NP credentials

  1. This question may have been brought up in this forum in the past but I am wondering if anyone can come up with the correct way to write one's credentials as an NP. I was told to write the degree first (MSN), then the licensure (RN), then the NP certification (APRN,BC, NP-C, FNP-C, WHNP, etc.), then the state NP title (NP, ARNP, CNP, etc.), then any other certifications (CCRN, CEN, OCN, etc.)

    That too me is writing too much letters from the alphabet. Can we just write name then comma, then NP? I have a NP co-worker who has letters taking up two lines underneath his name, docs often ask him what those letters mean.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    I think much depends on your state. In IL, you have to sign APRN, BC. However, I actually write traumarus, CNS, APN and list my DEA #.

    I work with three FNPs and they just sign jane doe, FNP.

    I'll be honest, on my nametag I have truamarus, MSN, CNS, CEN

    Few people ask what they stand for and everyone calls me the NP!
  4. by   juan de la cruz
    Hmmm, I always thought APRN,BC is only used by those who received certification from ANCC. Didn't know some states use it as well.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I do have to tell you that this is what I found:

    "The APN acronym represents a specific umbrella term that encompasses four distinct groups of nursing specialties in which those tasks are performed:

    certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
    certified nurse practitioner (CNP)
    clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
    certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)"

    Nursing Spectrum- Career Fitness Online

    Okay and this next source is the IL Society of Advanced Practice Nurses:

    "Getting an APN license accords an individual three titles: registered nurse (RN), advanced practice nurse (APN) and one of the four APN specialties—certified nurse practitioner (CNP), certified nurse midwife (CNM), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and clinical nurse specialist (CNS). However, it’s ponderous to put all those title abbreviations after one’s name—and unnecessary. One cannot be an APN without first being an RN; therefore, the RN title is truly superfluous. It’s perfectly legal to distill everything down to one’s specialty. Therefore, simply writing “CNP” or “CNM” or “CRNA” or “CNS” is totally appropriate. Now, some APNs may decide that pharmacists will honor their prescriptions more quickly if they sign their name with “APN/CNP” or “APN, CNM”, simply because the APN designation is more generic. Therefore, there is nothing wrong by putting the two designations, especially if you think it will facilitate your practice.

    There is a tricky aspect to the CNS designation, however. The practice act refers to only “CNS”, which is the universally accepted abbreviation for clinical nurse specialist. But when the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (IDPR) designed our licenses, someone mistakenly thought that consistency dictated that the CNSs should be called “certified clinical nurse specialists.” But the problem with that premise is that its abbreviation is “CCNS”, which as it happens, is an abbreviation trademarked by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and denotes certification by AACN as a “Clinical Nurse Specialist in Acute and Critical Care.” Therefore, since CCNS ™ is a trademarked abbreviation—despite what one’s license says—no one should use this abbreviation unless s/he is, indeed, so certified by the AACN.

    Most people who raise the question of titles are NPs, because we have so many certifying bodies and so many specialties. There are FNPs, PNPs, GNPs, ANPs, ACNPs, WHNPs, APRNs, ARNPs, BCs, and NP-Cs, just to name a few. Furthermore, many APNs are used to signing their names with academic credentials, such as BS, MS, MSN, ND, PhD, etc. In Illinois, the only acronyms of significance are APN and either CNP, CNM, CNS, or CRNA. Those are the only letters that are "legal" in Illinois. The "C" in all of those indicates that they are board certified by a body acceptable to the State of Illinois. All those other letters reflecting types of certification and academic credentials might have value when one is writing a journal article or giving a scholarly presentation. But these "extra" letters are not helpful in clarifying our role to patients, pharmacists, or other professionals in health care. When we sign our charts and prescriptions, we should sign our names using only those letters recognized in our practice act."

    Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing - The Official Site for APNs in Illinois


    So, PinoyNP I stand corrected. In IL, you can have a number of signatures depending on what you want to do.
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Dec 31, '06 : Reason: Needed to correctly quote...
  6. by   juan de la cruz
    Thanks trauma! by the way, Happy New Year!!!!
  7. by   traumaRUs
    Thanks - PinoyNP and right back at you.
  8. by   BrandyNP
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I do have to tell you that this is what I found:

    "The APN acronym represents a specific umbrella term that encompasses four distinct groups of nursing specialties in which those tasks are performed:

    certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
    certified nurse practitioner (CNP)
    clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
    certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)"

    Nursing Spectrum- Career Fitness Online

    Okay and this next source is the IL Society of Advanced Practice Nurses:

    "Getting an APN license accords an individual three titles: registered nurse (RN), advanced practice nurse (APN) and one of the four APN specialties--certified nurse practitioner (CNP), certified nurse midwife (CNM), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and clinical nurse specialist (CNS). However, it's ponderous to put all those title abbreviations after one's name--and unnecessary. One cannot be an APN without first being an RN; therefore, the RN title is truly superfluous. It's perfectly legal to distill everything down to one's specialty. Therefore, simply writing "CNP" or "CNM" or "CRNA" or "CNS" is totally appropriate. Now, some APNs may decide that pharmacists will honor their prescriptions more quickly if they sign their name with "APN/CNP" or "APN, CNM", simply because the APN designation is more generic. Therefore, there is nothing wrong by putting the two designations, especially if you think it will facilitate your practice.

    There is a tricky aspect to the CNS designation, however. The practice act refers to only "CNS", which is the universally accepted abbreviation for clinical nurse specialist. But when the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (IDPR) designed our licenses, someone mistakenly thought that consistency dictated that the CNSs should be called "certified clinical nurse specialists." But the problem with that premise is that its abbreviation is "CCNS", which as it happens, is an abbreviation trademarked by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and denotes certification by AACN as a "Clinical Nurse Specialist in Acute and Critical Care." Therefore, since CCNS is a trademarked abbreviation--despite what one's license says--no one should use this abbreviation unless s/he is, indeed, so certified by the AACN.

    Most people who raise the question of titles are NPs, because we have so many certifying bodies and so many specialties. There are FNPs, PNPs, GNPs, ANPs, ACNPs, WHNPs, APRNs, ARNPs, BCs, and NP-Cs, just to name a few. Furthermore, many APNs are used to signing their names with academic credentials, such as BS, MS, MSN, ND, PhD, etc. In Illinois, the only acronyms of significance are APN and either CNP, CNM, CNS, or CRNA. Those are the only letters that are "legal" in Illinois. The "C" in all of those indicates that they are board certified by a body acceptable to the State of Illinois. All those other letters reflecting types of certification and academic credentials might have value when one is writing a journal article or giving a scholarly presentation. But these "extra" letters are not helpful in clarifying our role to patients, pharmacists, or other professionals in health care. When we sign our charts and prescriptions, we should sign our names using only those letters recognized in our practice act."

    Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing - The Official Site for APNs in Illinois


    So, PinoyNP I stand corrected. In IL, you can have a number of signatures depending on what you want to do.
    I have a MSN and I'm an RN, but I just write NP after my name. Other health care professionals make fun of us for having the alphabet after our name.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    I write CNS, APN after my initials only because there are few CNS's in my area.
  10. by   juan de la cruz
    Quote from BrandyNP
    I have a MSN and I'm an RN, but I just write NP after my name. Other health care professionals make fun of us for having the alphabet after our name.
    See I think the same way as you Brandy. Our hospital badge just reads:

    Name
    Nurse Practitioner
    Surgery

    However, some of us sign orders and other documentation in different ways. And don't even bring up lab coats -- some of my co-workers have an alphabet soup after their names embroidered in their hospital lab coats. Mine just says MSN, ACNP and I always just sign my name followed by NP in all my documentation. Don't get me wrong though, I didn't mean this to be a right or wrong issue. I think there is no correct way of doing this but of course, the only letters that matter in our credentials is the "NP" (or "CNS" for you trauma).
  11. by   traumaRUs
    Yep I agree PinoyNP - I am the only CNS in a practice of 11 MDs, 4 PAs, 3 NPs and me! Everyone calls me the NP because the others are. I spend oodles of time explaining that while I'm an APN, I'm not an NP. I don't bother correcting folks more than once because its ridiculous. The patients all call me the NP or the "doc."

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