What do all those initials mean?

  1. In researching and looking through the job postings for nurses, I come across a lot of initials indicating qualifications...
    where do I find out what they mean?
    Specifically, the BLS and stuff like that.

    Thank you for any help or any places to go for more information....

    AND, where do I go to find out about the various licensing requirements for each state?
  2. Visit wmurphy6 profile page

    About wmurphy6

    Joined: May '01; Posts: 1


  3. by   shyviolet78
    I don't understand all the abbreviations either. I'm curious about CEN (I think it has something to do with emergency nursing) and PRN (which I think is a type of shift, not a qualification, am I right?). I assume you know the abbreviations for the degrees - BSN, ADN, LVN/LPN - let me know which abbreviations you are asking about and I'll see what I can find out. I haven't heard of BLS, don't know what it means.

    As far as licensing requirements, the website for the ANA is www.ana.org

    Also, this webpage has links to many different organizations that might answer your questions: http://wwnurse.com/nursing/nursing_organizations.shtml

    There's another nursing organization website I've found helpful in the past, but I couldn't think of it's name just now. I'll post it if I remember.

  4. by   fiestynurse
    O.K., Here it goes!
    RN (Registered Nurse),
    ADN (Associate Degree Nurse),
    BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing),
    MSN (Masters of Science in Nursing),
    NP (Nurse Practitioner),
    PA (Physicians Assistant),
    LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse),
    LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse),
    CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant),
    NA (Nursing Assistant),
    PCA (Patient Care Assistant),
    MA (Medical Assistant),
    OT (Occupational Therapist),
    PT (Physical Therapist),
    RD (Registered Dietician).
    Then you have various certifications, like CRN (Certified Registered Nurse in a speciality area), BLS (Basic Life Support), ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support), NALS (Neonatal Advanced Life Support) and this list goes on and may even vary depending on what part of the country you live in.
    Then, you have medical abbreviations like PRN, which is latin for "pro re nata", meaning as needed. Every hospital that you work at should have a list of acceptable standard abbreviations for that facility. PD means per diem, which is a hiring status that excludes benefits. I hope this helps you and if anyone else would like to elaborate on this list that would be great. There are abbreviations and initials that I haven't a clue what they stand for. It's all so confusing, isn't it!

    [ May 30, 2001: Message edited by: feistynurse ]
  5. by   Jane Wilson
    You are so right , there are so many different meanings for initials.
    For eg. PRN in Aussie means when ever necessary to give medication. CEN means Cert. Emergency Nurse. I myself am an RGON, BS OF HS Nursing, PG CCN (post grad critical care nurse) OHS, TNCC, ADSL etc.
    Very confusing. It took me years to work out all the different meanings.
    Good luck Jane Aussie
  6. by   P_RN

    This is a commercial site and I don't know anything about the company, but they have a great list of abbreviations and acronyms.

    I am P_RN,ONC, ASN, BA, BS

    <--big toothy grin
  7. by   angil
    What I have found is people are making up abbreviations, or using them where they shouldn't be used. BLS stands for Basic Life Support. That shouldn't be used after a name. Usually C prior to more letters means they're certified in something. I find made up abbreviations all the time in people's charting, or a vendors information. We should all stick to the approved abbreviations we learned in nursing school.