Applications are being taken for a new advanced-degree nursing program being offered jointly next fall at California State University at Fresno and San Jose (Calif.) University, but according to the American Medical Association, the degree's name will confuse patients.
AMA: 'Doctor of nursing practice' title misleading
The Doctor of Nursing Practice program was created by legislation (PDF) signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sept. 28, 2010, and it still requires approval by the California State University chancellor's office and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. A similar program held jointly at CSU's Fullerton, Long Beach and Los Angeles campuses also awaits approval. A stand-alone program at San Diego State University was approved last month.
The program will prepare nurse leaders and advanced-practice nurses for patient-care, leadership and education roles, according to a CSU news release.
If it were up to the AMA, the program would be called something else.
"Recent studies show that while patients strongly support a physician-led healthcare team, many are confused about who is—and who is not—a medical doctor," AMA board Chairman Dr. Robert Wah said in an e-mail. "Over half of patients believe a doctor of nursing practice is a medical doctor or do not know the difference between the two. To provide the clarity necessary for patients to make informed decisions about their healthcare, the American Medical Association supports truth-in-advertising legislation to help patients understand the level of education and training of their healthcare provider."
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.