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Cover letter advice (old new grad with health issues). Advice in general

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by Yeager91 Yeager91 (New) New

Hello all!

I graduated with my BSN in December of 2018. I struggled during my program, having to take a year long LOA my senior year due to health reasons but I made it! I started the program strong and my grades were great but by the time I graduated my GPA fell below a 3.0 which I’m not proud of. However I did get wonder recommendations from my clinical professors and preceptors. Unfortunately right after graduation I found out that it wasn’t just burn out or stress causing migraines, I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. I held on to a CNA job just so I could have insurance but since Summer of 2019 I had surgery to biopsy it and turns out it’s a rare auto-immune disease. I’ve had flare ups of inflammation and it’s ultimately delayed me in taking the NCLEX and looking for new grad jobs.

Now we are here half way through 2020 I feel discouraged I’m not going to make it but I did apply for the NCLEX a few months ago. I’m stable at the moment and under care of my doctors. I know some programs won’t take some people who graduated long ago but I’m keeping my options open.

So what I’m trying to ask is.... how do I explain this gap in a cover letter? I know I don’t want to get too personal and detailed with my health history.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

scribblz, BSN, CNA, LPN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion. Has 14 years experience.

OP you've had a rougher road than most getting through nursing school. I give you credit for the resiliency and determination that must have taken.

If you have not taken the NCLEX I would put all my focus on passing my boards.

Since you have been a CNA I recommend attempting to get a position in a unit that you would like to work in. You also have to think about what kinds of places are safer for you to work in given your health risks.

I would reference your health issues in a way that makes you seem like a stronger candidate.

IE: A health emergency delayed my career the year following graduation. It did however give me valuable insight into the patient's experience. The nurses who aided in my recovery inspired a passion in me for "xyz nursing".

If you want to throw in an anecdotal story during an interview go for it, but I would make sure they hear "clean bill of health now" however you tell it.

You might be safer working on an oncology or transplant unit as they will be doing everything in their power to protect that population from COVID.

Best of luck to you!