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”


Thank you, for bringing up this important issue. The proposed California AB 765 legislation and similar bills in other states, such as Florida’s HB 583, highlight a significant challenge in how we define and recognize professional titles in healthcare. These bills aim to protect patients by ensuring transparency and clarity regarding who is providing their care. However, they also raise concerns about the recognition and respect for advanced degrees earned by nurses and other healthcare professionals.
As a DNP, I understand the importance of clearly communicating our roles and qualifications to patients to avoid any confusion. However, it is also crucial to acknowledge that earning a doctoral degree, whether it be a DNP, PhD, or EdD, represents a significant achievement and expertise in our respective fields. These degrees contribute to the overall quality of healthcare by bringing advanced knowledge, leadership, and a unique perspective to patient care. The key I think is to find a balance that maintains transparency for patients while also respecting the hard work and contributions of non-physician healthcare providers. One potential solution could be to allow the use of the title “doctor” with a clear indication of the professional’s specific field, such as “Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)” or “Doctor of Education (EdD),” to avoid any misunderstanding.
It’s important for professional organizations, nursing advocates, and legislators to work together to address these concerns. Engaging in open dialogue and advocating for policies that recognize the value of all healthcare professionals will be essential in navigating this complex issue. Additionally, keeping informed about similar legislation in our own states and participating in advocacy efforts can help ensure that the voices of all healthcare providers are heard.