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How to Display Your Nursing Credentials

Jan 27, 2021
Tiffany Gibson, MSN-ED, RN, NPD-BC, CPN

You may have seen in recent news, Dr. Jill Biden, the future First Lady of the United States, has been the topic of discussion for using her professional title: Doctor of Education (EdD.). 

As someone who has worked hard for three college degrees and two national certifications, I completely understand why Dr. Jill Biden wants to use and display her academic credentials with her name.

If and when I ever get a doctoral degree, you best believe I will sign Dr. Gibson on any and everything! It's a symbol of professional and academic achievement. 

In Nursing, there are various degrees, licenses, and certifications one can obtain through the lifespan of their career. And because multiple options for education and professional development exist in nursing, the American Credentialing Center (ANCC), an entity under the American Nurses Association Enterprise, has created a standardized way for Nurses to obtain their academic and professional credentials. 

For example, Tiffany E. Gibson, MSN-ED, RN, NPD-BC, CPN are my full professional credentials.

Here’s what this means and why I write my title the way I do.

1. Education

The first acronym to be listed behind your full name is your highest earned degree. Why? Because no one can take your education from you. Once you earn it, it's yours and stays with you forever.

I have a bachelor's in Public Health, a bachelor's in Nursing, and a master's in Nursing Education. Since the MSN is my most advanced degree, this is the only acronym I list. 

Example: Tiffany E. Gibson, MSN-ED

2. Licensure

Next up is your Nursing license (e.g. "CRNA," "NP," “RN,” “LPN”). Similar to a driver's license, it’s a state-approved privilege to allow you to practice nursing. And just like a driver's license, this can be taken away, or suspended by the state; and, like a driver's license, your nursing license needs to be renewed on a consistent basis.

Example: Tiffany E. Gibson, MSN-ED, RN

3. Specialty Certification

Having a specialty certification indicates authority in knowledge and continuing competence in a specific field of nursing. It's another way to validate a nurse being a subject matter expert. I have two specialty certifications and list them in order of expiration, with the one that expires sooner, listed last. 

Example: Tiffany E. Gibson, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, CPN

Again, to put it all together, my full professional credentials are: Tiffany E. Gibson, MSN-ED, RN, NPD-BC, CPN

In other words, I am a master’s prepared Nurse Educator, Registered Nurse, Board Certified Nurse Professional Development Specialist, and Certified Pediatric Nurse. And just like Dr. Jill Biden, I wear my alphabet soup proudly!

Next Steps: Your Credentials and Nurse Resume

With a Trusted profile, you can manage all of your credentials in one place, so keeping track of what you need to do and when won't be an issue every again! So, you’ve got your credentials in order. Now What? Make sure your resume is up to date! Create a free Trusted profile to use our Resume Builder tool to help polish off your resume.