Hi Susan, Thank you for sharing the Bill with us. As someone who is still in the early stages of pursuing my DNP degree, I never imagined that I would need to justify why I should be addressed as “Dr.” after devoting years to the nursing profession and working hard to attain the terminal nursing degree, DNP. Aren’t DNPs and other professionals, besides physicians and surgeons, prioritizing patient safety, protection, disclosure, and transparency?
While I appreciate the concerns regarding using the doctor title, which could confuse patients in clinical settings, this concern should not overshadow the immense value of the DNP degree to the nursing profession and the healthcare delivery system. DNP is the terminal degree in the nursing discipline, and DNPs are trained to provide most of the care that physicians provide as primary caregivers, hospitalists, and urgent care and emergency care providers to fill the gap for physician shortage.
I do not believe anyone is trying to replace a physician or surgeon by calling themselves a doctor. Regardless of what we are called, what matters in the end is the quality of service we provide and the outcomes we achieve for our patients. That should be our focus. By focusing on the quality of our service and disseminating the contributions of DNPs in patient care, education, and research, we can build trust and confidence with our patients and ultimately earn a reputation as a reliable and reputable healthcare provider.