What's the proper way to address an NP?

  1. Just curious about what the proper way to address an NP would be. I'm always a little unsure about if I'm supposed to address them as Mr./Mrs. so and so, Nurse practitioner so and so, or what. I certainly wouldn't want to offend anyone, so I thought I'd ask the NP's here how they are comfortable being addressed by patients and ancillary staff. Thanks in advance for clearing this up for me:spin: .
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    About PurrRN

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 372; Likes: 90


  3. by   sirI
    Hello, SiamCat1,

    There are no hard and fast rules. Depends upon what the NP wants.

    The majority of my patients, colleagues, etc., address me as Ms. X (insert last name). A few patients (younger ones) will call me, Ms. X (insert first name).

    Here is a thread from the past about this topic:

  4. by   PurrRN
    Thanks Siri, for the link. It was exactly the type of info I was looking for.
  5. by   sirI
    You are very welcome.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    I work in the inner city and most of my patients call me Nurse Trauma (first name). Several of my patients are veterans (me too) and they call me "doc." They do absolutely know I'm not a physician but it is their term of respect. The RNs and techs call me by my first name. The physicians that I work with call me by my first name also.
  7. by   Rhfish2
    I tell patients to call me by my first name. I find that it relaxes them and allows for an easier, more comfortable relationship. Some do call me doc and I correct them immeidately.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    That sounds fine Rhfish! Like Siri said, it can vary from situation to situation. I have a rather difficult last name and its just easier to call me by my first name. I do allow my patients to call me doc but only after I correct them that I am NOT a doctor. For some of my patients. I'll be honest that at first I ws very uncomfortable with being called doc but once I talked it over with my veteran patients, it makes sense. In the military setting, PAs and medics are often called doc - not signifying that they are indeed a physician but as a term of respect. As long as I know that I've informed my patients that I'm not a physician, then I'm okay with it.
  9. by   KYCNM
    As a nurse practitioner and nurse midwife of many years, I enter the room and say "Hi, I'm Jacque a nurse-midwife (nurse practitioner if more appropriate). Our name tags also used first name, but that is the practice in hospitals in this area.
  10. by   ERNP
    I use my first name. Introduce myself like this... "Hi I'm (first name), the nurse practitioner. What can I do for you today?" Then we move on, the cell phone rings, they answer and say that they can't talk right now because the doctor is in the room. Go figure.
  11. by   Barbiegirlnurse
    I think that this topic is so interesting. It has been my experience that most patients call me by my first name. However, I think that it would be more respectful to be called either Nurse (insert last name) or Ms (insert last name). The reason is that we refer to patients as Mr/Mrs. "Smith" , and we refer to physicians as Dr. "Jones", yet in nursing we are referred to as just our first name. Even worse than this is the situation where we introduce ourselves as " Hi, I'm [Mary, (for example)], Dr. Jones nurse (or Nurse Practitioner). This introduction implies ownership to the physician. It is such a sticky situation.

    As nurses we want to build close relationships with our patients and have traditionally felt that the informality of first name basis, further enhances the nurse-patient relationship. But, does it really? In the NP role, I feel a little jilted to be called by my first name when the MA, receptionist, and other ancillary staff are called by their first name. I think that it should be acceptable to introduce yourself as Nurse "Smith", the nurse practitioner. Then once the relationship is formed, you can tell the patient that they can call you by your first name, if you wish. The same thing could be applied with physicians. You can introduce yourself as Nurse "Smith", the NP and then move on in a less formal basis if you wish. I have not, though, found many physicians that have me call them by their first name, so why should I let them call me by mine? (Just a thought!)
  12. by   justme1972
    I personally feel that NP's should be called Miss/Mrs. Last name. They have very much earned it.
  13. by   core0
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    I personally feel that NP's should be called Miss/Mrs. Last name. They have very much earned it.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  14. by   traumaRUs
    I always state when introducing mysel to new patients in the hospital, Hi I'm traumarus, one of the advanced practice nurses and I'm working with Dr XYZ, the nephrologist.