Should the Title Nurse be Changed ? ? ?

  1. today i was chatting with another rn who believes that the term nurse for our title is outdated and may not fully represent our field as well as it used to. and perhaps the title nurse turns men off from persuing a nursing degree, way too feminine for a man to own. not to say that we don't nurse patients back to health and nurse our drinks while griping about work, however we're not all nursing babies either!

    what are your ideas concerning this topic? do you have any suggestions as to a better term for us nurses other than nurse?

    i think direct care provider as a title could curb our patient/resident/client's appetite from calling out "nurse!" as if it were a curse word.
    •  
  2. 37 Comments

  3. by   purple_rose_3
    A lot of people already don't really know what nurses do. Change it to direct care provider and it's just going to make this even worse. I know a lot will change in healthcare in my lifetime, but I don't think this will be one of those things.
  4. by   nyapa
    "Direct Care Provider" is a very vague concept. It could be any person involved in caring for a person. I understand that there is a negative image associated with the title 'nurse'. But that is the title our patients are used to calling us. And I figure that is what we do.

    It is not so uncommon to see male nurses these days, thank God! So the image is changing. And that means that nurses are helping to change the public image. Its up to us to continue to do so. Our base of knowledge is increasing, our role is broadening and becoming more technical, yet we are still 'nursing', with all that that term implies.

    I don't think its the term that is the problem. We are in a ppl orientated job. We are thus subject to some unacceptable behaviours. And that is where we need support from various avenues, including nursing organisations, employers, and if necessary the law, so that ppl realise that they can't maltreat us, any more than they can maltreat another on the street.
  5. by   Alois Wolf
    Uh... I am a Direct Care Provider underneat the title and description of HSA.... and all I have is a HS diploma (so far... going for my LPN) So I don't think that would be appropriate.

    I think it the name nurse has served the nursing community well this long, changing it now would only cause more confusion as to what it is nurses actualy do... maybe unless it was something like, "UPMP"
    Underpaid Medical Professionals.
  6. by   EmmaG
    I like this kid
  7. by   snowfreeze
    Super everything provider and problem solver, why not just call us MOM? As far as what people think and expect, that is up to us to educate the public. I am a Nurse and will always be a Nurse. My specialty has evolved and continues to do so. I care for patients who have a wide variety of definitions and expectations of me, I provide the care they need and educate them futher on my abilities and limitations when necessary.
    Nurses have many roles and each unit and facility outlines that for us.
    When nurses admit patients like doctors do then we will have a lot more clout.
    Magnet status is moving us in that direction, someday patients will request a certain 'nurse group' to care for them when they are admited to a facility. Primary nursing could be used as a guideline to achieve nursing groups. Right now we only have units with a nurse manager who does not always think the way we all do. If we establish nursing groups, nurses joined who work in all units, some who are flex and work more than one unit. A patient would be put in our 'nursing group' for their entire stay in the hospital.
    This worked in the past for home care, a group of nurses would get together and agree to care for patients at home, they then contacted a doctor and told them their abilities and were then referred by that doctor. We could establish simular in the hospital setting for patient satisfaction.
  8. by   TheCommuter
    The occupational title of "nurse" lacks some prestige, and I'll readily admit that fact.

    However, I did not enter this profession for the prestige and glamour. Unless you are actively seeking something further from the corporate world, what's in a name anyway? "Nurse" is just a name, and it does not need to fully emcompass the real me. As long as I am comfortable with my occupation, who really cares what others think?

    We must respect ourselves as nurses before others will even begin to respect us. I respect the title of "nurse."
  9. by   Alois Wolf
    Quote from snowfreeze
    Super everything provider and problem solver, why not just call us MOM? As far as what people think and expect, that is up to us to educate the public. I am a Nurse and will always be a Nurse. My specialty has evolved and continues to do so. I care for patients who have a wide variety of definitions and expectations of me, I provide the care they need and educate them futher on my abilities and limitations when necessary.
    Nurses have many roles and each unit and facility outlines that for us.
    When nurses admit patients like doctors do then we will have a lot more clout.
    Magnet status is moving us in that direction, someday patients will request a certain 'nurse group' to care for them when they are admited to a facility. Primary nursing could be used as a guideline to achieve nursing groups. Right now we only have units with a nurse manager who does not always think the way we all do. If we establish nursing groups, nurses joined who work in all units, some who are flex and work more than one unit. A patient would be put in our 'nursing group' for their entire stay in the hospital.
    This worked in the past for home care, a group of nurses would get together and agree to care for patients at home, they then contacted a doctor and told them their abilities and were then referred by that doctor. We could establish simular in the hospital setting for patient satisfaction.
    HAHAHA, where I live MOM is a common acronym for Milk of Magnesia... haha, don't know if you want to go around with a title that can also describe something that:

    "draw(s) fluids from the body and to retain those already within the lumen of the intestine, serving to distend the bowel, thus stimulating nerves within the colon wall, inducing peristalsis and resulting in evacuation of colonic contents."

    c/o wikipedia
    Last edit by Alois Wolf on Nov 9, '07
  10. by   javertech
    I don't think the job title of a nurse should be changed. Call me old fashioned but I am very traditional and we go to school to be nurses not direct care providers. It does not matter whether you are male or female you are still a nurse. The term direct care provider is too vague. I am a PCT III/Unit secretary right now and going to nursing school. I would not want my job title to be changed if I was a nurse. Direct care provider could mean anything. PCTs are direct care providers. We spend more of our time sometimes than the nurses do providing direct care. We are taught some nursing history when we are going to school to become a nurse. The concept of a nurse is still understood as someone who tends to those who are ill under a doctor's care even in our society today. Changing the job title is not a good idea.
  11. by   pagandeva2000
    Sometimes I consider myself to be an endentured servant...but, heck, still call me NURSE! I earned that right in spades.
  12. by   philosophical
    Since there are Patient Care Techs, how about Patient Care Managers?

    Rhonda
  13. by   llg
    As Shakespeare wrote, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." (from Romeo and Juliet. And by extension ... things that stink still stink even when you change the name.

    ... and remember "The Artist Formerly known as Prince"?

    No ... the title is not the problem. The title is an honorable one that is universally recognized. We need to take pride in our heritage and commit ourselves to resolving our profession's current problems. Changing the title will not solve the problems. It would simply divorce ourselves from our heritage and further divide our profession.
    Last edit by llg on Nov 9, '07
  14. by   fancee free
    The term nurse is a bad one. It lacks any meaning of power, and is very feminine (not to imply lack of power and feminine go hand in hand, but in this case it does). With that said, as mentioned already, it is a universal term, and changing it would create confusion.

    However, I do believe that it should be changed, but I have no suggestions as to what. It wouldn't solely change the problems nursing has but it might help. There are people who think it should be but I don't know how seriously they are being taken presently.

close