To the Editors:

As the husband of a nurse, your editorial about the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) makes me worry, and not just that I’ll hear about it at the dinner table for years to come. Nursing as a profession faces difficulties that are much more fundamental than a few more initials after a nurse’s name. There are those who believe that professional nursing is in danger of marginalization, if not outright extinction. Yet, instead of a grass-roots movement to solidify the place of professional nursing in the healthcare firmament, there is discussion about a new doctorate degree for nurses. Many situations and questions leap to my mind, but before I can consider them, I am compelled to get past an image of “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.”

If nurses seek a new doctorate in an effort to gain respect from physicians and other healthcare providers, they are...

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