Signing R.N., B.S.N. to name after retirement?

  1. 0
    I'd appreciate some input. Am a retired nurse, who emails Congresspeople, writes letters to the editor, & posts comments to posts on websites.
    How do you handle "signing" your name after retirement? In situations where I comment re: health care or related issues, I sign as follows--
    Nancy Nurse, R.N., B.S.N. (retired) or Nancy Nurse, R.N., B.S.N. (ret)

    I got the idea from a friend's husband's address--
    Major G.I. Joseph, (ret)

    Thanks.
  2. 21 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    Legally, this boils down to whether or not you still hold an active nursing license. In some states (that don't require continuing practice) it is possible to be retired, even for many years, yet still correctly identify oneself as an RN.

    If you still hold an active nursing license, it is perfectly OK to sign RN after your name, and there is no need to specify that you are retired, unless you desire to do so. Your degree is always yours, is not revocable, and you can always sign it with your name.

    If you are no longer in posession of a nursing license, then it is probably best to indicate "Former Registered Nurse" in your signature.
    GooeyRN and Dangerous like this.
  4. 1
    I agree with Jolie -- the degree is yours forever and whether or not you're currently working as an RN has nothing to do with that; you are certainly entitled to list it after your name for the rest of your life. You either have a license to practice as an RN or you don't -- if you do, you're entitled to list it after your name, and, if you don't have one, it's fraud to put "RN" after your name. I, personally, don't see the relevance of whether or not you're currently, actively practicing (as Jolie notes, if you're no longer licensed, it's certainly fine to describe yourself as a former Registered Nurse).

    I am aware that it is customary for retired military officers to indicate that they are retired in their official signature/designation, as your friend's husband does. My understanding is that that is because that actually means something in the US military (in which the one organization both confers the ranks/titles and employs the individuals). It doesn't mean anything in nursing, where licensure and employment are entirely separate matters (you are an RN if you are licensed as one, regardless of whether you are actually employed as an RN at any given time). My retired nurse friends put their academic credentials and licensure status after their names when relevant/appropriate (they have active licenses) without any indication of their current employment status -- I've never seen any other RN indicate s/he is retired in a signature before, either.
    Dangerous likes this.
  5. 0
    Thank you Jolie. Thank you elkpark.

    My best,
    "Nancy Nurse, B.S.N. (former registered nurse)"
  6. 0
    My husband is retired military and actually still works in a position where he wears his uniform (he teaches JROTC). He signs his name: traumaRUs'hubby, USAF, Retired.

    As to nurses - the above would be correct IMHO.

    Good luck and thanks for advocating.
  7. 0
    Only if your license is still active. I would add the "retired" if it were me. My first supervisor, who retired for the last time at about the age of 77 or 78, said she was turning in her RN license to insure that nobody could talk her into coming out of retirement for the fourth time.
  8. 0
    To be certain of this, contact your Board and ask, in writing. Would like to hear what their response is.
  9. 0
    I disagree. If you earned a title, it should be for life, whether you are active or inactive.
  10. 3
    I disagree. If you earned a title, it should be for life, whether you are active or inactive.
    Camy's mom, oklahomagal, and Chin up like this.
  11. 0
    well your BSN is with you for life like they said Rock, but RN means Registered Nurse and by putting it after your name, you are telling others you have a current registered nurse license. I think there are even legal issues if you put it there and you are not current on your license if I am not mistaken....


Top