References for a new grad


I'm wondering what is common courtesy when listing references on an application. In my case, it would be professors, but do you necessarily have to tell the profs that you are planning on listing them as a reference?

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Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

I would because many employers do check references, and it's better if they had a heads-up so they could be prepared for the telephone call/e-mail.

Also, it's common courtesy to ask if they mind being listed as a reference...most will probably be OK with it but you never know.

Specializes in FNP, ONP. Has 25 years experience.

Absolutely, you had better get their permission first! And yes, most places do check. I'd list at least one professional reference as well.


164 Posts

What if I have no nursing related professional references to use? Just teachers/clinical instructors :/

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Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

It doesn't have to be nursing-related: they will know by your application that you are a new grad, so they're not going to expect all of them to be nursing-related. You could use a former employer.

Specializes in military nursing. Has 14 years experience.

Did you have a good relationship with your preceptor? You could use him/her as a professional reference. Also, I would ask any reference if you may use them, you never know, they may have a reason for not wanting to provide themselves as your reference.

Specializes in Orthopedic, LTC, STR, Med-Surg, Tele.

Always check with your references. It doesn't have to be major, but asking is nice: "Is it ok if I list you as a reference?" Once you start to apply to more jobs, you can say "by the way, I just wanted to let you know I applied to X Y and Z jobs and I listed you as a reference."

You never know - my fiance, who is a paramedic, has had ask people ask him for a reference, and he has told them no, honestly, I can't give you a reference. Better to have one person say no than give you a bad one, right?

Out of courtesy, yes I would ask them. There is nothing like getting a phone call out of the blue from someone you have no idea who or why they are calling and then making heads or tails of it.

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 17,691 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

Most employers require TWO reference checks If one doesn't alert your references that you are applying at XYZ business, they often to not call back HR or myself as hiring manager!!!!

Therefore, you may be skipped over if another applicants information comes back and ok'd to be hired, they will be chosen over YOU.

joanna73, BSN, RN

1 Article; 4,767 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics.

I've always informed my references, asking first if it's ok to use them, and then later a quick call or email to inform them that someone will be contacting them re: a job. That's standard. It's never a good idea to list a reference without their permission.