A Strong Case for the Professional Introduction in Nursing

nametagDo you always introduce yourself by name to your patients? Or do you simply say, “Hi, I’ll be your nurse today?”

In their Viewpoint essay in the June issue of AJN, Raeann LeBlanc and two colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing make a strong case for the professional introduction, in which “a nurse states her or his full name and role in the patient’s care.”

The authors argue that professional introductions are “a powerful way to make clear the centrality of the nurse’s role in the care of the patient.” When nurses use professional introductions, we make our knowledge and expertise more visible and help patients better understand just what it is that nurses do.

The authors also address potential safety concerns nurses may have about disclosing their full name to a patient, and they offer some reasons why the importance of professional introductions may not be taught in nursing school.

Considering the nature of our work, I would add that the professional introduction is also a simple but essential courtesy. Intimate touching is a central and routine aspect of nursing.

With this in mind, isn’t a proper introduction a sign of respect for our patients—as well as for our work?



Clinical editor, American Journal of Nursing (AJN), and epidemiologist


  1. uzma June 30, 2016 at 6:40 am

    AJN is very greatest and knowledgeable. I like this and more learn

  2. Tammy June 29, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    I work in LTC, but any time I am taking care of someone I have not taken care of before I always enter the room and at least shake their hand, smile and introduce myself and tell them what I am and what I will be doing. I usually do this a few times until they are accustomed to seeing me. For those who have dementia or simply forgetful, I will knock and tell them again who I am. It’s common courtesy to me.

  3. Michelle Polito Malloch June 29, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I am a Rn and always introduce myself by name. I absolutely hate when I am a patient or at the dentist or even the vet and people dont introduce themselves.

  4. Dorothy Matheson June 29, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I have been in the hospital twice this year. Every Nurse there and actually all the support staff introduced themselves as first name and nurse or first name and nurse assistant or that their actual position was. It was very nice and very helpful. I had great nurses. I did pre op and then stayed one night post op each time and did have a lot of issues with how I was feeling the second time. The nurse actually sat with me for a while while the medication she gave me started to work. And I can say that the nurse and nurse assistant alternated coming into the room, one every hour to check on me.

  5. Lisa Drews June 29, 2016 at 9:54 am

    This element of competent care is essential. Though there are certain areas that streamline attire, the patient is often inundated with numerous individuals throughout their stay. Introducing yourself is part of the nursing process as you initiate initial assessment and begin your care of the patient. This will also help build a relationship, that should include not only physical data.

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