Listing Credentials After Name

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    Does anyone know if there is any 'correct' way of listing credentials after your name on something like a business card? Until recently I've been a med/surg nurse and never really thought twice about it. The hospital just slaps 'RN' after my name and that was it. But I've recently accepted a job in hospice care and I'm going to want to have some cards made for my clients.
    I have a prior degree in psych (BA) and would like to list it along with my RN,BSN credentials since 1) there is a large psych component to hospice nursing, and 2) I worked hard to earn the degree.

    So given BSN RN and BA to work with, can anyone tell me the proper way (if there is one) to list them after my name? Is it my own preference? The preference of my employer?

    Thanks, all.
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  3. 19 Comments so far...

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    In most situations, the custom is to list academic degrees prior to professional designations. (For example, "Jane Doe, Ph.D., RN) But there's nothing hard and fast about it.

    However, for those doing patient care, I think it's sometimes confusing to those we're caring for. (Remember, if nurses have trouble dealing with the whole ADN/BSN/etc. debate, imagine the situation for the public :-)

    If I were in your shoes, I'd list my name, and then spell out your academic stuff: "John Doe, RN," then "BSN, Nursing, BA, Psychology." (Trust me that 95% of the population has no idea what a BSN is). This makes it clear that you are a nurse, and educates them about your background, as well.

    Jim Huffman, RN
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    Quote from James Huffman
    In most situations, the custom is to list academic degrees prior to professional designations. (For example, "Jane Doe, Ph.D., RN) But there's nothing hard and fast about it.

    However, for those doing patient care, I think it's sometimes confusing to those we're caring for. (Remember, if nurses have trouble dealing with the whole ADN/BSN/etc. debate, imagine the situation for the public :-)

    If I were in your shoes, I'd list my name, and then spell out your academic stuff: "John Doe, RN," then "BSN, Nursing, BA, Psychology." (Trust me that 95% of the population has no idea what a BSN is). This makes it clear that you are a nurse, and educates them about your background, as well.

    Jim Huffman, RN
    Thanks, Jim......very much appreciated
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    I've been told (by reliable sources ) that the reason the academic degree goes closest to your name is because it's permanent -- you can never lose it once you've got it. Then the license designation, because the license isn't permanently yours, then any certifications because they aren't as important as the actual license. So I sign my name (professionally, not in my personal life! :chuckle ) Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx, MSN, RN, CS.

    While it's also custom that you only use your highest academic degree (i.e., not Xxxxx Xxxxx, BSN, MSN -- because the higher degree renders the lower degree rather a moot point), I guess there's no reason not to list both baccalaureate degrees. IMHO, though, I wouldn't bother listing the majors, just "BSN, BA" (or vice versa). If people really want to know what the degrees are in, they can ask you. Most of the degrees that people list after their names are a mystery to the general public, and people usually just don't really care that much (and, if they do, they'll ask ... )

    Actually, if it were me, I wouldn't bother with the BA in psych at all, since it doesn't really represent a clinical credential. (If you were a nurse and also a licensed psychologist, I would feel differently.)

    So, I vote for "John Doe, BSN, RN" (or "BSN, BA, RN," if you really must ). And, any additional certifications, etc. that you have would go after the "RN."
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    Quote from elkpark
    I've been told (by reliable sources ) that the reason the academic degree goes closest to your name is because it's permanent -- you can never lose it once you've got it. Then the license designation, because the license isn't permanently yours, then any certifications because they aren't as important as the actual license. So I sign my name (professionally, not in my personal life! :chuckle ) Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx, MSN, RN, CS.

    While it's also custom that you only use your highest academic degree (i.e., not Xxxxx Xxxxx, BSN, MSN -- because the higher degree renders the lower degree rather a moot point), I guess there's no reason not to list both baccalaureate degrees. IMHO, though, I wouldn't bother listing the majors, just "BSN, BA" (or vice versa). If people really want to know what the degrees are in, they can ask you. Most of the degrees that people list after their names are a mystery to the general public, and people usually just don't really care that much (and, if they do, they'll ask ... )

    Actually, if it were me, I wouldn't bother with the BA in psych at all, since it doesn't really represent a clinical credential. (If you were a nurse and also a licensed psychologist, I would feel differently.)

    So, I vote for "John Doe, BSN, RN" (or "BSN, BA, RN," if you really must ). And, any additional certifications, etc. that you have would go after the "RN."
    Good points. However ... the OP's question was regarding the use of the psychology credential in a hospice setting. Although I think listing degrees is often not needed, I think he wanted clients in that setting to be aware of his further training. If he did, listing the credentials out would (possibly) serve that purpose.

    Jim Huffman, RN
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    Thanks everyone - this helped me too. I have always wondered about the RN, BSN or BSN, RN thing myself. In my hospital, we have our degrees on our name-tags.
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    Currently taking a BSN class...and we were told you put your degrees after your name in a SPECIFIC ORDER... by placing the first degree received first, second next, etc.

    So if Nurse Nancy gets her RN, then CNN, then ARNP, it should actually be

    Nurse Nancy, RN, CNN, ARNP

    ANyone else?
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    Gosh, currently, my name tag reads Jane Doe, RN, BSN, CEN (because the CEN is a specialty certificate). It seems like there are a lot of ways to do things.
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    We are allowed to have our highest degree but not certification. I worked harder for my CCRN than my BSN, sad as that sounds, and I wish I could have it on my namebadge. Very few staff nurses put their degree on their tags, so I went with the flow.
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    However, for those doing patient care, I think it's sometimes confusing to those we're caring for. (Remember, if nurses have trouble dealing with the whole ADN/BSN/etc. debate, imagine the situation for the public :-)

    ___________
    If you think that is confusing, my ex mother in law ( a nurse for 30 years) has the last name Student!


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