So, I graduated two years ago and with a plethora of letters from instructors and employers at the time. Now, I ended up failing the NCLEX and had to spend two years diverting most of my time to helping my family in crisis.
Just a few weeks ago I grilled my nose to the pavement and passed the NCLEX. These letters may be two years old, but still quite valid I'd think to include. I figured I'd get another letter from my current employer as I am a careprovider for a critically ill patient with a mickey tube and esophagostomy. I want to apply to the mental health facility where I had done my capstone. I still have the letter from my instructor and supervisor on shift.
Now, even though they are dated from two years ago I should still include them? Should I state in my cover letter the last two years or what? I don't want to shove under the rug the last two years like they didn't happen or I was just roasting in the sun having a good time blowing off trying the NCLEX again. I mean I did it and passed but all those connection with professors and such from two years ago are pretty dusty now. (Doesn't help the program got cut from the school...still figuring that one out). Any advice would be great.
May 27, '12
Congratulations on passing NCLEX!
As someone who reviews resumes, interviews and hires on a regular basis (although no longer in healthcare), I would recommend the following:
Get in touch with the people who wrote your recommendation letters 2 years ago. Make them aware of your situation and ask if they would be willing to update their letters for you current job search. It is a good idea whenever you are job hunting to give people a heads-up that they might be contacted for a reference. It avoids the awkward situation where a former employer or instructor may not immediately remember you or may need to refresh his/her knowledge in order to answer questions about you. It will also be helpful that the letters have a current date on them, and not call to the interviewer's attention that they are 2 years old.
During the interview process, it is fine to explain your delay in entering the workforce by stating that you had significant personal/family issues to attend to and that now that they are resolved, you are able to devote your full attention and energy to beginning your professional practice. It's an honest answer that fills the gaps but doesn't open you up a bunch of nosy questions about family/spouse/children/health, etc.
Remember, it is improper for an interviewer to ask if you have health problems, are married, have children, care for elderly parents, etc., but if you mention any of the above, you have opened the door and allowed the interviewer to explore the issue. Don't give them the chance.
Best of luck to you!