Is this common? Would you take this position?


Was told I had a position. The new facility asked when I would be able to start. When I told them that I would start two weeks after receiving an offer letter, I was then told that they usually don't do offer letters and that I should just come in for the paper work. This is an RN position. Would you take this position without an offer letter? Thanks.

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,837 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

Well maybe someone should break out a piece of paper and write one for you.

If they want you they can do you that courtesy, especially since you are uncomfortable without one. I certainly wouldn't be quitting another job, or moving, without one.

You want your position, pay rate, terms of probation, and any other items you negotiated in that letter. For example, if they promised you a specific day off, hiring bonuses, or the ability to transfer within the system without losing seniority, you want it in that letter. Some of the items you want may be covered in a HR handbook or a union contract. If they quote either of those as a reason to leave them out of the letter they can send you a copy with the letter.

A facility that makes promises but is unwilling to put anything in writing is one to be wary of. Send your inquiries via email instead of phone and keep a copy of you question and their answer. Start doing this before you ever have a problem, just as a general policy. Correspondence can be worth it's weight in gold if there are issues down the line.

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

That is odd. I'm assuming you have a job you will need to give notice with prior to starting the new one? They said they usually don't give them so unless you are really in need of this position I think I would probably require that they get someone to put something in writing. Good luck.


2,228 Posts

I've never gotten an offer letter from anywhere I have ever worked.

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,837 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

Even if it isn't their usual practice, they shouldn't have a problem with writing the letter. You need it before you start making changes in your life to accommodate their position. If they won't write a simple letter for you, how does that reflect on their treatment of nurses already there?


81 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, Critical Care.

Maybe you could tell them that your start date will be 2 weeks from when you sign your papers then? That's what I did, I never got a letter.

tewdles, RN

3,156 Posts

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

So they expect you to start a job without having anything in writing that outlines what and how you will be paid? Nothing in writing about full time vs. part time?, exempt vs. non-exempt? Odd way to do business if you ask me. Perhaps that is the paperwork they want you to sign? Perhaps they want to save the cost of postage by requiring you to come to them to get this info.

Music in My Heart

2 Articles; 4,102 Posts

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 13 years experience.

Beyond being a tool to facilitate communication between the two parties, the offer letter is meaningless and can be revoked at any time for no reason at all. Even if you get an offer letter and accept the position, they can still rescind the offer up until the moment that you start your first day of work.

What counts is the documentation that you fill out in HR when you start working for them.

Personally, I wouldn't make an issue out of it... particularly in the present tight job market.

mamamerlee, LPN

949 Posts

Specializes in home health, dialysis, others. Has 35 years experience.

Can you do the paperwork on an off day? That would be just as good, if not better, than an offer letter.

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU. Has 19 years experience.

It's not the norm in our "industry" to get an offer letter. Some do, some don't.

Decide from there what's more important.

You have a letter?

Or a job?


216 Posts

An offer letter would be the best way to accept an offer. If I didnt have any other offers I certainly would go in person fill out the paper work. At some point you should recieve something in writing in regards to a job description, rate of pay, benefits and if you have a full time, part time or per diem position. Many hospitals do not offer written contracts unless it is for a salaried position or one in administration. If the employment is at will that means you can quit your position at any time even though it is common courtesy to give a 2 week written notice so you will be reconsidered for a re-hire.


38,333 Posts

Of course I would. In all my years of nursing I was only given one offer letter. It is not that common a practice.

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