Home Forums The Controversy of the DOCTOR Title Bills restricting or banning nurses with doctorate degrees from using “doctor” Reply To: Bills restricting or banning nurses with doctorate degrees from using “doctor”


Hello Susan,

Thanks for your initial post and raising awareness on this issue. As healthcare is advancing and more nurses are increasing their scope of practice by pursing higher education, this seems to have become an actual issue. I am currently working in a small hospital in southern California. Our NPs here have master degrees so we call them by their first name. However, the teaching hospital I worked in Tennessee had many NPs who had doctorates and we would call them doctors. Although they are not physicians, they have earned the doctorate degree and they should be addressed as such. However, I believe that with the recent advancement of nursing practice, more education for the public is necessary. In the meantime, while in the clinical setting, the nurse should address that she/he should specify their certification as an APRN. This is in order to decrease possible miscommunication with our patients and other unnecessary confusion. This issue emphasizes more on how our nursing organization should be focused on educating the public and the importance of increasing our voice by having more nurses actively involved in professional organizations. Nurses are the largest profession in healthcare and we can have a stronger voice if we have more involvement.