Getting letters of recommendation is like pulling teeth

  1. As a new graduate, most programs prefer letters of recommendation from clinical instructors. The problem is, I've attempted to contact (via e-mail) the ones I knew best several times with no reply!

    I've only been able to get one strong reference letter from an instructor that supervised me over 3 semesters. My other letters are from a previous non-nursing supervisor and a theory professor.

    I know I was a solid student during rotations. I'm not as outspoken as others, but my evaluations were great and I worked hard. So, I'm upset that this is deterring me from my job search.

    Has this happened to anyone else? What else can you do once you've attempted to contact them several times? (Not all instructors have office hours where I can show face)
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    About peonie

    Joined: Mar '08; Posts: 50; Likes: 5
    from US


  3. by   240zRN
    I did a residency for experience and during my time there I asked my preceptor if he could write me a letter of recommendation. He happily agreed and seemed more than enthusiastic about it. My residency ended and a month had passed and I never received my letter. I emailed him and reminded him. He finally got back to me a few days later but the letter was simply text in his email body. It was only 2 sentences long!! "I would recommend X for a position as a registered nurse. He was a great worker and would make a great addition to any team. If you have any questions feel free to contact me."

    IT WAS PATHETIC. I emailed him back asking if he could please elaborate on what strengths he saw in me. I also sent him another lette of rec I received in the past so that he could use as a template. I didnt hear from him for another month. I finally called and asked him again, saying how important it was to me. He said he would jump on his email and do it right then. I never receied anything, a day later he told me to just write one and he would sign it and print it on letterhead.

    I don't get what is so hard about writing 4-5 positive sentences about someone.
  4. by   peonie
    I wish they knew our careers were at stake. Many said "yes, of course you can put me down as a reference! good luck! you will do great" --- and when it came to providing that reference, disappeared into their busy lives.

    Congrats on your awesome dilemma, however. So good to hear positive news!
  5. by   240zRN
    Thank you; I know I call it a "dilemma," when most would kill for that "dilemma." I was in your shoes though, I waited a year to hear from anyone. I wish I could pinpoint my success on a given strategy, but I sum my results to pure luck. Keep your head up.