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DNP Answers

DNP vs MD vs RN

Published August 20, 2014 3:40 PM by Keischa Cash

I had an interesting experience last week when a patient of mine that I referred to ENT within my clinic called to ask to be referred to another provider. Apparently, this patient - who thinks very highly of me and my work ethic - went to see the specialty provider, referenced me as Dr. Cash and the ENT proceeded to bash me instead of addressing the patient's main reason for being there. This turned the patient off, and she called and spoke with one of our patient advocates about the situation.

I don't feel that it is right for a provider to bash another provider in front of a patient, let alone a provider that they have never met or spoken to. I would never bash a colleague in front of a patient or a staff member - and I would hope that other providers would be respectful of my knowledge, credentials and the fact that my patients are very satisfied and well-cared for. This is not the first time that this has happened at the clinic where I work.

You see, this has happened with our compliance officer as well (who is an RN). She came out to my office for compliance week and then went on a tirade to the radiology tech about how I wasn't a real doctor and that she was going to make sure that she put an end to me calling myself doctor. Luckily, my radiology tech stood up for me, and said that they were referencing me as Dr. Cash because I had received previous approval by the board to do so. Of course this didn't make her happy and it showed all over her face during our encounter.

I found out the next day during my annual review that she sent an email about it to our clinic director (who is also an RN) who only briefly mentioned the incident to me without any detail. The phrase "nurses eat their young" is true. I thought that I had gotten past this, given years of experience. Apparently it still applies, because some are not accepting of the changing paradigms in healthcare, especially the role of the DNP and the title and credentials that come with it.

I guess I just expected more from my own. I mean, I expect it from the physicians, but the nurses too?

5 comments

I still don't know how to address these situations other than to confront them head on when I am aware of the situation. In both of these situations I had the unfortunate luck of not being present when the comments regarding myself were made. I am not looking for a confrontation but I believe that this kind of behavior is best dealt with head on and in person, no matter how uncomfortable. stay tuned to the next blog to find out what happened in regards to my response to this incident.

Keischa Ca$h August 25, 2014 6:50 PM

I agree with Lynn.  Given this is not, as you say, a first time occurrence, it would seem that a response from your board might be in order as well.

mary marks August 25, 2014 1:28 PM

The provider bashing is very unprofessional.  I would have my office manager contact his, and I would no longer refer to that ENT.  The RN incident is one of insubordination, and this should not be tolerated.  Would the RN act like this towards a physician provider? I doubt it, and there should be a written warning in this situation, it really doesn't have anything to do with the title.  It’s about respect for a provider in the practice, although she should address you by your title.  

Nurses do eat their young, but you're a provider now, so you have to see yourself as a provider or they won't. I hope these incidents don't deter you from using your title and influencing the future of DNPs.

Lynn August 20, 2014 8:18 PM

You worked hard for your DNP, and you deserve to be recognized as such. It sounds like a case of wanting to "put you in your place", not sure what the appropriate response would be.

Marisa, WHNP August 20, 2014 8:07 PM
Columbia MO

Across the board for all DNP's in a position such as this, what is the right response recommended for the best outcome?

Janet Thurston August 20, 2014 7:45 PM
Missoula MT

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