Determining a Standard Order of Credentials for the Professional Nurse

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ANA Position Statement - Approved 12/11/09

In the nursing profession, the use of credentials is an essential component to designate levels of attained education and licensure, certification, and professional achievement. The listing of credentials when identifying a nurse ensures credibility and competence to the consumers of nursing care. Standardized use strengthens a unified understanding of credentials among nurses, within the healthcare delivery system, and for healthcare consumers. In an effort to establish a recognizable and understandable credential usage process across all spectrums of nursing, the following order of credentials is recommended: Highest earned degree, mandated requirements (i.e. licensure), state designations or requirements, national certifications, awards and honors, other certifications.

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