A doctorate is what some of the movers and shakers in nursing want NPs to eventually have. I'm of a mindset that the nursing doctorate is of poor design. It is not currently and will not likely be for many years to come a mandatory requirement. Also those that already have a masters will get grandfathered in. How can I be sure? Because advanced practice nurses exist to fulfill a physician primary care shortage -or- serve an underserved population [choose your philosophy]. If suddenly masters trained NPs couldn't be NPs then those movers and shakers in nursing, many of whom don't have doctorates, would suddenly be contradicting themselves. I have no desire to spend the time or funds on a doctorate. If I wanted to I would've already gone to medical school.