The topic of DNP graduates using the title “Doctor” has really been on my mind these past few weeks. I’ve had experience with DNPs in my workplace and many of them just introduce themselves by their first names. However, I have nothing against DNP graduates wanting to use the title “Doctor” as I feel it should be based on preference. I feel that maybe some facilities do not want DNPs to use the title because it may cause alienation amongst other NPs that don’t hold a doctorate. But DNPs do have the right to use their title. Nevertheless, if a DNP graduate chooses to use the title that they earned, the role and responsibilities attached to their discipline should be clearly known, stated, and defined to their patient population. In doing so, it encourages DNP graduates to be fully aware of the issues that may arise, prepare to educate individuals in what their role is, and prevents the diminishing value to the DNP graduates educational achievements that they so rightfully earned (Chism, 2023).
I came across an article that was very interesting where it states that DNPs that revert to the title “doctor” can be a problematic situation. In an academic setting, they could appropriately ask to be called “Doctor.” But, to call themselves “Doctor” in a clinical setting misleads the patient and perpetrates a fraud which defies their patient’s trust. The fraud exists because in claiming the title “Doctor” in a clinical setting, the DNP who is in essence impersonating a physician ignores the substantial knowledge and training gaps that exist between a physician and a non-physician. They also overlook the inherent and substantial limitations that these gaps convey. Ignoring those limitations can cost the trusting patient greatly (Gaddis, 2022). This is the what I’ve encountered when really delving into this topic and I’m very interested to see what others think!
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