Should Nurses Obtain a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP)
Would I counsel an emerging or established nurse leader to pursue a DNP? Yes. However, I would first encourage my colleagues to perform a sincere self-assessment to determine why a doctorate is important to them and what they hope to accomplish with a DNP degree. There is, or at least should be, a different level of responsibility for those prepared at the doctorate level. This responsibility includes an obligation to give back to the practice, to shape the future, and define the present.
Are Doctors of Nursing Practice Doctors or Registered Nurses
And lastly, how will I refer to myself once the DNP is completed? I am and will continue to be a Registered Nurse. Medical Doctors have the culturally designated role as the “Doctor” and there is no sense in confusing patients or other healthcare colleagues by stating that I am a Doctor. Certainly, in more formal settings, I will use the traditional convention, Dr. Fish, but likely I will prefer to use my first name and as appropriate introduce myself as a registered nurse (RN). I will follow the model set by my other doctorate colleagues in healthcare, such as PharmDs who refer to themselves as pharmacists or doctors of pharmacy depending on the setting.