NPs practicing as DRs

  1. This has been a heated discussion between some of my friends and I, so I thought I would bring it to the forum.

    Should people who are going through a DNP programs and taking the SAME test we all took for our MSN - NP for national certification think their education 'doctorate" is a clinical doctorate?

    Until there is a national standard and an elevation of the test (think along the USMLE) then I think anyone who thinks their DNP is a clinical doctorate is a joke.

    your thoughts. . . . .?
  2. Poll: Is the current DNP a "Clinical Doctorate"

    • Yes

      42.74% 53
    • No

      57.26% 71
    124 Votes
  3. Visit SkiBumNP profile page

    About SkiBumNP

    Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 98; Likes: 68
    Emergency Nurse Practitioner; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Emergency,


  4. by   Palliative Care, DNP
    Well personally I do not think the education I am about to receive will be a joke. It is a tough 3 year program that will take a lot of time and dedication. I also have no intention of having patients refer to me as "Dr." as I believe that may be confusing. I believe it is a shame that our profession can not be supportive of each other
  5. by   SkiBumNP
    and I don't think my two year MSN program was a joke, I just think that If we are going to offer a doctorate then we SHOULD be proud to call our selves doctors and have the education to back it up.
  6. by   PMFB-RN
    Quote from Mom To 4
    I believe it is a shame that our profession can not be supportive of each other
    *** Those who choose to not be supportive of their fellow RNs are the ANA and like minded people who are trying to force DNP as entry for practice for advanced practice nurses down our throats.
  7. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    I don't know if I should entertain what is clearly a pejorative query, but yes, I hold a clinical doctorate. I don't just think so, lol.
  8. by   apocatastasis
    I'm about to graduate from my MSN-FPMHNP program in May... I've reviewed curricula from several schools and really see no benefit from the DNP as it stands now. There's nothing directly "clinical" about the majority of the coursework for this "clinical doctorate." Seems more like the boring bastard child of a second-rate MPH degree and nursing systems or health policy program.

    I'm willing to bet the DNP offers more of the same ridiculous busy work that plagues my MSN program. Endless hours of eye-glazing, mind-numbing "cultural competency" lectures/workshops/assignments. 20 page APA-formatted, referenced papers on the history of dryer lint.

    Oh, and the icing on the cake... huge, unnecessary debt with no rhyme, no reason, no payoff.

    I'll pass.
    Last edit by apocatastasis on Feb 7, '12
  9. by   Esme12
    This is just my opinion........I am curious........with all the time you will have spent in school to be called Dr.......why didn't you just become a MD?
  10. by   SkiBumNP
    @Esme12 - though i just graduated 14 months ago, I do see going the full MD route, unless a shorter bridge program is out there using my NP experience.
  11. by   PolaBar
    My husband has a PhD in Biochemistry. But he wouldn't casually refer to himself as "doctor". When I met his mother, she spent much of the time saying "Have you met my son, the doctor". (I met her after he graduated, but before he had a chance to visit her). While he has a doctorate, I think the term "Doctor" has a connotation of only a medical doctor, unless in an academic conference.

    A DNP is a doctorate. While being referred to as "doctor" may be technically correct, the general population (ie: patients) would be expecting a medical license.

    As for the testing, I do believe that nurses that get an associate's degree as well as those with a bachelor's degree are still required to pass the same test. But, there are (theoretically) differences in the education. I'm not familiar with the educational and clinical requirements of the MSN versus the DNP. I do know there are educational differences between other master's and doctorate programs.
  12. by   PMFB-RN
    Quote from SkiBumNP
    I do see going the full MD route, unless a shorter bridge program is out there using my NP experience.
    *** There is not a shorter rout to physician cause of NP or any other experience. If you want to be a physician in the USA you must graduate fom medical school and there are no medical schools that will give you advanced standing or credit for being an NP.
  13. by   juan de la cruz
    Not trying to start a semantics war here but the official designation for the DNP is a "practice doctorate" not a clinical doctorate. This is the designation agreed upon by the official brainchild of the DNP degree, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Per their document, "The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice", there are two types of doctoral programs in nursing: research-focused (PhD and to a small extent, DNSc) and practice doctorate (DNP). DNP programs are not limited to APN training. There are DNP programs that admit non-APN's or train nurses in non-APN roles. There are actually two existing tracks in DNP programs: Advanced Nursing Practice Focus (NP, CNS, CNM, CRNA) and Aggregate/Systems/Organizational Focus (non-direct care fields involved in administrative and healthcare policy roles).

    Some schools still refer to their DNP program as a "clinical doctorate". The trend was started by Columbia which was a pioneer in this movement. Their DNP curriculum is clinically focused and is only open to nurses in APN roles. Faculty (Mundinger et al) from this school are founding members of the American Board of Comprehensive Care, a national certification board that offers the DCC exam. This board that administers the DCC certification was met with much controversy when they announced that their certification exam is patterned after USMLE Step 3. They no longer state that claim in their current website. The test is only open to all NP's who have a DNP degree. Despite being introduced around 2007, DCC certification is not widely accepted in all nursing camps and has raised eyebrows in the medical community.
  14. by   nerdtonurse?
    A Ph.D is usually called a doctor in academic settings -- you have a Ph.D in astrophysics, you're Dr. Jane Smith to students and other faculty, in papers, etc. You're Ms. Smith, Ph.D everywhere else. Same thing with a DNP. You're Dr. Jane Smith, DNP, in academia, and Jane Smith, NP-C, DNP everywhere else.

    I think the problem is we really don't have a good colloquially used noun for the NPs and DNPs. I think they should be Practitioner Smith in the clinical setting, just like Joe Blow, MD is Dr. Blow.
  15. by   OwlieO.O
    I do know that I will be getting a degree as an advanced practitioner. I know I eventually want to get my PhD and teach other nurses, but I don't think I'll get my "DNP." If I did, due to very serious confusion and liability issues, I would never refer to myself as doctor in a clinical setting with a patient. However, if I went through enough school to obtain a doctorate, I would surely be calling myself a doctor outside of the clinical setting. Around here (somewhere in the Pacific Northwest), if you've got a dotorate, people call you doctor; it doesn't matter whether you have a doctorate in biology, medicine, or something stupid, you are called doctor.