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White Boards


Just wondering what you all think should be on the white boards in the patient rooms. I've read some comments who says they put years of experience on there, that sounds ridiculous. Any other things?

Thanks in advance.


Specializes in mental health, military nursing. Has 8 years experience.

Years of experience? That's absurd - everyone should know that years of experience do not equate with excellent nursing care. I like white boards so that patients know the names of their caregivers, but too often they never get changed. Who needs to know who their nurse was 36 hours ago?


Specializes in ED. iCU, now add on PICU. Has 19 years experience.

The date.

What the patient likes to be called (especially if they can't speak for themselves or have confusion issues).

Some like to write what the patient's goal for the day is (use IS 10x/hour. or relieve pain to 3/10. walk 4 times today.....)

I would never write my experience level. It is a basic expectation that the nurse is qualified and capable. So why write it?

cardiacmadeline, RN

Specializes in cardiothoracic surgery. Has 6 years experience.

The nurses's name and CNA's name, date, diet, how they move (1 assist, 2 assist, bedrest until ...). Sometimes therapy writes stuff on there too. I also disagree with years of experience, more experience doesn't always make a nurse a good nurse.


Specializes in Addictions, Acute Psychiatry. Has 27 years experience.

I have decades and I agree that's years of experience is BS with this power trip catty game common in this field. Patients name, SS# address, picture and anything else that will anger JCAHO is OK in my book (kidding). Some places put a rolling shade over the board so other patients aren't privy to it and place it in a secured room.

I suggest water boarding for those posting years of experience. Newbies after about 2 years are sharper cause they've got the latest stuff out there than what I did during the civil war.

I also tend to write the name and phone number of family up on the board if they give it to me. Especially a POA. Not once have I ever had to use it from the board, but I have had family members say how much they appreciated me doing that.

Besides that, my name, RN, (no experience), the date, diet, the number for nutrition. Sometimes the BS or vitals, particularly if I'm doing it for someone else. Lots of times it depends on the patient, their condition, and how much time I have...

Years of experience is from AIDET/Press Gainey, of course. We're supposed to include it in our introduction to patients, as is everyone who works at my facility (transport, radiology, lift team, etc.). I think that whoever came up with that idea didn't consider that "Hi, I'm Julie, and I'll be your nurse tonight! I graduated six months ago but I just came off orientation last week!" doesn't really inspire confidence. We typically write our name, the date and day of the week, and where the patient is on the white board, because confusion is common in our population.

As for years of experience, I would be inclined to tell the patient "I've been volunteering this week because I graduated three months ago and I can't get a job!"


Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 4 years experience.

Date, name of nurse, aide and doctors. I also sometimes put the phone number for the kitchen, phone number for family, reminder to use incentive spirometer, time next pain med is due etc. Whatever I think is helpful for patient. Physical therapy will also put reminders for exercises the patient should do.


Specializes in Med/Surg/Tele/Onc.

We put date, name of nurse, aide, and charge nurse. Sometimes people might put a "daily goal" or plan for the day. I will sometimes right time for pain medicine if a patient or family calls out frequently for it. They seem to appreciate that at least.

We carry phones and they want us to put our phone number up there. I don't do it. On our unit, we have a moniter tech who answers call lights, so there is always someone to do that. She can better delegate calls to appropriate personel better than I can if they call me directly. For example, I won't answer my phone if I'm in the middle of a dressing change, in an isolation room where I can't get to it, helping clean up poop, etc. If a patient calls me then, they aren't going to get an answer, but they will get one if they use the call light. Also, the monitor tech knows whose at lunch, whose taking a patient down, etc, and can ask the CN to get pain meds since Nurse A is at lunch, vs. asking the aide sitting at the desk to get a blanket.

On a unit that may not have one person to answer lights, maybe having the phone #'s on the board is better.

lol i had to laugh when i read that some people put years of experience because i did just graduate in may of 2009 and only have been working on my unit since september. my orientation is ending this week, and i definitely don't want to go into a room to inform a patient's family that it's my first day alone on the floor!! haha on our white boards....the aide will usually write the date and the name of the aide and the nurse, that's about it


Specializes in Neuroscience/Neuro-surgery/Med-Surgical/.

Per policy, and we are audited for this too:

date, RN name, cna/pct's name, MD name, today's goal, today's activity/activity level?, procedures/tx scheduled, diet, time when MD rounds, tx for pain, hourly rounding checked off with our initials.

For those that don't necessarily apply (like if no procedures/tx needed for pain, etc..) we have to write N/A.

Cannot leave anything blank, or we get verbal warnings.

I understand the importance of most of that information, but writing us up for it? gimme a break!


Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 11 years experience.

Per policy, and we are audited for this too: I understand the importance of most of that information, but writing us up for it? gimme a break!

"The beatings with continue until morale improves....":uhoh3:


Has 6 years experience.

Years of experience?? You've got to be kidding!! Why not write your GPA, your BMI, and your percentage body fat??

Super_RN, BSN, RN

Has 12 years experience.

We write the nurse's name, the STNA's name, what the patient prefers to be called, the shift, date, and room # and telephone #. I really like the fact we write what the patient prefers to be called because when you have a patient whose name is pronounced, "Anus", well....I prefer to know thier nickname!! :lol2:

Pt's name or what they like to be called, RN's name, CCT name. Then there's a blank space for whatever. Sometimes phone numbers, sometimes last CBG, sometimes "hi mom we love you!" from the family... just depends. When we get an admit we quickly put weight and CBG there but it gets erased once it's charted.

Just wondering what you all think should be on the white boards in the patient rooms. I've read some comments who says they put years of experience on there, that sounds ridiculous. Any other things?

Thanks in advance.

I'm a relatively new nursing assistant, and one of my designated jobs is to fill out the white boards on my pod and help keep them updated. To me "years of experience" written on a white board serves no useful informational purpose. The day/date, patients name, nurses name, NA/CNA name, any special meds or conditions, etc. We get so busy that it's hard enough as it is just to keep the things updated with legit info - why put "fluff info" on them anyway?

Bill E. Rubin

Specializes in Neuro, Cardiology, ICU, Med/Surg. Has 7 years experience.

It varies from patient to patient depending on needs... if pt is blind or otherwise can't read the white board, maybe something useful to caregivers may be written. But typically, I write the unit name and room number(because people may move around and not really know where they are) the date and their nurse's name (we don't have any aides on our unit). Other info as appropriate such as important phone numbers. Of course, sometimes a family member co-opts the white board and writes their own stuff on it.