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ERIC Number: EJ829027
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan-16
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
A New Degree and Exam Create "Doctor Nurses," Irking Physicians
Mangan, Katherine
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n19 pA7 Jan 2009
For years, advanced-practice nurses have struggled for greater autonomy from doctors while physician groups have fought back, trying to protect what they see as their turf. This article reports that a new degree and a new certification test are blurring those boundaries even further. The test, and the "doctor of nursing practice" degree it certifies, has raised the hackles of some physicians while giving some nurses hope that they will finally get the respect they feel they deserve. The practice doctorate is not designed to turn nurses into doctors. Already, nurse practitioners are able to diagnose and treat patients, as well as prescribe medication in most states. But they usually do this with some kind of review or supervision from a physician. Advocates say the doctoral degree will give advanced-practice nurses the extra clinical experience they need to independently treat patients with complex needs in a variety of settings. Earning a practice doctorate and passing the certification test won't automatically give nurses autonomy in states that require physician oversight; however, both the degree and the test could provide leverage to nurses seeking changes in "scope of practice" laws. But some physician groups continue to vehemently oppose efforts to grant nurses such autonomy. They argue that even with a year of clinical experience and a doctorate, a nurse's experience does not compare with the training of a physician who has completed seven years of study, including at least three clinical years.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A