When to ask for letters of recommendation

  1. I am a first year student. I am thinking that I should be asking for letters of recommendation from clinical instructors right after they have me as a student, rather than when I start looking for a job a year from now. Should i just ask for a generic, "To whom it may concern" letter? If it is dated 2012 and I am looking for a job in 2013, will it be considered old? I am sure that I will be able to get letters from next years instructors as well, but I KNOW these instructors like me. How did you do it? suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!
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    About grownuprosie, ASN

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 397; Likes: 541
    RN Float; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   sandyfeet
    I asked for a letter of recommendation during the program, after my second semester, because I really connected with my clinical instructor and I was looking for hospital jobs. There's no reason for you to wait, especially when hospitals are hiring from within for RN jobs and you can get a job during school to build contacts and network. Also, it will take longer than you think for the professor to write your letter so even more reason to start now instead of waiting until the end of the program when professors are flooded with requests. I emailed my instructor for the request because we were so familiar. She sent me a questionnaire to fill out about my strengths, experience, etc, and then wrote the letter for me. I had to be patient, though...it felt like it took a long time for her to write it, but I didn't want to be rude and bug her. Eventually it all worked out and I was able to get a hospital job with her letter of recommendation!
  4. by   Nurseadam
    Honestly, i would get one from every instructor I encounter, and yes to whom it's concerned...

    so when you're done, you'll have a pile of LOR on your desk. I would also try to get LOR of managers or nurses that you work with and get close to, they may help you get a job at a certain job...
  5. by   Nurseadam
    goodluck with school
  6. by   sbostonRN
    No, it won't be considered old, but remember your skills will continue to grow, so be sure to include references from instructors later in the program as well. It's easier for instructors to write references letters while you're fresh in their mind.