Proper Way to List Credentials?

  1. Ok I have a question. What is the proper way to list your credentials? I've seen Susy K, RN, BSN and Susy K, BSN, RN. Why do some people put the BSN first? Does it mean anything?
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  2. 56 Comments

  3. by   Stargazer
    Susy, the way I've always seen it done is licensure, degree, specialty certification. Like: Jane Doe, RN, BSN, CNRN. If people have other licensures that aren't directly relevant to their current position, I've seen those tacked on the end: Jane Doe, RN, BSN, CEN, EMT-P.

    I've looked a bit for a cite and can't find one right now, but I stink at websearches. Soemone else here can probably help you find a source.
  4. by   RN2B2005
    Stylistically, I think the "R.N., B.S.N." looks better. Also, it seems like degrees are usually listed in order of acquisition or importance (as in, So-and-So, M.D., M.P.H.--the M.P.H. was acquired to abet the M.D., so it comes afterwards). I can't find anything in the style manuals that refer to professional degrees specifically.

    The only thing that I think looks really stupid is people--like a nursing advisor of mine who has a serious case of "M.D. envy" and shall remain nameless--who put every degree they've ever earned after their name...e.g., Jane So-and-So, A.A.S., B.A., B.S.N., R.N., M.P.H., M.S.N., C.M.H.C., Ph.D. ("call me DOCTOR So-and-So"; I really, really wish I was kidding on this one, but I'm not. This is the same woman who spent a half-hour telling our advising class why we shouldn't go into nursing).
  5. by   Q.
    This is so bizarre, because I've seen it both ways. I've always put Susy K RN, BSN but then my business cards came as Susy K BSN, RN, because apparently the last nurse had it that way. My friend in school is a nurse educator in ER and her business cards say Jane Doe, BS, RN.

    Maybe you put them in order of acquiring? So, when I get my MSN it will be Susy K, RN, MSN? Since I had the RN first? I don't know.
  6. by   June55Baby
    Hey, I have always wondered this same thing.... I heard that they are listed in the order you acquired them. If so mine should be BSN, RN. I earned my BSN in May 19?? and was licensed in July 19??.

    I will stay tuned to see what the concensus is!
  7. by   ptnurse
    I always thought that you listed credentials in the order that they were acquired. But I don't know why I think it is suppose to be that way. I don't know if someone told me to do it that way or if I just decided on my own. I guess if you earned the credentials you really should be able to place them in the order that you prefer.
  8. by   MHN
    I always thought qualifications were put in the order you gained them. e.g. MHN. R.N.,R.M.,R.G.N.,M.H.N.
  9. by   hoolahan
    Excellent question, and I also don't know the answer. I do Linda S RN BSN CCRN, but if I did it on the order I obtained them it would be Linda S RN CCRN BSN, which just doesn't look right.

    Another silly related question do you do this

    Jane Doe L.P.N
    Jane Doe LPN

    or Jane Doe R.N. , B.S.N
    or Jane Doe RN BN

    With or without periods?
    With or without commas and where?

    Susy, my biz cards say Linda S RN BSN CCRN, but they asked me to write down exactly how I wanted my name to appear, so that was why I did it that way.

    Very good question.
  10. by   Q.
    Hmmm. I think I've done them without periods, but with a comma. That's a good question, though.
  11. by   Ted
    I always thought the degrees go first. Oh well. . .

    Now I have a Bachelor's of Music degree, so my name and list of degrees look like this:

    Edward J. Fiebke, BM , BSN, RN

    Love the "BM " !!!

    Cheers!

    Ted
  12. by   Stargazer
    Technically, the absolute correct way to do that is:
    Linda S., R.N., B.S.N., CCRN. But it's fairly accepted practice to shorten that up by leaving out ALL the periods.

    Just had to look at my own business cards. I have R.N., B.S.N., because I let my CCRN lapse. I plan to retake the exam sometime in the next year or so, though, so I might not have room for all the periods then.

    I've just been perusing the author listings of some of the texts on my bookshelf and the format is consistent with what I listed above: Jane Doe, RN, MS, CEN, or Jane Doe, RN, MSN, MICN. Licensure, then degree, then specialty certification.
  13. by   Q.
    Ok, Stargazer, I took your idea and perused my author listings, and most of them list licensure first, as you've stated, with the exception of ONE PERSON:

    The lovely Jean Watson, Ph.D, RN, FAAN. Gee. Go figure.

    So she's an idiot in more than one regard?
  14. by   Stargazer
    <snicker>

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