While watching TV recently, I saw an infomercial for a fitness program created by an RN. I was very excited for a variety of reasons. For starters, it is always thrilling to see or hear about a nurse who has found an innovative way to improve the health and wellness of the masses. I was also thrilled to see the RN credential appear on the TV screen. But I was particularly happy that this nurse, who also has a fitness credential, chose to include her RN credential and have the announcer verbally state that she was a nurse. What is so surprising about this? I have observed that many RNs, once they move into non-traditional roles such as administrators, holistic practitioners, fitness experts, business owners, etc. sometimes no longer see themselves as nurses and drop the RN after their name. On the contrary, they are simply expanding their practice and their role but they don’t always see things that way. (Read about this nurse in the January edition of Nursing Connections http://www.dcardillo.com/newsletter/cardillo-jan09.html)
I once questioned a nurse who had a high-ranking position in a hospital as to why she didn’t use the RN on her business card. Her response surprised me. She said that because many people see nurses as one dimensional, she didn’t want anyone to see her in a limiting way. My response was, “How would anyone know what nurses are capable of and what they are actually doing if we hide the fact that we’re a nurse when we move beyond the bedside?” I also pointed out that her RN credential was very relevant in her role as an administrator and gave her additional credibility. After all, who better to manage and lead in healthcare than a nurse?
I recently met a nurse entrepreneur who had a healthcare consulting business. I noticed that she didn’t use her RN on her business card and questioned her about that. She was at a loss as to why she didn’t think to include it and told me that she would add it when she had her cards redone. Upon reflection, she realized that it would work to her advantage to include that in her marketing materials.
Don’t sell yourself short or underestimate the value of your nursing credential and background. That RN is something that we all worked long and hard to achieve. The public consistently ranks RNs as the most trustworthy of all professionals. Every RN possesses a great body of knowledge and experience that is valuable and marketable in a variety of settings. Besides that, our nursing background enhances everything we do in healthcare and beyond. It sets us apart. Be proud of those initials after your name and promote them proudly.