1. Harris, Marilyn MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

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I published a book of personal and professional faith-based experiences and reflections in 2015 (Journeys with God). I included two of my favorite memories during my 12 years as a staff visiting nurse: hand-drawn notes from children in the homes where I provided care to a family member. One of the children addressed me as "nerssie." The second child addressed her note to Miss Dickert, my name on my visiting nurse name badge in the 1960s. I shared the book with Maureen Anthony, PhD, RN, editor of Home Healthcare Now (HHN) who shared the following comment: "I have to admit the picture of 'Miss Dickert' made me long for the days when we were Miss or Mrs. _____ instead of 'Judy RN' - my personal pet peeve. I asked my students if they would consider going to a doctor who went by 'Chuck MD' and refused to disclose his last name. Of course they said no."


The purpose of this Commentary is to invite you to share your responses to the following questions in response to Maureen Anthony's comments:


1. How many years have you been a registered nurse?


2. What is your practice setting, that is, home, inpatient hospice, community, consultant, teacher, and your geographical location?


3. Do you remember your name on your student nurse pin or badge?


4. Do you remember your name and title on your first employer-issued identification badge?


5. How is your name and professional title listed on your employer-issued badge in 2016?


6. If there is a difference in your name and title on you current badge, when did the change occur, and why?


7. Were you invited to participate in the decision to change?


8. What are your positive or negative comments related to your name and title on your employer-issued name badge today?


9. Does your current name and title have an impact on your interactions with your patients and families?


10. How do you identify yourself if in independent practice?



I entered nursing school in 1954. I have my student name pin-Miss M.M. Dickert. When I joined a VNA in 1960 I was identified as M. Harris, V.N.A.-no registered nurse title. The VNA affiliated with a hospital in 1988. I do not have my name badge for the 22 years I served as the executive director because I had to return my hospital identification when I retired in 1999. I became a volunteer for the hospital following my retirement and my current identification badge identifies me as Marilyn Harris, RN, Volunteer.


My volunteer role and specific job description do not require my skills as a registered nurse but I value that my professional title is included on my badge because it many times opens the conversation with patients and families during my weekly hospital visits. Patients share that their children or other relatives are nurses, ask where I attended nursing school, and where I worked. The RN designation provides an opportunity for them to share stories that they may not share with someone who is not a nurse.


Now, this is your opportunity to share your information, thoughts, and comments on the 10 questions posed at the beginning of this column. A summary of your responses will be shared in a future issue of HHN. It will be interesting to note if results vary with geographical areas, settings, the reasons for the change, and if nurses prefer, or had the ability, to influence the change. Please email your responses to Thank you.