Nurse Signatures, matching names


  • Specializes in Rural Health. Has 19 years experience.

A new nurse was just hired at the hospital. Her and I have the same last name, we also have the same first inital and are both RNs. I didn't think too much about it until the other day when she said, "I don't know how I'm going to sign my name now, since our signatures would be the same." We do have different middle initials, so initialing things wouldn't be a problem. I'm wondering if it will really matter if our names our signed the same, I'm sure our handwriting isn't the same. She is in the OR dept and I don't usually work in patient care, but I do occasionally help out on the floor when things are busy.

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Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

In almost every place I've worked, I've also had to print/stamp my name out in block letters along with the signature. So even if I had common last name, it wouldn't be an issue.

Easiest solution is to write our your first name, or throw your middle initial into your full signature. Or if you have a degree/credential that she doesn't, append that onto your sig.

dudette10, MSN, RN

1 Article; 3,530 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 12 years experience.

Most of the time, people can't read signatures anyway, but the handwriting is recognized and distinct. Unless you have the same handwriting as this other nurse, I wouldn't worry about it.

ETA: If you ever have to use electronic signatures, I would suggest that you and the other nurse ensure that your full first names are used on any electronic signatures to avoid problems in the future.


503 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, LTC, Rehab, Home Health. Has 20 years experience.

I had the same problem once. The person who was hired first was M. Smith, R.N. and the new person was M.A. Smith, R.N.


716 Posts

Specializes in Public Health, L&D, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

I was supposed to work on a unit, same shift, too, with another nurse with the same first and last name. We were going to use our middle initials for signatures. I took care of the problem by leaving. :)

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2,452 Posts

Specializes in ortho, hospice volunteer, psych,. Has 20 years experience.

I have always signed Katherine (Middle Initial) Last Name at work and I used it as my legal signature on my passport, driver's license, credit cards, etc. and that worked until a new RN was hired. Same identical full name, except she was nicknamed, "Katy." Rule said we MUST sign our full names to every document.

The DON's idea was to have us use the first number of our employee ID as well. I got married about a month

later and since I took my husband's name, problem solved.


300 Posts

Only other nurse I know with the same last name as me is my mum. Considering we will be in separate facilities if I get in that won't matter


905 Posts

There is a girl at my work with the same initials as me, so I added my middle initial to my name when I sign things.