What is the appropriate way to address a Nurse Practitioner?

  1. Assuming you don't know him or her on a first name basis?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   SharonH, RN
    Nurse Ratched, I always address them as Ms. _______ or Mr. _______ unless they ask me to call them by their first name.
  4. by   santhony44
    Speaking for myself, call me Mrs. and I will then tell you to call me by my first name, as that is what I am comfortable with. I personally think that Mrs. or Mr. are far preferable to "Nurse" as a title.

    Of course, here in the South it usually becomes "Mrs. Firstname" or "Mr. Firstname," as a slightly less formal title of respect. (Someone who is a close family friend usually becomes "Aunt Firstname" or "Uncle Firstname." )

    While I don't mind being called by my first name, I make it a point to call older patients Mr. or Mrs. I just can't bring myself to call an 80 year old "Bessie."
  5. by   Nurse Ratched
    Thanks folks - I want to accord the proper respect and neither doctor nor nurse seemed right, but I wasn't sure about Mr. or Mrs. without some confirmation. 'Preciate the backup .
  6. by   P_RN
    Yep Miz (first name) surely is southern. Right'cheer in SC that is.

    They're great aren't they? I'd rather see a NP than most doctors I know.
  7. by   GailWHNP
    If someone doesn't know my first name, I'd prefer to be addresed Ms _____, otherwise, I prefer my first name be used. And Ms Gail is fine, too, which *is* the more common where I work!
    Gail
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    IN the military,where NP's abound it is easy. It is Captain, Major, Colonel, etc. True for PA's too. It sure is a lot less complicated lol.
  9. by   kewlnurse
    I call just about everyone, 'cept for attendings I don't know by their first name.
  10. by   ceecel.dee
    First name for all coworkers; nurses, NP's, doctors, lab and x-ray techs, office workers, etc.
  11. by   adrienurse
    Your highness? Your excellence? Hey you?
  12. by   Ragin Cajun
    Originally posted by P_RN
    Yep Miz (first name) surely is southern. Right'cheer in SC that is.

    They're great aren't they? I'd rather see a NP than most doctors I know.


    My sentiments exactly......in fact my "doctor" IS a NP........I love them. :kiss
  13. by   Ragin Cajun
    To Mark- I only wish that my L&D nurse had your intuition......I'd have a daughter now if she had even listened to me !!
  14. by   joenp
    Ratched, thank you for asking. I am often mistaken for an MD, because I am a guy and wear a lab coat. I am quick to tell my patients that I am a Nurse Practitioner. Their usual response is: "It does not matter, you are my doctor anyways." I am usually too short on time to explain the differences, but I think that if my patients knew what we as nurses are capable of, their opinion of nursing would only improve. I ask all people to call me by my first name, beacuse that is the name that my parents gave me. If I had an MD or PhD, I would still be Joe. I do not need to be called Mr. NP or Mr. Joe, just Joe. There are some of us that need that extra reinforcement from others and we therefore insist to be called by our professional titles, i.e. many of us know them (MD's, ooooopppsss!!! it slipped out!). Remembering that our patients are our customers, we must always address them in a respectful manner and wait for them to allow us to call them by whatever way they want to be addressed. Really, to be honest with you, MD's are also our customer and we should address them respectfully. When I introduce myself to people, I often say my whole name and then say, please call me Joe. Then ask them how they would like to be addressed. You would be surprised how many MD's then feel comfortable enough to ask you to call them by their first name. I am secure in who I am and what I do. (I think I just put in more than two cents worth). joenp

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