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Should I inform my nurse manager and supervisor that I will be putting their names down as references?

Friday March 29, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I'm planning on moving to another state. Should I inform my nurse manager and supervisor that I will be putting their names down as references? Will doing this affect my job, since I haven't given them a resignation date yet?

Planning on Relocating

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Planning on Relocating,

Prospective employers generally understand that an applicant will not be notifying their employer that they are leaving until they find another job. These employers will typically ask if they can contact your current employer, just in case you have already resigned or told them you are moving. However, it is acceptable to say no if you want to hold off letting your current employer know. Many employers will make a job offer pending a reference check.

When the time comes to check work references, which is usually not until it is time to offer an applicant a job, you should ask your nurse manager and supervisor for permission to list them as references. You don't want them to be caught off guard or find out that way that you are leaving and looking for another job.

Let them know what job, or types of jobs, you're applying for. Discuss the important characteristics for the job, so they can highlight these things when they receive a call. Remind your references of your more significant accomplishments and duties while working for them.

Also, it's a good idea to give your references a copy of your resume. This reminds them of the exact dates of your employment, your job title, what your specific duties are and the projects you worked on. Once you land another job and resign, send them a thank-you note. Being good to your references makes good sense. Make it easy for them to give you a solid reference by asking their permission, providing them with information and thanking them. It will pay off in the long run.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.