PNP References

Tips on Providing PNP References

On your resume, you should state that your PNP references are “Available upon mutual consideration.” In other words, if an employer is considering you for a position, he or she generally will check your references only before making a final commitment. And, you should give them only if you are really interested in the position. Your references are an asset, use them carefully because they deplete with each use. Most employee reference checks are done by telephone but some are done online and require an email address.  A hiring organization normally asks questions related to your character and reputation, procedural skills and experience, areas needing development, and leadership, attitude, reliability, and teamwork.

Employers want to hear from professional references.  Professional references can be former supervisors, respected coworkers, physicians or preceptors. In creating your reference list, follow these steps:

  • Identify at least two people who managed you at work; they can be nurse managers, physicians, or preceptors.
  • Identify two more people, who are your peers at work.
  • Ask them to serve as references and get permission to use their names. It is important to keep your reference list current throughout your career including ongoing interactions with them over time. Maintain their information including their name, best phone number, email address, title, where and when you worked with them.
  • Notify your references when you plan to give their information and send them a fresh copy of your resume.

It is wise to carefully consider the individuals on your PNP reference list and what they may say to a potential employer. You may be asked if a future employer can speak with a former manager or physician as a reference. You may want to talk with them first about any areas you could work on for future development and your reason for leaving.  It is optimal to have a conversation with all managers and physicians when you leave a position to create a lasting positive impression.  These are areas of potential weakness that you should clarify and manage as your career develops.  If there is a situation where you know you will not get a positive reference, then address it head-on and talk about what you learned and how you have made changes going forward.  If you do not want your current workplace to know you are looking, consider past employers.  If that is not a good option, let the hospital or clinic know that you will have to wait to get references until you have an offer to notify your place of employment that you are leaving and then to be a reference.  This may be challenging for you.  Discuss this with your potential future employer and find an agreeable solution.

Here are some typical questions former supervisors may be asked:

  • Are there any technical skills that the candidate could improve?
  • What are the candidate’s strengths?
  • Are you aware of any problems that could affect his or her work?
  • Would you rehire this candidate?

For each reference, you’ll want to list the following information:

  • Proper name and job title
  • Preferred daytime phone number
  • Preferred mailing  address (i.e., at home or at work)
  • How many years you have known the person

Remember to be prepared with this information anytime you might be asked for references, but don’t submit it with a resume unless specifically requested.  Keep your references advised of any interviews you schedule and stay in touch with them throughout the job search process. It is important to remain in touch, on occasion, even after you have secured a new position.