To the Editors:
I agree with all the points you raised in your editorial about making the DNP (doctor of nursing practice) the required degree for advanced practice. I am confused about the differences between the DNP, DNS/DNSc, PhD, DN, and DSN—all of which are doctoral degrees.
Most patients have no idea that RN denotes licensure and is not an academic degree. I doubt that most nurses are aware of the level of education of other nurses in the institution in which they work unless they work together directly and have had that discussion. Patients have come to accept seeing a nurse practitioner in place of a physician for routine checkups and office visits because of being seen quickly. Would a nurse who is a DNP be called Doctor, and how confusing will that be to patients?