required to put together a "portfolio" which included a career objective statement, resume, letters of recommendation, a transcript, writing samples, and any interesting projects or awards we would want to highlight from our college experience. I can tell you right now that it was the BEST thing I've done and I would highly recommend putting one together. I brought it with me to job interviews and it gave the nurse managers something concrete to remember me by.

    Good luck with the job search everyone!
    splendid and bloodorange like this.
  13. 0
    "During my last semester we were required to put together a "portfolio" which included a career objective statement, resume, letters of recommendation, a transcript, writing samples, and any interesting projects or awards we would want to highlight from our college experience. I can tell you right now that it was the BEST thing I've done and I would highly recommend putting one together. I brought it with me to job interviews and it gave the nurse managers something concrete to remember me by. "

    That is awesome, wish my school had done that.


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