Proper Way to List Credentials? - page 3

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?... Read More

  1. by   Q.
    I can see that, except I never knew that people actually list certifications, like NALS. I've never listed that after my name. Why not list CPR then?
    Susy K, RN, BSN, NALS, CPR.

    In a way, some certifications can guarantee you are a "better" nurse: skills wise. For instance, our post-partum nurses were not NALS certified; L&D nurses were. We could resuscitate an infant; they could not.
    Other than that, I think degrees and certifications are, like Stargazer said, job requirements - and for a reason. I've known bedside nurses with their MSN; are they a better bedside nurse? Not necessarily. But probably more due to the fact that their MSN isn't being utilized to the fullest extent, in another capacity.
  2. by   Q.
    Ted, TNCC is Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum or something like that.
  3. by   Stargazer
    Originally posted by montroyal
    I never meant to say that degrees and certifications are not important. I am just amazed at the fact people have to wear them on their name badges or business cards. They do belong on a resume or CV, under the education and certification section. The public has a hard enough time distingushing who is who in the hospital setting, adding a alphabet of initials only leads to more confusion. At one time I had CEN, ACLS, PALS, NALS, TNCC, ENPC. I'm willing to bet there are a large amount of nurses who read this that can't tell you what some of these stand for. If they can't, do you think the public can? Does having these or any other certification or degree gaurentee you are are better nurse?
    Well, if you were taking care of me in the ER and I saw that you had RN, CEN on your nametag, I would feel reassured that I was being cared for by an experienced ER nurse. Not every patient is going to be ignorant of what that means. I agree with you that the ACLS, PALS, etc. are superfluous, and I have never seen anyone in any setting who used those as part of their title. I would think that person exceedingly pathetic if they did so.

    However, we don't all work in hospital settings. I don't use RN, BSN in my daily email correspondence, but when I hand my business card to someone, it is likely to be a medical director, CEO or VP of a large company, or a physician working for a government agency. Most of these folks have Master's or Doctoral degrees in their own fields, and education is a valued currency.

    I also agree with Susy that advanced degrees or certification imply experience and expertise. Anecdotally, virtually every single board-certified physician I know signs his or her name (for example) John Smith, MD, FACEP. If being "just an MD" isn't enough for them, why should being "just an RN" be enough for us?
  4. by   Gardengal
    I was instructed when I wrote RN, MSN, CCRN that I did it wrong and I was 'out of order'. I was supposed to start with the MSN, then the RN then the CCRN when in academic or research circles. I only wrote all those letters in response to a question regarding my credentials as a lecturer at a local conference. I had written my credentials in that order for previous hospital presentations. I received my CCRN before my MSN, I didn't list them in order of timeline of acquiring them, but in order of importance to me.

    The way I figured it was....I went to school and got my BSN, but never wrote that anywhere, except as credentials when presenting continuing education offerings. I figured the RN was most important because I needed to be an RN to practice. i got my CCRN as a way of validating my critical care knowledge, not so I had more letters to my name. My name without credentials includes 18 letters (talk about a tough time as a child learning to write it).

    When I received my MSN I was proud of the accomplishment, but didn't think that it belonged first with my credentials. RN 1st because that's what allows me to practice, CCRN next because it validates my critical care knowledge base, MSN last because I think it will be that last degree I go for (although right now I'm registering for American Sign Language at th ecommunity college in my area).

    I use my credentials in that order on my business card, have just the RN on my name badge and use the same order of credentials for presentations as I have on my business card. I gavein to peer pressure that one time when I was told I was 'out of order', but never again because it looked funny to me. I guess I decided I liked being out of order.
  5. by   Jenny P
    There was an article in one of the recent nursing journals on this and it said that you write the certifications and honors last, then the RN second last, and your education first. You can lose your certification by not renewing, you can lose your RN degree, but you can never lose your education. It makes sence to me.

    I will go right now and find the article and give you the source.
  6. by   hoolahan
    Jenny, interesting, and very sensible, which means a nursing academic did NOT think of that I am sure. LOL!

    Montroyal, I don't put alphabet soup on my nurses notes, but I do have it like I listed on my biz cards b/c I have to hand them out to pt's, who give them to their lawyers, doc's, other case managers in diff settings, and doc's oput them into my pt's charts so I get a copy of their office notes automatically.

    I guess it doesn't mean anything to some people, but it DOES mean something to me, and if I am goign to have a biz card, it might as well be as professional as it can be.

