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What’s the proper etiquette for listing RN credentials and titles?



Dear Donna,

I have a question regarding the proper alignment of degrees and certifications following my name. I will soon finish a Masters of Science in Health Sciences and also hold an MSN. I am also an RN and FNP-BC. How would this flow following my name for proper title etiquette?

Multiple Degrees

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Multiple Degrees,

Listing your degrees first is typically preferred in an academic setting but otherwise you can go either way; both are correct. If you are employed in a setting where you must sign your name and credentials, follow your employer’s policy. Otherwise you’re free to do as you please.

I use the RN first and then my highest degree but that is a personal preference. It is optional for you to list both of your master’s degrees. Some would consider it overkill and a case of “initial-itis.” You would list all degrees on a resume or employment application but do not necessarily need to use all of them in a signature line.

Best wishes,
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA


About Author

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www.

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