Home Forums The Controversy of the DOCTOR Title Bills restricting or banning nurses with doctorate degrees from using “doctor”

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  • #45854
    Susan Engle
    Moderator

    California AB 765 (Wood) Physicians and surgeons. This bill would enact the California Patient Protection, Safety, Disclosure, and Transparency Act. The bill would make it a misdemeanor for a person who does not have a valid, unrevoked, and unsuspended certificate as a physician and surgeon to use any medical specialty title, as specified, or any titles, terms, letters, words, abbreviations, description of services, designations, or insignia indicating or implying that the person is licensed to practice under the act.

    Follow the bill https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240AB765

    Florida bill aims to ban APRNs from using doctor.

    https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/nursing/florida-bill-aims-to-ban-aprns-from-using-doctor.html

    HB 583: Health Care Practitioner Titles and Abbreviations

    Follow the bill https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2023/583

    Does your state of residence have any proposed bills that restrict or ban the use of doctor for those nurses who hold a DNP degree? If yes, please add the link.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Susan Engle.
    #45942
    ron
    Participant

    As I am sure we are aware, in California Legislation, there is a bill by Wood (AB 765) that is going through legislation that makes it a misdemeanor to use the tile “doctor” unless he/she is a physician or surgeon. There are a number of PhD, DNP, EdD nurses who have earned this title. A lot of nurses (not just DNPs) will be affected — what can we do?

    “California AB 765 (Wood) Physicians and surgeons. This bill would enact the California Patient Protection, Safety, Disclosure, and Transparency Act. The bill would make it a misdemeanor for a person who does not have a valid, unrevoked, and unsuspended certificate as a physician and surgeon to use any medical specialty title, as specified, or any titles, terms, letters, words, abbreviations, description of services, designations, or insignia indicating or implying that the person is licensed to practice under the act.”

    #46021
    Ana B
    Participant

    Hello Susan,

    Thank you so much for your post and sharing this California AB 765 Wood Bill. As a student on the pathway to enter CRNA school with the hopes to graduate with my DNP degree, I am learning more and more of the importance of staying informed and how being involved is vital to our profession. I read through the AB 765 Wood Bill and reprimanding an individual for using the word “Doctor” with a misdemeanor sounds very excessive and punitive. As healthcare workers we are all in this field to serve patients and advocate for them. When there are areas where there are not enough physicians caring for vulnerable patient populations and APRNs fill in those gaps; these nurses have earned the right to use the term if they so choose. APRNs have the credentials and experience to properly care for patients across various healthcare areas. I understand how patients want to know the credentials of the individuals who care for them, that is why it is imperative for APRNs to specify who they are and our importance when providing care. I too, would appreciate information how we can get involved at a local and state level since I am currently an ICU nurse in Bakersfield, California.

    #46241
    Ryan
    Participant

    Hello Susan,

    I’m currently a DNP student in California. I think gatekeeping the title of “doctor” is frustrating, and not being able to use the title despite the education and experience being put into a higher degree is heartbreaking. From what I can see through the California legislative website regarding California AB 765, the bill is for amending current law. Most of the content of California AB 765 already exists under the Business And Professions Code, Division 2, Chapter 5, Article 3, 2054. This legislation was effective January 1, 2018. However, I am just delving into the topic, so if I need clarification on the bill, I’m open to learning more.

    To add to my feelings on the topic, if the main issue, as implied by the bill, is the misrepresentation of position, it should be fine to follow up with our professional designation after our name on introductions, documentation, and badges. According to the 2014 Pearson report, that’s how it used to be in California. However, from the current legislation’s language, I wonder if it changed at some point. I wonder why policymakers and proponents of this legislation felt this needed to be changed if it has. I hope as healthcare continues to change in the future, this issue also resolves as interdisciplinary teams work to support each other.

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