Nurse Manager Reference Letter Format


So I am within 2 months of ending my first travel assignment and will have spent a total of 5 and 1/2 months there once I'm done (I'm definitely moving on to another hospital after this). My nurse manager just last week gave me a copy of a form evaluation that she completed for me online at the request of my agency. What she gave me was a copy of the form she submitted with her responses to categorical questions (ones which required her to check off superior, exceeds, meets, etc.). At the end of it it allowed for comments in which she wrote good things, particularly that she would be happy to have me return and also be considered for a staff position if I desired later on.

My question is: is this OK to keep for my portfolio as an official recommendation from her (to be used and distributed as requested) or should I have her write something more formal on hospital letterhead?

Thanks in advance!


1 Article; 5,766 Posts

Nope, it is perfect! Obviously a formal letter is a bump up in professionalism and interest by subsequent readers, but the form serves as an evaluation as well as a reference so there is some advantage.

Since agency forms are not routinely given to travelers by managers (and never by agencies), but rather treated as internal communication, I go to some lengths to collect my own forms. My career, my self interest is at stake.

Such forms as you describe have an "objective" portion with multiple choice and a narrative. They have little value to the traveler without at least a written sentence or two as without them since you cannot read much into them other than the manager saw fit to spend as little time as possible just checking boxes, possibly reflecting poorly on the traveler. Since they only take a couple minutes to fill out, I hand them to the referee and state that they are for external use as a reference, and encourage them to write a couple of sentences. Even a couple of words are very powerful (for better or worse).

Collecting and curating your own professional portfolio with written references obviously puts you in a competitive position against the vast majority who don't bother. Getting them early in an assignment and gathering as many as you can will also help protect you should some allegation be lodged against you.

PanTravelers has a couple such forms for those interested, and they can be downloaded freely as editable documents for customization. You may want to add or subtract language depending on your personal preference or specialty. I personally have a distaste for will rehire questions, why give them an option to check that for whatever reason (like no open jobs)? No problem with written comments to that effect of course. That is just my opinion of course, and some HR departments really want to know that status (usually direct from other facilities HR).


3,445 Posts

Specializes in ICU / PCU / Telemetry. Has 11 years experience.

I guess then my NM did me a favor by providing me a copy without my asking, I suppose I should not expect that in every location hmm?


1 Article; 5,766 Posts

You got lucky for sure!