Identification of the Registered Nurse in the Workplace

This position statement was archived on 11/7/2012 because it is now a standard of practice.


  • The identification of credentials promotes trust and accountability in the nurse-patient relationship.
  • The medical-surgical patient has the right to know the credentials of those providing care.
  • The medical-surgical registered nurse (RN) should be easily identified by an identification badge that clearly includes the title "RN."
  • The medical-surgical registered nurse should provide an introduction to patients by stating, "I am the registered nurse who will be caring for you."
  • The medical-surgical registered nurse should advocate for state nurse practice acts to require the identification of professional title and credentials of certification.
  • Health care facilities should require health care employees to wear identification that includes their professional titles and credentials.


As the nation's health care system continues to endure marketplace competition, downsizing, and restructuring of care delivery into unproven models of care, the roles of health care professionals become increasingly confusing to the health care consumer.


The registered nurse provides leadership for the provision of care based on current research, nursing judgment, and careful analysis of each patient's unique situation. The registered nurse as a direct or indirect care provider performs, delegates, supervises, and evaluates nursing actions. The performance of these activities distinguishes the registered nurse from other health care professionals. Identification within the workplace enables the professional registered nurse to be recognized as the health care provider responsible for maintaining the integrity of high quality nursing care.


Registered nurse (RN) is an individual educationally prepared in nursing and licensed by the state board of nursing where the RN practices.


Powell, K. A. (2002). Nurses' name badge identification: How Montana's state board of nursing has decided the issue. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 28(1), 78-81.

State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, Board of Registered Nursing. (1999). New law protects title "nurse" and requires name tags (NPR-1-27). Retrieved 10-29-2009 from

Rudolph, N., Moore, S. R, Heinrichs-Breen, J, Victor, C.S., Gilski, D., & Mau, J. M. (2010). "Who's my nurse?" Visual clues for identification. MedSurgMatters! 19(1), 4-5.