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The Résumé Rx

How To Write Nursing Credentials: Tips From An Expert (+ video)

Amanda Guarniere

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see that fellow nursing professionals have NO IDEA how to write their nursing credentials. You know, the order in which you should list the letters after your name.

I see credential errors everywhere: on lab coats, business cards, even journal publications.

In this article, we’re going to make sure you know exactly how to write your nursing credentials for any circumstance, so you never question the order to list the letters after your name again. Ready?

The Right Order to Write Your Nursing Credentials

The simplest way to explain this is:

  1. Degree
  2. License
  3. Certification

But there are a few nuances to know as well, when it comes to which letters to add after your name, and the order in which they appear. For example, there’s no need to list both your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees; go with the highest degree, unless they are different but related. So if you are an advanced practice nurse, you no longer list your RN.

Nursing Credentials When You’re Still In Nursing School

Another common question I get asked when it comes to nursing credentials and how to refer to yourself as a nursing professional, is from nursing students. They often ask: how do you refer to yourself when you are still in school but sending out your résumé?

I answer these types of questions directly in this video on Instagram, but in general, you should not use the letters of your degree or credential until you have officially received them!

If you have not graduated or sat for your nursing boards yet, I like to use the word “candidate” to reflect the fact that you will SOON be legitimate.

So in that case, the formula to do so might look like this:

  • [Your future role] + Candidate
  • Your future role] + Student
  • Student + [your future role]⠀

But, as an example, if you’ve graduated with your BSN but have not yet passed the NCLEX, for example, your name should read as:

Your Name, BSN⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Registered Nurse Candidate⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Ideas for what to refer to yourself as when you're still in nursing school

Let me know any questions below, or feel free to practice with your current (or anticipated) alphabet soup!

If you need another pair of eyes to determine if you wrote your credentials correctly feel free to connect with us!

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Credentials

How do I write my R.N. BSN credentials?

The preferred order of credentials for all nurses, regardless of employment setting, is as follows:

  • Highest degree earned.
  • Licensure.
  • State designations or requirements.
  • National certification.
  • Awards and honors.

 

How do you write R.N. after your name?

Sign your full name, followed by either “R.N.” or without the punctuation, “RN.” Use your full professional name when writing it.

How do you list R.N. credentials on a resume?

List them fully without acronyms. For licenses, write in this order: license type, licensing state/body, license name and number, nurse license compact, and expiration date. For certifications, write the name, followed by conferring organization, expiration, and certification number.



47 Comments

  1. Bob Brown

    Amanda, Awesome video, informative and to the point. Nicely done.

    Reply
    • CODM Injector APK

      This is a great post! I’m a recent nursing graduate and I found this article very helpful. Thanks for the tips.

      Reply
  2. Amanda

    This is so helpful, thank you!

    Reply
  3. Katie

    I have a BA in psychology and don’t like the idea of leaving it off my letters. It’s not a BA in art history, and psychology is certainly relevant to nursing therapeutic communication, amongst other things. What do you think?

    Reply
    • Hannah Bushnell

      Hi Katie!
      Great question! We recommend leaving the BA letters off once you have your BSN. You can still list it under your education section of your résumé but only nursing degrees or grad school level credentials should be listed after your name once you’re a licensed RN. 🙂
      The Résumé Rx Team

      Reply
  4. Monica Rodriguez

    Nice!
    I am thinking:

    Monica Rodriguez, MSN, APRN, PHN, FNP-C, FNP-BC

    Reply
    • Hannah Bushnell

      Hi Monica!

      We recommend listing your FNP credentials before your PHN since PHN isn’t NP specific. 🙂
      Also, we’ve found it’s usually better to list just one of your FNP boards since listing two could confuse people.
      I hope this helps!
      Hannah
      The Résumé Rx

      Reply
  5. Katherine Eberhard

    Hi! If I am applying to jobs as an FNP student, Should I use “BSN, RN, FNP-S” or stick to my current “BSN, RN”?
    Best,
    Katie

    Reply
    • Hannah Bushnell

      Hi Katherine,

      Great question! You won’t want to list your FNP until you’ve graduated. You can list under your name heading that you are a Nurse Practitioner Student though 🙂 Check out our post on IG where we list a couple different option for what to call yourself when you’re still in school. https://www.instagram.com/p/CANn34gHoDB/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

      Hannah
      Team Résumé Rx

      Reply
  6. Kelly

    Hi, I’m a licensed MSW in addition to PMHNP. How would you suggest I list these on my resume? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Nadia

      Hi Kelly, thanks so much for your question!
      We recommend listing this after your NP degree (which will likely be either DNP or MSN).
      An alternative would be to just list your name and underneath put both of your licensed roles in the subtitle.

      Nadia
      Team Résumé Rx

      Reply
  7. Wendy Willey

    Hi, I was a Registered Respiratory Therapist before nursing. I still hold the RRT licensure. I list it this way BSN, RN, RRT, CCM.
    Would you recommend omitting the RRT?

    Reply
    • Nadia

      Hi Wendy, thanks so much for your question!
      We recommend listing licenses that are currently relevant for your job search. If the RRT license is still if interest to you and the field you are applying for, it would be best to still list it.

