Interestingly, a nurse practitioner has no formal title like a Doctor, Engineer, or other professionals. It also seems outdated when you address a nurse by their first name, for instance, Nurse Amanda. Some states of the USA have considered it a felony for nurse practitioners to address themselves as doctors. Other states require that nurse practitioners make clarifications behind their introductions- for instance, and a nurse can introduce themselves as “I am Dr . Amanda, a clinical nurse practitioner”.
So How do You Address a Nurse Practioner?
It will be appropriate to address a nurse practitioner as a Ms. or Mr. unless they permit you to address them by their first names.
Several rules apply o the address of a nurse practitioner, but as a patient, none of these rules are biding; only the nurse practitioner is expected to be under such laws.
Are There Occasions You Can Address Nurse Practioner As Doctor?
Yes, there are some instances when you can address a nurse practitioner as a doctor, but many states do have regulations regarding this. A DNP nurse, for example, can be addressed as a doctor. For example, some states require a nurse with a DNP to inform the patients that they are doctoral-prepared nurse practitioners.
In most USA states, most nurse practitioners work under a physician’s supervision, especially when prescribing medications to patients. Nurse practitioners do believe they can practically perform what doctors do except performing surgical operations independently.
Un-supervised non-physicians may put patients’ health at risk, primarily when these unsupervised nurses work outside of the scope of their duties. In the US, for now, one trend that is growing is that of corporations and government agencies replacing physicians with nurses, especially where there are very few available physicians.
What Are The Effects Of Physicians Being Replaced With Nurse Practitioners?
Entities replacing physicians with nurse practitioners often argue that they have been forced o hire nursing practitioners instead of physicians because of physicians’ shortage. The real ruth is that physicians are being fired and replaced with nurse practitioners because they want to increase their profits. This trend is dangerous for several reasons.
Lack of patients’ choices and informed consent is one of the adverse side effects of replacing physicians with nurse practitioners or other lesser-qualified staff. Patients become more vulnerable as they have smaller choices in their medical teams. Most people report that they preferred to be created by a physician and not by a nurse practitioner. Due to the US right to informed consent, there must be a way to inform all patients that non-physicians treat them.
Some patients are treated by caregivers and may not be aware of such. Oday I is common to see veterans and senior citizens being treated by un-supervised nurse practitioners instead of physicians. Rationing the health care system by restricting physicians’ access while substituting lesser-trained practitioners has remained a social injustice question to this day.
Some medical algorithms and treatment guidelines followed by non-medical practitioners may remain biased, leading to patient harm in several ways. Today, no studies show that nurse practitioners observe all safety rules when they practice without supervision.
Most of the studies that purportedly show nurse practitioner safety are of low quality, and they were designed to follow healthy patients within a short time frame. Short-framed studies didn’t indicate whether nurse practitioners follow safety and good care rules when they practice independently, throughout a lifetime, or a brief period.
New studies have indeed shown serious wider gaps in healthcare quality provide by nurse practitioners. The holes show the disparity in the success recorded in diagnostic handling, increased prescriptions, and recoveries in patients.
There is a massive demand for more medical field graduates. Even the training centers for nurse practitioners are accepting less qualified applicants. In some cases, non-nursing graduates are being taken. Those with non-nursing experience are being employed in some establishments.
The lack of repercussions for perpetrators of health care fraud is another issue. Despite legislation banning un-supervised nurse practitioners from treating patients, the nursing practitioners are no being held to the same legal standards as professional physicians. Nursing practitioners are only answerable to nurses’ boards rather than the board for medicine that physicians commonly report. There are serious concerns on how the nursing board monitors nursing practitioners’ activities to ensure they stick to the rules of practices, especially those concerning harm to patients.
What Are The Common Issues Facing Nursing Practitioners In The Modern Era?
Nursing practitioners are as important as other medical field practitioners, and the world seems to need more of them, especially in the face of pandemic infections.
The main problem faced by nursing practitioners today is the lack of adequate protection against transmittable diseases. Since the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic worldwide, hundreds of nursing practitioners have lost their lives because they are at the forefront of fighting the scourge. In addition to this, many nurses are still no fully equipped to protect themselves when exposed to patients suffering from the infection. This has led several nurses to spend out of pocket to buy themselves protective gear to protect themselves.
Another problem facing nurse practitioners all around the world today is excessive working hours. With fewer nurses available, hospitals and other treatment centers have to extend the working hours of available nurses to compensate for staff shortages. This is constantly leading to fatigue and a decrease in the output of these nurses. With increasing fatigue, a nurse practitioner will likely commit serious blunders that may harm patients or cause more severe fatality. Excessive working hours for nurse practitioners also make them disconnected from their family and friends for a long time, which can trigger psychological issues.
An extended period of training and certification may also constitute a challenge to the practice of nursing. For instance, it takes some years of learning and on-the-job skill acquisition to eventually become a qualified nurse. Along the way, several prospective nurses do abandon the profession for other professions that take less time to qualify for and become certified. For this reason, It is pretty common to see some nurses opting out of school after diploma classes to begin the nursing profession, and few of them take first and second degrees as part-time courses while they keep their nursing jobs. Statistics have shown that less than 10% of nurses who start their nursing careers end up getting master’s and doctorate degrees in nursing.
Despite the challenges facing the nursing profession worldwide, there is still a massive demand for these professionals, and this demand will surely continue for a long time to come. Fortunately, nurses’ wages are rising astronomically too, which will seem to drive lots of younger ones to such a profession in the nearest future.
Steps To Becoming A Nurse Practioner
Nursing practitioners, just like any other professional, will require one to move from one stage to another. You will have to pass the basic high school prerequisite subjects like mathematics, English, and sciences before you can be admitted into nursing school. The nursing school is a college, and this is where you are accepted and taught. Upon the completion of the program, you must write and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
Upon your successful NCLEX-RN, you can apply for a state license and then seek employment as a registered nurse. At this phase, you may want to continue practicing only without further education. Still, it pays to pursue a first degree and master’s degree if you want a career progression in the field and eventually want to become a nursing manager. Though a masers degree is enough to become a nursing manager, you may want to go for your Ph.D. as an additional confirmation of being a professional nurse practitioner.
It is essential to know ha becoming a nursing practitioner will require periodic evaluation of your performance, and you may get suspended by the nursing board if you default in following the principles of the profession, especially in regards to patients’ safety.
Many aspiring nurses write the NCLEX-RN exams several times before they eventually pass and start their nursing careers. There is a limit to the number of times an individual can write to pass the professional nursing exam, following which there will be a temporary ban.
As mentioned earlier, addressing a nurse practitioner should depend on advice from the individual practitioner. While some will prefer you address them by their first names, others, as a matter of privacy, will ask you to call them “Nurse” because they don’t want to give their names out. In many hospitals and other healthcare homes in the US, it is pretty common to see nurses displaying their names on their uniforms. This helps patients recognize them quickly, and even physicians can call them by their names when they need their services. It is best to address a nursing practitioner by their first names initially.