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What should I ask a nurse to write on a letter of reccomendation?

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I've been the EMT assistant to a pair of nurses this summer, working at a summer camp for underprivileged children. I asked one of them if they would write me a letter of reccomendation and she said she would. She then asked me what she should write, and I had no ready answer. We decided that I'd think about it and let her know next week. So, what shall I ask her to write? What are the important points for such a reccomendation? Thanks for any help!

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I would be careful about who you ask, not what you ask them to write. My chemistry chair has given me glowing recommendations, but English is not his first language, and for an Ivy PhD, he comes across as far less brilliant than he is. I'd make sure you know that they respect you, so that their words surpass anything else that stands out in terms of poor grammar.


You should never ask anyone to write something specific. Only ask people you trust for recommendations. If they like you, or are used to it, you're good to go.

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The "Ask a PA Admissions Director" thread covered what schools look for in terms of a LOR, so making sure the nurse that's writing your letter knows what they're looking for will probably give her a good idea of what she should write for your letter. I copied a part of it and pasted it below so you can see. She might not know all of these things about you, but hopefully she can touch on several! This is also from the point of view of one school, and while it looks pretty universal to me, I'd just keep that in mind. Good luck!


"The best thing to do when asking someone to write a letter is to make sure they can elaborate on the following qualities:

- Intellectual Ability

- Written Communication Skills

- Oral Communication Skills

- Maturity

- Adaptability

- Team Skills

- Dependability

- Conflict resolution

- interpersonal Skills

- Awareness of limitations

- Reaction to criticism

- Patient Interaction

If they are able to sum up your abilities in each of these categories you should be able to have a well thought out LOR."

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You should never ask anyone to write something specific. Only ask people you trust for recommendations. If they like you, or are used to it, you're good to go.


I actually think this is bad advice. You know what your school/ job/ scholarship/ etc is looking for MUCH more than your reference does. I think it's completely fine to ask someone to focus on XYZ aspects of your character and experience with them based on the mission or values of where you are applying. This shows that you've done your research, which both looks good to the institution and to the reference. If they chose to do so, then it's up to them. I was an executive assistant to a CEO who was asked to write LORs all the time - he would get extremely annoyed if the person asking didn't give guidelines. (And BTW, guess who wrote those LORs - me. Based on what was asked for and his opinion of the person).


For my 3 letters of rec., I asked the Chief PA at the hospital where I was shadowing (my mentor), my undergraduate dean (my anatomy prof), and my chem. prof. I asked each one to focus on specific areas of my character, strengths, and experiences, so that I knew that my overall picture was coming across the in a positive, well-rounded way that fit the schools mission. Remember, whatever info that you or your LORs supply is the only things that these schools have to judge you on - better to present yourself in the best light you can, while being honest and non-manipulative.


Better advice is to never ask someone to LIE.. That makes you look like you have no integrity and will most likely ultimately bite you in the...

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