Fill out your new career PROfile on and let employers come to you • SIGN UP

An experience where an NP did not disclose her credentials until after a visit prompted me to write about your column on a nurse with a “doctor” title.


Dear Donna,

I am responding to your comment about a nurse with the title “doctor.” My mother made an appointment in a medical clinic with a person she thought was an MD. The woman did not reveal that she was an NP with a doctorate in another degree. I feel that she should have introduced herself as a NP first, then as a PhD (in whatever field). We were very disappointed to find this out after the visit. We feel this is misleading to the patient.

Feels Misled

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Feels Misled,

Thank you for your comments. I presume you are responding to a previous post about a nurse with a doctoral degree, using the title doctor:

As my response states, clearly displayed and easy to read name badges and a proper introduction are important.

It is important to note most medical/health practices utilize a variety of healthcare professionals including nurse practitioners, physicians, physician assistants, RNs, LPNs, medical assistants, social workers and others. Therefore, as a patient/consumer, you must be proactive in your own care. When you make an appointment in any office/practice, ask, “Who will I be seen by?” If you have specific requests, express them at that time. If you don’t already know the provider, and if they don’t identify themselves when you first meet, ask them for their name and credentials. If you are seeing one type of professional and prefer to see another type, make your wishes known.

Best wishes,



About Author

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www.

Leave A Reply