Can DPN Nurses be Referred to as Doctors?

Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practise is a high achievement in every nurse’s career.

You can earn the doctor’s title through the doctorate program as well.

Similar to Ph.D., getting a DPN is a result of hard work and great skills.

Individuals who finish the Ph.D. program in law, engineering pharmaceutics, veterinarians, or nurses with DNP certificates are all referred to as doctors.

Therefore, the answer to the question is yes – a DNP nurse can be assigned a doctor’s title.

On the other hand, there is an ongoing debate about which situations it is okay.

Those in favor of using a doctor tittle for both Ph.D. and DNP nurses claim that it is an acknowledgment of all hard work, practical and theoretical skills a nurse had to achieve to earn a DNP.

In other words, a DNP nurse has achieved the highest possible level of education and experience and is an expert in the nursing profession.

Also, calling a DNP nurse a doctor improves and strengthens the trust between a nurse and a patient.

It shows respect as well and proves the nurse’s competency in the job she does.

Those who support the thesis that DNP nurses add the additional argument – if we can call an engineer a doctor, why can’t we assign the same title to an expert in nursing?

People who don’t support calling a DNP nurse a doctor argue that it can be confusing for the patient.

Also, patients are not required to know what a Doctorate in Nursing is.

Therefore, when a patient meets a doctor-nurse, he or she may think that they speak with an MD.

In situations where there are both nurse and a doctor present and both introduce themself as a doctor, patient confusion can lead to some issues, legal or organizational.

Another argument against using a title doctor for DNP nurses is that it poses a threat to people with MD.

Other negative perspectives induce the possible intention of false pretending.

Even though respect for hard work is the main argument for calling DNP nurses doctors, some people understand it negatively.

In short, words you won’t be wrong when you call a DNP nurse a doctor, but you have to pay attention to the legislation.

Some states such as Arizona and Delaware prohibits nurses, pharmacists to use the doctor title.

The only way they can introduce themself as a doctor is to clarify the possible misunderstanding immediately.

In reality, a DNP nurse can introduce herself to the patient using terms such as a doctoral-prepared nurse practitioner.

The use of doctor tittle is regulated on a local basis in some facilities as well.

In general, many rules allow the use of doctor in an educational, academic, or social context, but forbids it in the clinical context, to avoid misunderstandings.

However, patient care deals with these questions deeply and prevents confusion upon initial meets by correct introduction, providing answers and explanations, and avoiding even the slightest ambiguity.

Bear in mind that in every clinical situation the most important interest is to provide the best possible care for the patient.

Therefore, it can be counterproductive to fight the use of roles.

Rather, always choose direct communication as a way to go from the initial greeting and throughout the entire process of carrying for the patient.

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