requires me to write recommendations , I felt compelled to provide this individual [ insert student name ] this recommendation because …” and then reflect on what you liked about the student ’ s performance .
In my experience as a faculty member who writes dozens of letters of recommendation each year , students often ask me for a “ generic ” letter of recommendation . I always advise students ( often in vain ) to inform me where they are applying so that I can at least list details as to the agency at the start of the letter ( for example , “ Dear Kaiser Oakland Nurse Recruiter ” or “ Dear Stanford New Grad Program Selection Committee ”).
After you have written the student one letter of recommendation , save a copy for your records . Then , if the student requests a recommendation for another agency , you can edit the original letter and save the copy under a different name . These edits can usually be done in less than 10 minutes , resulting in a second letter , personalized to the second application agency , and looking as if it was originally prepared just for them . Note that I have published elsewhere further information about what general information you might ask a student for prior to writing them a letter ( Doolan , 2020 ).
As a general guideline , it is traditional for the student to give you at least 1.5 to 2 weeks to complete an initial letter of recommendation . Subsequent requests can usually be accommodated more quickly since you will only have to edit the initial letter . Even if the student requests the letter be sent directly to the hiring agency , I advise also sending the student a copy of the letter of recommendation . Additionally , you might consider asking the student to read the letter and make sure there are no typos or errors . You should try to provide an error free letter , and a second set of eyes does not hurt .
As a final thought , remember that your experience with this student provides you with unique experiences , only you know about . That can inform future employers how likely the new graduate would be to excel if hired . Good luck with your letter of recommendation ! I do hope this content helps you to provide a letter of recommendation that you feel good about and reflects on the competencies and good performance that you helped to develop . n
Appendix : Sample Letter of Recommendation [ When permissible , print letter on agency letterhead ]
1 / 1 / 2021
Dear St . Hospital of the Pines Staff Nurse Hiring Committee :
I am writing to recommend [ also consider stating “ give my highest recommendation ” or “ very highly recommend ” or “ highly recommend ”] Mildred Ratched for a staff nurse position on your Medical Surgical Unit , 4 East . I had the pleasure of serving as Mildred ’ s preceptor during the final months of her nursing program in November and December of last year . She completed [##] hours of inpatient clinical during this experience so I am very familiar with her work .
Several of Mildred ’ s strengths include but are not limited to [ consider areas : bedside manner , technical skills , organization , time management , abilities relevant to medications , assessment skills , teamwork and collaboration , and delegation ]. When I reflect on Mildred ’ s performance one incident [ or shift ] that comes to mind is … [ provide a concise but meaningful first-hand example of a situation that highlighted some of your student ’ s better talents and abilities .]
In summary , I recommend [“ give my highest recommendation ” or “ very highly recommend ” or “ highly recommend ”] Mildred Ratched for a staff nurse position with you . [ Here , you can add a statement that further emphasizes your enthusiasm , “ If I had a loved one in the hospital , I would sleep better if I knew a nurse like Mildred was caring for him / her …] I give this recommendation freely and without hesitation ! Thank you for [ if applicable : strongly ] considering her application . Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me .
Sincerely , [ SIGNED ] Mia Preceptor RN
References Doolan , D . M . ( January 2020 ). How to request a strong letter of recommendation . Imprint . 67 ( 1 ): 32-36 .
Daniel Doolan , PhD , RN , has decades of experience as a nurse educator and has taught nursing students at the ADN , BSN , MSN , and Doctoral levels . He also continues to work shifts periodically as a hospital staff nurse at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital .
Mia Preceptor RN 1234 Hypothetical Ave . Mysteryplace , CA 94501 Mobile ( 111 ) 111-1111 , miap @ fakemail . com
St . Hospital of the Pines Staff Nurse Hiring Committee 4321 Pine Ave . Inpatient , CA 94502
20 NSNA IMPRINT n JANUARY 2021 n www . nsna . org