    I am praying I passed my CCM exam, and if so, I will be dropping and not renewing my CCRN for the first time in 17 years! I will then be Linda S RN, BSN, CCM I hope!!! I would never use the CCRN and CCM at the same time, that is just unecesary.
    originally posted by susy k
    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?
    ...i've always seen it like:

    • jane doe, aas, rn or jane doe rn, aas

    then when jane doe goes on for the next degree, she just list that license, then the degree:

    • jane doe, bsn, rn or jane doe, rn, bsn
    • jane doe, msn, rn, cns or jane doe, rn msn, cns
    • jane doe, dsn, rn, faan or jane doe, rn, dsn, faan

    it isn't practical to list every degree level when it's assumed that once you've received your graduate level, for example, you've had to have received a bachelor's degree. having too many initials behind names only further confuses patients & their families. heck, it even confuses the hell out of many healthcare professionals. i know its very confusing for me to destinguish all of the doctorate in nursing degrees; e.g.,
    • dsn, dns, & dnsc
    • scd
    • edd
    • phd
    • jd
    ...believe it or not, these are degrees that are held by some of the facility members from my nursing program...confusing isn't it...told you... lol!!!

    some hospital facilities frown on rns listing their degrees at all on their name tags...something to do with not wanting to offend those rns whom have not gone on for their bsn or further...not sure that i agree with that school of thought....seems to me, if you earned it, you should be able to show it...what do you think ???

    one thing for sure, i've never seen anyone go from lpn to their highest degree & keep the lpn initals; e.g.; jane doe, lpn, rn, aas, jane doe, lpn, rn, bsn ...why is that i wonder ???
    Last edit by SKM-NURSIEPOOH on Nov 19, '02
  8. by   Jenny P
    Sorry, I haven't found it yet; I tried a web search and didin't find it and I've been searching through my stack of nursing magazines but they are now all out of order-- someone knocked them over and picked them up and piled them up again. I do know I read this in the last 2 months, so it is printed in a nursing joural this year. I get AJN, Nursing 2002, RN, Critical Care Nurse, Focus on Critical Care, Nursing Spectrum and a few others, but I think the article is in one of those. I just wish I could remember the title because that would help.
    I will keep looking, but not right now.
  9. by   Jenny P
    originally posted by skm-nursiepooh
    ...i've always seen it like:

    • jane doe, aas, rn or jane doe rn, aas

    then when jane doe goes on for the next degree, she just list that license, then the degree:

    • jane doe, bsn, rn or jane doe, rn, bsn
    • jane doe, msn, rn, cns or jane doe, rn msn, cns
    • jane doe, dsn, rn, faan or jane doe, rn, dsn, faan

    one thing for sure, i've never seen anyone go from lpn to their highest degree & keep the lpn initals; e.g.; jane doe, lpn, rn, aas, jane doe, lpn, rn, bsn ...why is that i wonder ???
    moe, you are right about the highest degree listed being the title. you will never see someone listing the lpn,rn, etc. because a nurse is always held legally accountable to their highest licensure; so that even though someone who went from an lpn to a rn and they have maintained both licenses, if they are called in front of the state board of nursing or a court of law; they are accountable to the law as an rn.

    so, supposing an lpn goes back to school and gets her rn license but is unable to find a job as an rn anywhere (hey, it used to happen!) so they decide to work as an lpn. if something happens and they need to go to court or the sbn, they will be judged as an rn even though they are working (and being paid!) as an lpn.
    once nurses pass their nclex-rn, listing all subsequent, or should i say, previous degree(s) is academic...isn't it???

    except for those diploma rns, why not just list the highest degree with the licensure & relevent certifications like ccrn, crna, faan just seem pretentious to list jane doe, rn, aas, bsn, msn, dsn along with any general cerfications like cpr, acls, nals, etc after a name. what are your thoughts???
  11. by   montroyal
    But what does "TNCC" and "ENPC" stand for??

    Ted [/B][/QUOTE]


    TNCC- Trauma Nurse Core Cirriculum
    ENPC- Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course

    In reality, they mean very little. When I took my refresher for TNCC, not one of the instructors had ever worked in a level one trauma center, none had ever worked on a patient who chest had been cracked open by a trauma surgeon, and what I heard most from the instructors was " I've never seen this". I took the CEN exam and passed with only FOUR months ER experience. I passed because I read the review book and could recite the info back, not because I was experienced. You never have to work a day in the ER to take the CEN or flight nurse exam. Amazing? Atleast the CCRN exam requires you to have worked several thousand hours in an ICU before you can sit for the exam.

    Looking back on it now, it amazes me that several of these certifications exist. I feel they are money makers for their respective organizations(they can cost several hundred dollars). Take a look at what has happened to ACLS. It is now concidered a "learning experience". Almost everyone passes even if they have to take the test over and over again. People used to be terrified of taking the course because a large percentage would fail and you had to wait six months to take it again. Now it is a joke with nearly a 100% passing rate. I wouldn't want someone who took 4 or 5 tries to pass taking care of me or any of my family in a high stress situation.

    I apologize for getting of the subject of this forum, I guess I just needed to vent.
  12. by   BostonOncoNurse
    Go with the order you received them. If you got your RN before BSN then Jane Doe, RN, BSN...if you got your BSN before your RN then Jane Doe, BSN, RN and everything happens after that
  13. by   fdesjardins
    According to The Etiquette Advantage in Business (2 ed) by Peggy Post and Peter Post ( 2005), "Academic degrees (Ph.D., LL.D.) and professional ratings (CPA)..." In an Article by Mary C. Smolenski (Playing the Credentials Game) she lists them as degree, licensure, state designation (as required) and national certification. I would have to say that the masters prepared nurse who is certified in nursing administration would be listed as:

    Suzy P. Smith, MSN, RN-BC (certified by ANCC)
    Suzy P. Smith, MSN, RN, CEN (certified by specialty area)