Requesting letters of recommendation should NOT be something you push off until graduations. The main reason… they will remember you better the sooner you ask! So my best advice is to get along with your professors, do your best to succeed but most of all make sure you’re the type of person they will want to recommend as a colleague.
So, who to ask? My job required 5 recommendations (I will tell you who I asked)
- Clinical professor for your #1 specialty choice (pediatrics)
- Clinical professor for your #2 specialty choice (OB/GYN)
- Professor for your #1 specialty course (pediatric lecture course)
- At least one medical surgical clinical professor (these are your basic nursing skills, important for ANY specialty)
- Any other clinical/class/lab professor that you bonded with.
Perhaps an old boss if you have a previous patient-care job.
This is the formal template that I used…
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
Dear [Professors name]
(be sure to include their full credentials… hint: see your syllabus),
I am writing to you to ask if you would be willing to provide a letter of recommendation for me as I seek employment upon completion of the [program name]. I believe that the time spent under your instruction has helped me develop a solid foundation in [course name/clinical area] and will strengthen my clinical proficiency as a registered nurse.
⇒ For clinical professor/ if you wish to pursue their specialty…
As a [your University/College] nursing student, I am in your [clinical name]. Through your teaching and my time spent at [facility for clinical], I have gained a passion for pediatrics and I know there is no other specialty that I belong in… blah blah blah…
[During our time together I have completed the following tasks: trachestomy suctioning, EKG interpretation, medication administration (PEG tube, SubQ injections, IV drip, IV push, IV piggyback and tube feedings)…. Etc.]
⇒ For class professor/ if you do not wish to pursue their specialty…
As a [your University/College] nursing student, I am in your [class name]. Although my interests for my future are in pediatrics, I believe that a strong basis in medical surgical nursing is needed in any specialty in nursing. I am gaining that through your teaching this quarter.
If you are able to attest to my qualifications for employment via the academic commitment I’ve made in your [course/clinical], I would sincerely appreciate it. Upon graduation I will seek employment in pediatrics and a positive recommendation from you would enhance my prospects of achieving my career goals.
Please let me know if there is any further information I can provide regarding my experience to assist you in granting me a reference. I have attached my resume.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Student Nurse at [your university]