Home Forums The Controversy of the DOCTOR Title Earned Doctoral Degree Reply To: Earned Doctoral Degree


Hello April,

There is a collective feeling that certain healthcare professionals, particularly medical doctors, disdain the thought of “nurses” using the title doctor. I have an experience I would like to share. I was in nursing school working as a CNA and one of the patients started to get confused and declined a little bit. I believe a rapid response was called and I noticed one of the providers was particularly involved in the patient’s care. I saw that she was not a nurse but wearing scrubs so I said “Thank you, doctor.” She then told me that she’s not a doctor, but a nurse practitioner. This NP was foremost in the patient’s care but had to take the time to clarify that she was not a doctor. Why must NPs go out of their way to differentiate their title when they are doing the same work that medical doctors do? DNP is a terminal degree and deserves the same right to the title “doctor” as any terminal degree. We are not demanding to be on an equal plane as a medical doctor but are asking for the same respect other professionals get when they reach their terminal degree. DNP, Ph.D. nurses all deserve the title doctor.