Help! Need advice about references to get into an accelerated nursing program!

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    Hi, I'm currently preparing my application for local nursing schools, all of which are programs for an accelerated bachelors in nursing. All of the programs I'm applying to can be considered competitive, so I need my references to be as strong as possible! I already have one professional reference, but will you please share your thoughts on who would be the best choice for the second reference?

    1. I have a professor and supervisor (he has a PhD in art history) who knows me very well as a student and budding professional. He would have lots of very specific and very positive things to say about me. I worked with him for 3.5 years about five years ago. I think it may be a problem that he's not a "recent reference" and admissions might wonder why I'm using someone from a few years ago.

    2. An LCSW who works at a local health clinic (they have several nurses, NPs, Dr.s, etc. on staff). I have known her personally for about three years, but she would have fewer specific examples of my strengths. She could speak to my personality and character.

    3. My professor from A&P 1. I blew that class out of the water(!!) but the professor knows me only through that class over one semester. The class was at my local community college.

    Please! Which option would give me the best edge?! Thanks in advance!
    Joe V likes this.
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

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    I'd say the professor but I'd just go with your gut...btw do they allow you to send in more than 2 references? My school did so I just asked 4 people and 3 ended up turning them in (I was shocked the one didn't, but so glad I asked more than 2 people!). So ya, see if you can submit more, that might look really good for you! I think it helped me and I got into my absn program! Whoever you choose, I would suggest sending them an email outlining strengths that you know are important to the school you're applying to and ask your referencer to emphasize these. Also, help them by giving examples like "please keep the following in mind when writing my reference: my dedication, care, ability to stay calm under pressure, blah blah. Specifically, some examples you may want to include would be my response to such and such event, that I showed up for every class on time and ready to go, that I volunteered for xyz, or that I lead the discussion of ___ with my fellow students". Insert your specific examples of course! This will help you orient your referencers and make sure that they include things you know will help you!Good luck!
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    I'd go with the A&P professor too. But get reference letters from each of your choices and use all that are flattering. Having additional references will never hurt you.
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    Check and see what the requirements/advice of the schools in your area. For our Masters Entry program, we want letters to address different aspects of the applicant (one letter from someone who has taught you, one from a health-care professional, and the third to discuss your leadership/team building abilities). We want all of these letters to come directly from the recommender (not mailed or handed in by the applicant). For us, the content of the letter is more important than the signature at the bottom.

    But different schools may have different advice/requirements. Check with them directly.
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    Thanks that's helpful. Btw, did you mean the first professor or the 3rd, who was my A&P I prof.?


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