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Keeping your maiden name

NP   (2,659 Views | 10 Replies)

orangepink has 3 years experience as a NP.

7,895 Profile Views; 289 Posts

When you became an NP, what did you do with your maiden name?

  1. 1. When you became an NP, what did you do with your maiden name?

    • 6
      Kept it as is
    • 1
      Hyphenate it
    • 4
      Change to my husband's name

11 members have participated

Hi! I'm getting married next year and a friend asked me casually if I'd be changing my surname professionally? Thing is most female MDs I know use their maiden name. One cited that most patients already knew her as such and didn't want to lose touch with those patients. Another said she published a lot of research and would have to go over each of them to have it changed.

So I'm just wondering how many female NPs have decided to use their maiden name and what were your reasons? or do you hyphenate it? Or did you change to your husbands name and what were your reasons?

Just curious.

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNS and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

165 Articles; 21,045 Posts; 193,872 Profile Views

I have been married a long time and got married when I was in the military. At that time (1980), I hypenated my name. However, my maiden name was 9 letters in length and my married name is 8 letters! So - I had a two-line nametag and a name no one could pronounce anyway!

I think it all goes back to the names that you are considering. If I had a simple, easy to pronounce name, I would hypenate it. I would not keep my maiden name as I would want my kids to all have the same name (as unpronounceable as it is).

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Jules A is a MSN and specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

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Similar to TraumaRUs. I was established professionally, mine is long, his is longer, I figured why bother? If he truly had a preference I probably would have changed it or at least considered changing it but he didn't. He was already acclimated to life with a feminist who wasn't going to fall into traditional roles, poor fellow. :)

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WKShadowNP has 19 years experience as a DNP, APRN and specializes in Hospital medicine; NP precepting; staff education.

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I would say it's really up to you. A female physician recently told me she didn't want the expense of changing it professionally.

As for me I was married in 1995 before I was a nurse let alone NP. I changed my name then but although my name is six letters, it's hard to pronounce unless you speak or are familiar with spanish

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615 Posts; 10,977 Profile Views

He was already acclimated to life with a feminist who wasn't going to fall into traditional roles, poor fellow. :)

Feminism is not a bad thing. A feminist is a person who believes a man and a woman should be socially, politically, and financially equal. I think your husband is a lucky man. We need to move away from the antiquated 1300s mentality of women stay at the home and cook and be a man's property. Actually, that's been going on even as recently as the 1950s.

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BCgradnurse has 11 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in allergy and asthma, urgent care.

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I was already married when I became a NP, and I had hyphenated my last name. I wish I had kept my birth name. It's a pain in the butt to sign, people never remember it, and I ended up divorcing the guy...lol. My SO and I have been talking about marriage, and I just might go back to my maiden name. At least that will somewhat match the diplomas, licenses, certifications, etc.

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DowntheRiver has 6 years experience and specializes in Urgent Care, Oncology.

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I'm just a RN, but I changed my last name when I got married. I went from 8 letters to 5 letters, and I like it because now my first and last names are both 5 letters. I like things being even. Obviously it isn't going to work that way for everyone, but that was my internal justification. I grew up with a mother that didn't have the same last name as me (it was actually her ex-husband's last name, ha!) and that made things slightly complicated so I always told myself I'd change my name.

My old last name was also unpronounceable and my new last name is a common everyday word that you'd be an idiot to not be able to pronounce so that was a driving factor as well.

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casias12 has 30 years experience and specializes in Cardiology nurse practitioner.

101 Posts; 2,913 Profile Views

I had a friend who was going to become Shiela Long-Dong. She decided to stick with Shiela Long (First name changed to protect the innocent).

But her husband remained Dr. Dong, instead of becoming Dr. Long.

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Angie O'Plasty has 5 years experience and specializes in acute care.

164 Posts; 7,068 Profile Views

There is really no good solution, is there? Not with the customs we have inherited. I am getting married next year and am still struggling with this. I really dislike the idea of dropping any part of the name I was given at birth...I know some women drop their middle name and move their maiden name into that position, but because my middle name is after a family member I would feel kind of bad getting rid of it. Besides, I don't like the discontinuity of being known by one name for thirty-something years and then totally changing it...it confuses people, and the fact is that you are the same person after you marry than you were before. That said, I can see where not having the same last name as one's kids could create confusion. I think I will end up hyphenating...seems like the best compromise although I am really not excited about having to still go through all the name change paperwork!!

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5 Followers; 37,390 Posts; 100,265 Profile Views

Once knew a woman in another profession who got married later in life and said that she kept her maiden name because she was known in her profession by that name. She did not want to be 'hampered' in her career progression by changing her surname. She didn't bother to hyphenate her name. Her child took the father's name. Based on behaviors, I was not surprised that she was prepared for the eventual divorce. No changes necessary. Several decades later, I have seen evidence that her child, at least part of the time, has been using the mother's maiden name. Always thought that in that case, the woman could have taken her husband's name if she had wanted to.

Also there was an instructor at nursing school who changed her hyphenated surname every time she changed spouses. It was somewhat of a crude joke around school about her 'current' name.

I can see the convenience of retaining a particular name when one is published.

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Jules A is a MSN and specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

2 Followers; 8,863 Posts; 47,510 Profile Views

I had a friend who was going to become Shiela Long-Dong. She decided to stick with Shiela Long (First name changed to protect the innocent).

But her husband remained Dr. Dong, instead of becoming Dr. Long.

OMG I love this! I definitely would have done the hyphenated version of this. Jules Long-Dong it could not get any better than that!

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434 Posts; 5,716 Profile Views

I was an attorney before being a nurse, and 100% of my female attorney colleagues kept their maiden name. It was the traditional thing to do and part of the culture that one kept one's name. Part of it was because there was a desire not to confuse clients, but even when that wasn't an issue, it was just "what you do." The children usually (but not always) took the father's name.

I can say that there was no confusion caused by the different surnames in the family, at least none that was not surmountable.

I think it is just what you are comfortable with for the rest of your life. Any confusion/effort saved or added by your choice of name would dissipate fairly quickly, and should not drive the decision.

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