In the medical field we often do not put much consideration into providing references. As a locum tenens nurse practitioner, the references you provide are in fact very important.

Most agencies and sites will need at least 3 references that are co-workers within the past year. These co-workers can be other nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians. They usually request that at least one reference be a supervising physician if indicated.

Here are some tips about the references you provide:

  • Try to provide at least 5 or 6 references – Sometimes your references do not respond quickly and this holds up the credentialing process. Most places will not clear you to start your new position until they have heard from all 3 references.
  • Notify your peers that you will be using them as a reference – It’s always a good thing to have them be prepared and to clarify any information.
  • Switch up your reference list after a few assignments – By your third assignment, your references have already been contacted at least 4 times (once by the agency and once by the site). No one wants to give a reference a dozen times!
  • Obtain new references at each assignment – With so many different work experiences; we should also have a variety of references. Some agencies only want one reference per facility, meaning you cannot have all of your three references from the same job.

I know there are some people that have worked as the sole provider at their clinic for years. In this case, you may wonder whom you can use as a reference since no one has seen you work hands on. Usually agencies will be flexible with this situation. They may allow you to have a peer from school (that you have not worked with) or a supervisor (even if non-medical) act as a reference.

Be sure to keep in mind that the references you provide to an agency/site upon credentialing are actually really important!

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