Georgia law prohibits DNPs from using the term "doctor"

Nurses General Nursing

Updated:   Published

Specializes in Nurse Leader specializing in Labor & Delivery.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill into law May 2 preventing nonphysicians from using specialty titles such as "doctor," in an effort to promote transparency for patients.

Senate Bill 197 was written by state Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, a certified anesthesiologist assistant. It's summary outlines an aim "to prohibit deceptive or misleading terms or false representations by healthcare practitioners in advertisements and representations" and to do the same regarding the "misappropriation of medical or medical specialty titles."

Georgia blocks nonphysicians from using specialty titles

@klone - I believe Florida is trying to do the same

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice.

So people who acquire doctorates are not allowed to use that earned title? 

Specializes in Nurse Leader specializing in Labor & Delivery.

Yep. And you should see the hubbub this is causing on LinkedIn. 

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development.

So are they also going to apply this to other, non healthcare doctorates or are they picking and choosing?

Specializes in Healthcare management and leadership.

I have a doctor in Healthcare management and leadership and thus is unacceptable.  Thank you Kemp voters.   This is the beginning of us going backwards.

Specializes in Rad Tech College Professor.

RTR CT MEd  In Education and Clinical environment if you earned the degree you should be able to use Title Doctor. If Medical doctors are upset they should have a new title. In Heathcare 2023 there are Doctorates in Nursing, Education, Physical Therapy, Occupation Therapy ect. The Senator who wrote the bill probably has a Masters level CNA.  He does not care.  Patients should be educated about what degrees are in Healthcare.   Debate over Jill Binden rights to be called Dr Biden is crazy.  

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

What are they going to do with all the Georgia optometrists = "Optometry Doctor"

Dr. Leah J. McFerren, optometrist

Dr. Radhakrishna Patel

Dr. Steven R. Warstadt

Dr. Janelle Davison O.D



Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty.

Largely, it will affect advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants who hold doctorate degrees. There has been significant ongoing debate at a national level regarding clinical titles and whether or not these professionals should be allowed to use "doctor" as a title or if doing so confuses patients.

How misleading is this? My very strong impression over the years is that the "significant ongoing debate at a national level" is generated from well-funded MD lobby groups protecting their turf.

Really disappointing to say the least.

Specializes in ER.

What about Dr Laura and Dr Phil??

Specializes in Medsurg.
Emergent said:

What about Dr Laura and Dr Phil??

Good point!

Of all the things they could be addressing, this is on their radar? 

Specializes in School Nursing.

I really think that this is just ridiculous. If you earn the Doctoral Degree, then you have earned the right to use the title of Dr. I think that there are significantly more important things that Georgia needs to take care of rather than this. I have a friend that is a DNP, and when she meets her new patients she identifies herself as Dr. Nurse. If the parents have any questions about that she takes the time to educate them. I think this attempt at legislation needs to be abandoned. 

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