I introduce myself as Dr. xxx, a nurse practitioner. Many times it opens up an educational opportunity to discuss NPs with the patient. We also have a large sign posted in the waiting room that tells what a nurse practitioner is.
Public education is extremely important in our battles that are going on right now. There is a war going on as we speak for our practice rights.
What about optometrists, podiatrists and dentists. None of them have MD or DO yet are called Dr. in the clinical setting.
Why does it seem that nurses always feel the need to minimize our accomplishments? Lets stop being our own worst enemy and give our profession the respect it deserves.
The below is from OUR (NP) organizations. They all support the title of Dr.
So whether you agree or not, maybe we should think about supporting our profession.
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
American College of Nurse Practitioners
Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
NURSE PRACTITIONER DNP EDUCATION,
CERTIFICATION AND TITLING: A UNIFIED STATEMENT
DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
1. Nurse practitioner education prepares graduates to provide safe, high quality, cost-effective,
coordinated, and comprehensive clinical care grounded in evidence-based practice. Strategies of care
include advocacy for individuals and groups, decision making related to personal health, mobilization
of resources, therapeutics (pharmacologic/nonpharmacologic), health education and counseling,
coordination of services, and evaluation of treatment outcomes.
2. Nurse practitioner education builds on the strong disciplinary foundations of the sciences, as well as
the art and science of nursing, which includes health promotion, disease prevention and the diagnosis
and management of acute and chronic illness.
3. Nurse practitioners use knowledge across disciplines to determine the current best evidence to
provide quality primary and specialty care services to clients.
4. Current master’s and higher degree nurse practitioner programs prepare fully accountable clinicians
to provide care to well individuals, patients with undifferentiated symptoms, and those with acute,
complex chronic and/or critical illnesses. The DNP degree more accurately reflects current clinical
competencies and includes preparation for the changing health care system. It is congruent with the
intense rigorous education for nurse practitioners. This evolution is comparable to the clinical doctoral
preparation for other health care professions.
5. While all health care professions draw on shared knowledge and learning opportunities, nurse
practitioners have a distinct body of knowledge and unique competencies.
1. Certification is a method by which professional knowledge and skills are evaluated through rigorous
and psychometrically sound examination processes.
2. Certification examinations for nurse practitioners are based upon sound scientific principles of
advanced nursing practice and knowledge. These examinations are developed from the discipline of
nursing and do not draw from another discipline’s examination or examination mechanism.
3. Accredited, psychometrically sound nurse practitioner certification examinations are currently used
to evaluate competency within a specified population focus.
4. Psychometrically sound examinations are based on role delineation studies conducted on a regular
basis to determine the test blueprint for a given professional discipline.
5. Through the utilization of appropriate psychometric processes, current certification examinations
will evolve with changes in the nurse practitioner body of knowledge and practice.
6. PhD, DNSc, DNP, MSN are credentials that represent academic degrees earned by individuals when
they successfully complete the requisite course of study. An academic degree is not a role.
Certification examinations test the competencies of the role and not the degree. It is not appropriate to
attempt to validate an academic degree with a certification examination. Any certification
examination at the degree level would be too broad to determine the knowledge and skills that are
applicable to the roles or specialties associated with the roles
7. The seamless transition from the masters to doctoral preparation for nurse practitioner practice does
not require additional testing beyond nurse practitioner certification to measure competency to
Utilization of the Title “Doctor” by Nurse Practitioners
1. The title “Doctor” represents an academic credential, and is not limited to professional programs.
Graduate educational programs in colleges and universities in the United States confer academic
degrees, which permit graduates to be called “doctor”. No one discipline owns the title “doctor”.
2. In the health care field, the term doctor is not limited to medical doctors. Other health care
professions use their academic title: e.g. Doctor of Osteopathy, Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of
Podiatry, Doctor of Psychology, Doctor of Physical Therapy and others.
3. While the titles “Medical Doctor” or “Doctor of Osteopathy” may be title protected by statute in a
given state, the term “doctor” alone is not.
4. Recognition of the title, “Doctor”, for doctorally prepared nurse practitioners facilitates parity within
the health care system.
© June 18, 2008 Nurse Practitioner Roundtable
This document may be reproduced freely in its entirety with attribution.
Preferred citation format is: Nurse Practitioner Roundtable (June, 2008). Nurse Practitioner