Florida bill aims to ban APRNs from using 'doctor'

A new bill in the Florida Legislature seeks to stop nurse practitioners who have earned their doctorate from using the title "doctor."

The bill, if passed, would extend even to advertisements and communications of their services, including in brochures or on business cards. However, professionals who have doctorate degrees as veterinarians, dentists and pharmacists would still be able to use the title "doctor."

"Advanced practice registered nurses licensed under part I of chapter 464 may use only the title 'advanced practice registered nurse' or abbreviation 'A.P.R.N.,'" the bill states. 

Cindy Marshall, a nurse practitioner working on obtaining her doctorate in the state, told NBC affiliate WBBH in a Feb. 27 report that such a law might discourage individuals from working to attain the degree.

As a whole, the bill was proposed to "prohibit healthcare practitioners from using deceptive or misleading terms or false representations in their advertisements," or they could face disciplinary action. If passed, the bill would take effect July 1.

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