      Nadia
      Team Résumé Rx

      Reply
  8. Beata

    Hi, if I first got my Associated in Applied Science, then got my RN license and then got my Bachelor of Science in Nursing; do I put: AAS, RN, BSN. Or BSN, RN? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Nadia

      Hi Beata, thanks so much for your question!
      Since your BSN would “outweigh” your associate’s degree, putting BSN, RN is the correct way!

      Reply
  9. Heather

    Hi, I’d like to verify the license as you said it varies state to state. Where does one find the correct term to use for their state, specifically for New York? I only see NP listed on the state site. However you mention versions such as APN, APRN, which I’m not seeing for NY. Do you think this is correct? Heather, MSN, NP, FNP-BC?

    Reply
    • Nadia

      Great question, Heather!
      You’re right in that New York technically does not use the APRN designation.
      That said, the term is widely accepted so you could use APRN if you wanted. The way you listed, with NP, is also correct!

      Nadia
      Team Résumé Rx

      Reply
  10. Jennifer

    I am BSN and have CV board certification. Is this correct. Name, BSN, RN, RN-BC

    Reply
    • Nadia

      Hi Jennifer,

      Yes, that is the correct sequence to list out your certifications!

      Nadia
      Team Résumé Rx

      Reply
      • Kimberly

        My diploma itself states awarded the degree of bachelor of science. On my transcript states degree awarded bachelor of science primary degree Major: Nursing and I have my active state RN license. What is the correct way to write my credentials? Is BSN, RN appropriate or would it be more appropriate as BS, RN? Thank you.

        Reply
        • Nadia

          Hi Kimberly,

          The correct sequence to list out your certifications is BSN, RN.

          Nadia
          Team Résumé Rx

          Reply
          • Kimberly

            Thank you for taking the time to respond! It is greatly appreciated. Have a great day and God bless.

  11. Anna

    If in your state APN is a certification (not a license), do you list your credentials as: Name, MSN, RN, APN, FNP-C, CCRN?

    Reply
    • Nadia

      Hi Anna, thanks for your question. In that case, you would still drop the RN in favor of the APN so it would read MSN, APN, FNP-C. If it’s still relevant to your practice you can list the CCRN.

      Nadia
      Team Résumé Rx

      Reply
  12. Liana

    Where do you place MBA in the sequins of degrees and certifications? MBA, MSN, RN, CCRN, PMHNP-BC or does the MBA follow MSN? Thanks

    Reply
    • Nadia

      Hi Liana! This is a great question. If you have non-nursing degrees, we recommend putting the highest non-nursing degree before the highest nursing degree and then listing any relevant certifications). The way you displayed it first is what we recommend.

      Nadia
      Team Résumé Rx

      Reply
  13. Latestmodapks

    This is a great post! I’m a recent nursing graduate and I found this article very helpful. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  14. whatsmb

    As a nursing student i think this is great help for us

    Reply
    • Nadia

      So glad you find this information helpful! 🙂

      Nadia
      Team Résumé Rx

      Reply
    • شبكتي tv مباشر

      This is a great post! I’m a recent nursing graduate and I found this article very helpful. Thanks for the tips!

      Reply
    • WA GB APK

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      Reply
  15. MBApps

    Great post, fellow nursing student! It’s always refreshing to come across informative content like this on our nursing journey. I appreciate your detailed explanation of the different techniques for wound care and the emphasis on infection prevention. Wound care is such a crucial aspect of nursing, and your post highlights the importance of proper assessment, cleansing, and dressing techniques.

    As a fellow student, I can relate to the challenges we face in clinical settings. Your tips on effective communication with patients and collaborating with the healthcare team are spot on. These skills are vital for providing holistic care and building trust with our patients.

    I also appreciate your reminder to take care of ourselves physically and emotionally. Nursing school can be demanding, but it’s essential to prioritize self-care to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

    Overall, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences. It’s inspiring to see fellow nursing students like you actively contributing to the nursing community. Keep up the great work, and I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Reply
  16. Susan

    I worked harder for my first BS in Natural Sciences with concentration in Biology than I did for my associates RN or my BSN.
    I feel that classes I completed for my BS in Biology were/are relevant in nursing – genetics biochemistry ect.
    – WHY is it wrong to also list that degree? BSN, RN, BS

    Reply
    • Nadia

      Hi Susan! Thanks for your question! It’s not wrong to list it – but it doesn’t really tell too much about the degree itself. I would recommend including it in your education section, for sure.

      Nadia
      Team Résumé Rx

      Reply
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  20. revanced

    This is a great post! I’m a recent nursing graduate and I found this article very helpful. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
    • Ellie

      Would it be MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC
      ? Thanks!

      Reply
      • Nadia

        Hi Ellie,

        Yes, that is the correct format. 🙂

        Nadia
        Team Résumé Rx

        Reply
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    Thank you for sharing such valuable insights and tips on writing nursing credentials! As a nursing student, I find this information extremely helpful in preparing for my future career. The video tutorial provided a clear and concise explanation, making it easier for me to understand the process. I especially appreciated the emphasis on accuracy and professionalism when listing credentials, as it’s crucial for gaining trust and credibility in the healthcare industry. Overall, this article has boosted my confidence in creating my own nursing credentials effectively. Looking forward to more expert advice from you!

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