During on-campus time this week (more on that later) some of us were looking through the UTHSC yearbook and realized every other health discipline with the exception of nursing only listed their highest academic/licensed achievement. For those that were strictly degreed and certified in one discipline (i.e. only a medical doctor or a pharmacist rather than a physical therapist with a philosophy doctorate), their formal listings looked something like this:
John Doe, MD
Jane Doe, DDS
Will Brown, PhD
Sara Brown, DPT
Steve Norris, AuD
Nancy Norris, Pharm.D
. . . and then there was the nursing department:
Ann Smith, PhD, DNSc, MSN, APRN, FNP/GNP-BC, BSN, RN-BC
(Really? Yes, really.)
On a few of my professional LinkedIn groups, a number of threads have been started questioning the need for alphabet soup credentials and in what order to put them in. One of the participants posted an informative article from ANCC called Playing the Credentials Game (and quite appropriately, the author had an absurd number of credentials listed after her name) which reccommends listing degrees highest to lowest, state license, ANCC certifications, fellowships, and other awards. So I guess my high school GED comes before my RN-BC which comes before the Walden Theatre Unicorn Award I won for being a team player, but after my Golden Key Honor Society membership.
What it comes down to is that without a national scope of practice represented by one designation, as most of our healthcare colleagues have, we are likely doomed to feel listing degree, licensure, state designation, and national certification essential. I suppose either bravado or compensation makes us feel it necessary to list awards and certifications. As for myself, I will stick with my original response to the question of how to present one's name:
About One DNP
I earned my "terminal practice" degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in a journey of excitement and challenge. It inspired me to advocate for an all encompassing clinical credential rather than continuing the hodgepodge of nonsensical initials. I hope these entries will provide entertainment and insight into the Doctor of Nursing Practice experience, which will soon be the entry standard for all advanced practice nurses.