To the Editors:

Your editorial titled “Doctor of Nursing Practice—MRI or Total Body Scan?” (2005;14:278–281) was a thought-provoking, well-balanced essay on a very important topic. I would add another perspective that argues against the development of yet another nursing degree. I act as an expert witness on a variety of legal cases involving nurses and other healthcare professionals. Often, the key issue is scope of practice and a lack of understanding of who is responsible for which facets of patient care. It is alarming that the word “nurse” has become so generic and meaningless that patients can mistake a nursing assistant for a nurse practitioner. Even other healthcare professionals can lose sight of the responsibilities inherent to each level of “nurse.” Often, it seems as though all women working in the healthcare setting who wear white uniforms or scrubs...

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