What is the correct way to list a Master of Science degree in your credentials, MS or MSN?

By | 2022-02-18T14:29:15-05:00 July 24th, 2012|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I have a question about listing my credentials. I graduated with a master’s degree in nursing education. My diploma states Master of Science, but it does not specify “in nursing.” According to one of my professors, there are only a handful of colleges that actually give the degree Master of Science degree. So what is the correct way of writing this credential? Do I use MS or MSN?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Confused,

I checked with some academics on this and here’s what I found out: In terms of your actual credential, including initials after your name, you only can use what is stated on your diploma. In your case that would be MS. You can tell people and list on your resume/CV that your MS is in nursing, however, you cannot include MSN in your list of credentials.

Just for the record, there are more than “a handful” of colleges that offer the MSN degree. In fact, there are quite a few of them across the country and more starting MSN programs all the time.

Congratulations on your new degree!

Best wishes,


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