Hospitals & Letter of Recommendation

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So I am officially a senior nursing school student!! I still have a couple of semesters to go but I want to start collecting letters of recommendations. When searching for jobs some state that they want at least 2 letters of recommendations so my question is when should I start asking my professors and clinical preceptors for them?

I want to start collecting them now but im not sure on how different hospitals want them. Do different jobs want the letters directly from whom I’ve asked from their email? Do hospitals want my letters of recommendations to be signed or sealed in envelopes by my professors before being sent off? Or can I just start collecting them now and then when I start applying to jobs I will be able to just attach them to my application?

I’m not really sure on if the letters of recommendation different hospitals want need to be confidential and sent a specific way directly from my professors or if my professors can just directly send them to me and I can just attach it to the application. Hopefully this makes sense. 

Edited by RN2bJae

Every place I've ever had to get recommendations for only wanted the contact information for my recommenders. What they actually want from the recommenders varies a lot. Some have a form with all kinds of stuff to fill out while others just wanted an email response with that serving as the "letter" of recommendation. Nobody has ever wanted me to hand them an envelope. Keep in mind the LOR should match what you're applying for, so a generic one ahead of time isn't as helpful.

Since you have some time, if you think one of your current professors/instructors/preceptors would be a good recommender, I would just ask them if they would be able to help with recommendations when the time comes. Make sure they know what the time line is and plan to follow up when it actually comes time to get your recommendations so they aren't surprised and know who to expect the request from.

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC.

I've been retired some time, but to my knowledge, LORs also had to be timely, that is to say, not overly outdated. Particularly important when talking about clinical/school/work experiences. So collecting them in advance may not be worth it.

And this is an absolute  GIVEN - always make sure your reference contacts KNOW that you're actively seeing employment. Yes, they prob gave you verbal OK, but make sure they know just so they EXPECT being contacted.

I was once blind-sided by a nurse seeking a reference. Never saw it coming! I WAS NOT impressed by the nurse - she was just blah! I recall writing the most bland-est reference prob ever written.

NewGradBSN_2020

Specializes in Nursing.

On 12/18/2020 at 12:13 AM, RN2bJae said:

So I am officially a senior nursing school student!! I still have a couple of semesters to go but I want to start collecting letters of recommendations. When searching for jobs some state that they want at least 2 letters of recommendations so my question is when should I start asking my professors and clinical preceptors for them?

I want to start collecting them now but im not sure on how different hospitals want them. Do different jobs want the letters directly from whom I’ve asked from their email? Do hospitals want my letters of recommendations to be signed or sealed in envelopes by my professors before being sent off? Or can I just start collecting them now and then when I start applying to jobs I will be able to just attach them to my application?

I’m not really sure on if the letters of recommendation different hospitals want need to be confidential and sent a specific way directly from my professors or if my professors can just directly send them to me and I can just attach it to the application. Hopefully this makes sense. 

Hi there,

I had my professors, clinical instructors and employers write a general letter of recommendation. I started collecting mine 8 months before graduation and started applying to jobs 4 months before graduation. Some professors may take awhile so it doesn’t hurt to ask early. Some will tell you to ask a little later closer to when you start applying for residency programs. My letters of recommendations are all pdf files with their signatures.