Why do nurses sign this way?


i was taught in nursing school to sign my name as follows: m.nurse, rn or a.nurse, lvn (legibly). but i often see squiggly marks or first and last initials for signatures after charting. i was taught that anyone that reads your charting should be able to look at the signature and identify who did the charting. often i cannot tell who signed the charting. sometimes looking at the signature log helps, but not always. how do you sign after charting?

I e-sign, on the computer.

For certain assessment (pre-packaged) I use initials. Incident reports, etc., full name and title, legibly.


38,333 Posts

Legible handwriting was being discussed one evening when our former DON, who was then working as a consultant for the new company that had taken over, was present. One of the nurses stated that she wrote illegibly on purpose to avoid responsibility. Her signature was just as illegible as the remainder of any of her entries.

Specializes in LTC. Has 6 years experience.

There is a nurse on my job that signs her name and puts two lines through her name. It looks like she is correcting an error except its just the way she signs her name. She told our DON that was how she was taught to do it.

missdeevah, NP

318 Posts

there is a nurse on my job that signs her name and puts two lines through her name. it looks like she is correcting an error except its just the way she signs her name. she told our don that was how she was taught to do it.

i would really be interested in finding out who taught her to sign this way. what are people charting that they don't want people to know their identity? it can be frustrating if you have a question that needs to be asked to the nurse that charted. some nurses sign their notes the same way that they sign their checks...squiggly smudges that are not meant to be decipherable. if you do all that work and chart it, why wouldn't you want to be credited for it?


38,333 Posts

To avoid responsibility, as the nurse I mentioned, said. Why would she want to have to explain anything? She never wanted to have to answer for anything. It fit her behavior. She took short cuts, did things "her" way, and gloated in her bad reputation, because it kept people from holding her accountable. They avoided her nasty attitude. She was the one who once spouted, in an angry tirade, "I don't orient RNs!". Nobody liked to have much to do with her if they could help it. There was only one other nurse in the facility who had a worse reputation.


311 Posts

Specializes in ER, OR, PACU, TELE, CATH LAB, OPEN HEART. Has 33 years experience.

Computer charting does away with all those problems. It is wonderful.

tewdles, RN

3,156 Posts

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

I still have to sign some things...attendance sheets at inservices for instance...my signature depends upon what it is for and how hurried I am.

Bug Out, BSN

311 Posts

Specializes in VA-BC, CRNI.

I am one of those ***holes that signs their name like ~ `

Part laziness, part plausible deniability, part thats just how I sign my name lol


201 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Nursery.

Don't you guys have your name in ink (we have Trodat) so that everytime we sign our charts, labs or anything, our name is there. Every nurse gets one. My name goes: Neonatal N. Nurse, RN then I sign above it. So, in every paperwork/document, we always have our complete printed name with our signature on top of it, making it easier to see who carried out which order, who made a mistake, etc. If you don't have one in your institution, maybe you should get one, it's really cheap. Or suggest this on your next unit meeting. ;)