If you’ve recently earned a nursing degree, you’re probably wondering how to structure your nursing credentials. You might be applying for jobs and need it for your resume or for filling out medical documents.
The nursing profession prides itself on decorum and order. Nurses need to clean a wound before sewing stitches. The same applies for listing nursing credentials. You can’t just arrange things randomly. There’s a definite process for ordering your various titles.
In this blog post, we will cover the format for listing credentials.
Keep reading to find out more!
The following list is the industry standard for ordering your credentials, according to the American Nurses Credentialing Center:
- Highest degree earned
- State designations or requirements
- National certification
- Awards and honors
- Other recognitions
The reason for this order has to do with permanence. You want to put your degree first because there’s little chance that you’ll lose it. Educational degrees include associate degrees (AD, ADN), bachelor’s degrees (BS, BSN, BA), master’s degrees (MSN, MS, MA) and doctoral degrees (PhD, DrPH, DNS, EdD, DNP). You can advance your degree, which would change your credentials. We will cover that a bit later.
However, there’s more stability with a degree than a license as they can expire, or you can choose not to renew them.
The common licensure credentials include registered nurse (RN), nurse practitioner (NP) and licensed practical nurse (LPN).
After licensure, there are state designations and national certifications. State designations include advanced practice nurses like APRN (advanced practice registered nurse), NP (nurse practitioner) and CNS (clinical nurse specialist). National certifications include awards given through certifying bodies like the ANCC. These include the RN-BC (Registered Nurse-Board Certified) and FNP-BC (Family Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified).
Following that are awards and honors, which include the FAAN (Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing) and FCCM (Fellow of Critical Care Medicine).
If you have more than one type of the same nursing credential, you can list them by relevance to your current practice or the order in which you obtained them.
When Do I Use My Nursing Credentials?
This alphabet soup of credentials doesn’t need to come out all the time. There are specific instances that warrant the use of credentials. It’s essential to put your credentials on any legal or medical documents that you sign. This would include medical charts, prescriptions and patient records.
Another critical time to use your credentials is when you’re writing for a nursing journal. This is crucial because it shows you’re a subject expert.
What if I Have More Than One of the Same Type of Credential?
Some nurses have many of the same credentials. To sort this out and not get lost in the weeds, you need to put the highest education degree first—for example, Larry David, Ph.D., MSN. Generally, one degree fits the bill.
If your degree happens to be in another relevant field, it may be in your best interest to list it. If you are in executive leadership as a nurse, and have a relevant second degree that’s more advanced than your nursing degree, list it first.
For instance, you have a Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL). You would list that first over a BSN. As such, your credential list would look like: Mary Sullivan, MSOL, BSN, RN.
If you just graduated from a nursing program and are ready to start your career, Incredible Health is here to help. All you need to do is sign up and we will work hard to get you hired!