Writing Style Tips from the Magnet Team

Academic Degrees

The education degree comes first, because it is a “permanent” credential, meaning it cannot be taken away except under extreme circumstances. The next two credentials (licensure and state designations/requirements) are required for the nurse to practice.

National certification is sometimes voluntary, and awards, honors and other recognitions are always voluntary.

  1. Name, highest earned degree, licensure, state designations or requirements, national certifications. (See credentials.Jane Smith, MSN, RN, CCNS, nurse manager
  2. Use commas before and after degrees in text; do not use periods (except at the end of the sentence): The lead researchers for this project were Mary Jones, MSN, RN, NE-BC, and Bob Simmons, DrNP, RN.
  3. Degrees should always follow someone’s name. When using degrees, do not also precede name with title.
    • Correct: Jill Cramer, MD
    • Wrong: Jill Cramer, MD
  4.  In a listing, use semicolons between individuals: Samir Sharif, MSN, RN; Joanne Law, BSN, RN; John King, MD.
  5. Write bachelor’s degree and master’s degree (lowercase, ’s) but an associate degree (lowercase, no ’s). Write Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science (capital letters, no ’s).

 Request Tipton’s Writer’s Style Guide