How to Approach A Registered Nurse For An RN Shadow Opportunity

Posted On January 8,2018

How to Approach An RN For A Shadow Opportunity
Many of America’s most successful companies consider the concept of “management by walking around” to be one of the best tools for teaching, coaching and bettering their employees.
In particular, the idea of “shadowing” a superior is often encouraged especially in situations that require a significant amount of hands-on tasks. Shadowing is also an excellent way for a candidate to decide on whether or not that the new job is right for them.
The healthcare industry is a perfect example of this situation and a licensed practical nurse, in particular, can learn a significant amount of practical knowledge – in an amazingly short period of time – by simply spending time with a Registered Nurse – shadowing them – as they fulfill their many duties throughout the day.
Unfortunately, RNs are busy people and do not always want to have a shadow. Here are a few tips on how to facilitate make the first contact and facilitate your acceptance as a shadow.

Send an e-mail first

While many ambitious people think that showing up and asking a registered nurse directly if they can shadow them, these forthright people do not realize that they may show up at an inopportune moment – and likely get turned down in the heat of the moment. It is far better to start with an email inquiry.
Following this strategy will allow the RN to respond at their leisure and make an acceptance far likelier. Here is an excellent email template to help you get started.

Listen and learn

Many practical nurses feel the need to be overly enthusiastic in their desire to get a shadowing position. RNs , on the other hand, are usually more comfortable with LPNs and LPNs who take an observe silently and only ask questions after the fact approach. In short, the RN has a job to do, while educating you – though of utmost importance to you – is a secondary matter to them. In short, keep the questions to a minimum and try to not get in the way.

Review the experience

It will probably be quite hard to do a comprehensive recap of your experience with the RN as they work long shifts and prefer to get home as soon as possible. Still, most of them will take the 15-30 extra minutes to review the highlights of your shadow shift. This is the time that is truly valuable for you. Not only will you learn some highly pertinent information but also gain an insight into the job and whether it truly is for you.

Thank them afterward

Seemingly small gestures such as a simple “Thank You” note or sending a small box of candy to the registered nurse will buy the candidate a lot of credibility in the future. It may not be immediately apparent but if you ever need a school recommendation or a job referral, the effort will be well-rewarded. There is no need to go overboard. As they say, “it is the thought that counts.”
For more information on expanding your education and the associated job possibilities available to the recent graduates of an LPN program, please reach out to us at the Athena Career Academy. We will be happy to answer any questions that you have or to schedule a tour of our campus. Find us online at or reach us directly by phone at 419.329.4075.
Download Our Healthcare Programs Guide