references...who do you pick?

Nurses General Nursing


So im a new grad. I have been working of 6 months. My goal is to stick it out to the year mark but i won't lie i look at the classifieds daily. when the time comes that i actually start applying who do i use as references? i work with about 3 to 4 other Rns but that is it and some arent very articulate.(im on a night shift)

who do you use for professional references? is it always co-workers? On my first round i used instructors. and preceptors so a year out they probably won't be a great idea.

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

Use the next several months to develop positive relationships with colleagues such as educators, supervisors, advanced practice nurses, etc. -- anyone at work who might be a credible reference. It might take some extra work on your part (e.g. serving on a committee, helping with a project, talking with colleagues, going to a few meetings of local professional nursing associations, etc.) ... but GET INVOLVED with people. Meet them, let them get to know you. That's a great way to get good, credible references.

You might also use the same people who were your original references. I assume you thanked them for their previous reference. I recommend you stay in touch for a while and let them know what you are doing now.

In short ... in order to have references when you need them ... you often need to cultivate relationships with people by investing a little time and effort. Such relationships don't always happen automatically by themselves. Sometimes you need to work at it. If you don't have people in your immediate surroundings, you'll have to look a bit outside your immediate circle of acquaintances and get to know some new people.

I always use previous and current nurse managers. If you are listing your current manager, my advice is to wait until you get a formal job offer and then ask the new job to wait to contact him/her until you personally speak with your manager about you leaving your position. It never goes over well if an employer finds out you are looking for a new job by a surprise phone call for a reference.

I took a webinar on how to write a resume and the people teaching it suggested...1) someone with a "title" (doctor, nurse, minister, teacher, CPA, police officer, etc.), 2) someone who "works for a living" (laborer, cashier, factory worker, bus driver, cook, housekeeper, etc.), and someone who "will always have nice things to say" (little old lady from church, friend of your mother, people you babysat for in high school, etc.).

When I was involved in the hiring process, I was turned off by boyfriends / girlfriends, parents of boyfriends / girlfriends, people who had their name in the county court section of the newspaper frequently, people who had been fired from the facility, etc.


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