Florida bill may ban APRNs from using ‘doctor’ title

Florida lawmakers have proposed banning nurse practitioners from using the title “doctor” even if they’ve earned their doctorates. According to NBC-2, the house bill would forbid these nurses from displaying the title publicly.

Dr. Arlene Wright, a Florida-based nurse practitioner who has earned her doctorate, is one of the many nurses that would be stripped of the title.

“When nurse practitioners go on for further education, they’re not doing it for the doctor title,” Dr. Wright told NBC-2. “They’re doing it so we can provide the best care and outcome for our patients.”

Dr. Sue Hook, a nurse practitioner in Cape Coral, opposes the plan.

“To take that away and for people to say you’re no longer allowed to use the title you’ve earned and then have other professions like a pharmacist, they can use the title doctor,” Dr. Hook. said “A veterinarian can use the title doctor.”

“It’s kind of a smudge on our profession that doesn’t need to be there.”

According to the bill, the purpose of the legislation is to “prohibit healthcare practitioners from using deceptive or misleading terms or false representations in their advertisements.”

“If there is no motivation, I’m going to work hard for this, and I’m not going to be able to show the fruits of my labor,” Dr. Wright said. “Why would people want to go on?”

Dr. Hook disagreed that qualified nurse practitioners having the title of doctor could be misleading.

“If I have a patient, I’m not saying, ‘Hi, I’m Dr. Sue, your physician.’ I’m saying, ‘I’m Dr. Sue, your nurse practitioner,’” Dr. Hook explained.

If passed, the bill will take effect July 1.