How to Address a Nurse

How to Address a Nurse

—-Envelope or address block on letter or email:
——–(Full Name), (RN, LPN, or other post nominal)
—-—-(Name of practice, hospital, or clinic)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Dear Mr./Ms. (Surname):

How to Address a Nurse

How to Address a Nurse Practitioner?

How would you address a nurse practitioner in writing?
—–John Doe, N.P.
—–Mr. John Doe, N.P.
———————–— Fred Bullard

Dear Mr. Bullard:
You never use both an honorific – Mr.– and a post-nominal – N.P.
It’s one or the other, not both at the same time.

John Doe, N.P. is the for official correspondence … on a envelope, or letter … to his office

Mr. John Doe is for social correspondence …. personal letter or card … to his home.

— Robert Hickey

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Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address a Nurse with a Ph.D.?

How do you address an envelope to Janice Wilson, (a widow) a retired nurse who is an R.N. and has a Ph.D.?
————————–– Director of Development, Health & Wellness Center

Nurses (and allied healthcare professionals: pharmacists, hospital administrators, physical therapists, etc.) are not addressed as Dr. (Name) at work. Only the physicians are addressed as Dr. (Name) to prevent confusion by the patients as to who is a doctor and who is not.

—-On an official envelope:
——–Janice Wilson, Ph.D., R.N.

—-—-Dear Ms. Wilson:

Maybe this is social? On social correspondence post-nominal abbreviations aren’t used. So, socially she might be using:

—-Social envelope:
—-—-Ms. (Her Name)

—-—-Mrs. (Husband’s Full Name)

‘Ms. (Her Name)’ is the standard form.

Mrs. (Husband’s Full Name)‘ might be right if you know her personally and kn0w this traditional form is her preference. Widows use this form for the rest of their lives – unless the remarry – if they choose to.

— Robert Hickey


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”