Florida Nurse Practitioner Network
Empowering Florida Nurse Practitioners as Leaders in Healthcare (Est 2002)

All NPs and Friends & Families of NPs - Please Sign This Urgent Petition!

Posted over 6 years ago by Jean Aertker

Please take a moment to sign this petition to STOP Senate Bill 612, the "Doctor Title"  Bill sponsored by Florida Senator Bill Galvano from Bradenton. We understand the new Representative from Ft.Myers, Heather Fitzenhagen, a lawyer, is the house sponsor, but that bill number is still pending.

This bill is a waste of our tax dollars! We already have laws on the books to enforce "Truth in Advertising"! We feel legislators should know our laws before creating new bills that duplicate exitsting laws! This bill targets only nurses -CHAPTER 464--and makes it a FELONY 3rd degree which could mean loss of license if a NP is brought up on charges for simply using thier hard earned university awarded degree!

Thiis mean spirited, unnecessary and onerous bill could stop future nurses from moving to our state.  Let's make it clear to all legislators that nurses are a vital part of our healthcare system. NPs with an earned doctorate degree should not be dscriminated against and must be supported in our efforts to provide quality and affordable health care to all Floridians.

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Michelle Fede over 6 years ago

Senator Galvano,
I am current graduate student pursuing my advanced nursing degree and scheduled to graduate in 2014. On completion of my program of study and fulfillment of the degree requirements I will apply for examination, certification and licensure to practice as a family nurse practitioner in the state of Florida. I have great concern about SB 612 and wish to express my deep reservations related to this bill, which I believe has potential to be used as a weapon to target, discredit, devalue and isolate the doctoral prepared nurse practitioner from other healthcare professionals.
The rigors of high academic achievement in pursuit of a doctoral degree cannot be understated, as complex critical thinking skills are developed, volumes of course work completed thatinclude research projects and disseration that may take years to complete at great sacrifice and cost both physically and finacially. The attainment of a doctoral degree allows the distinguished honor of reference as "doctor" or "Dr." to indicate the highest level of education completed and is found among many other health and social science professions, such as; doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), doctor of Physical Ttherapy (DPT), doctor of Chiropractic (DC), doctor of Osteopathy (DO) , doctor of (Veternary Medicine)DVM, doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), doctor of Philosophy (PhD), to name a few . In regard to medical sciences; a medical student who graduates from medical school is refered to as "doctor" but this reference does not allow nor permit the new medical graduate to practice as a medical doctor ("M.D."), although referred to as "doctor", this privilege to practice is only granted on verification of academic completion, certification and licensure by the state in which it has been applied.
The same standard applies to other doctoral prepared healthcare providers in the following fields: Pharmacology, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, dentistry, psychology, chiropractic, mental health, social work, marriage and family therapist/counselors, who among those also work in a clinical setting to provide direct patient care without confusion or misrepresentation in their scope of practice. Each of these specialists who hold a doctoral degree have not been called into question or denied use of the reference as "doctor," nor has the lay public confused their practice to that of a medical doctor (M.D.). It must be remembered that the achievement of an academic doctoral degree and use of the word "doctor" does not mean everyone referred by this term is a medical doctor (M.D.). For a nurse to practice patient care is an honor and privilege not taken lightly and one only granted by the State Board which serves to regulate and provide oversight to that licensed profession. The State Board of Nursing grants a "certificate of authority" (COA) for the advanced nurse practitioner to provide patient care within their scope of practice. Many rules, regulations and guidelines are already in place to discipline, suspend or revolk a license to practice if an individual is found in violation of their licensure. The state board has an effecitive system in place and must be utilized to handle any issue of misrepresentation presented in SB 612, without futher need of Florida State LAW!
The SB 612, will only serves to target and isolate ONE profession from among many others who use the titled reference of "doctor," which indicates the attainment of high academic achievement holding a terminal degree in that particular field of study. There is a termendous assumption in SB 612, that the advanced nursing professional who has obtained a doctoral degree, would even consider, desire or intentionally misrepresent themself in practice as an medical doctor (M.D.), and thereby denounce, disrespect and dishonor the high achievement made within their own professional field of practice as doctor of nursing practice (DNP) or doctor of philosophy (PhD) is absolutely unfounded. The mere assumption without credible evidence or validity to prompt such a bill in SB 612, to require the state of Florida to pass a LAW to prohibit the reference "doctor" from ONE profession over any other or face a charge of third degree felony is just ludicrous!
I personally believe SB 612 is discriminatory at the very least, completely unfounded, unwarranted, and an extremely offensive action that is prejudicial against the entire profession of nursing. To have this bill submitted at a time when healthcare services are in crisis with increased demand for care providers, which continues to increase exponentially is an abuse of political power and position and does not serve the demands of the public well. As our nations aging population continues to grow with the baby-boom generation entering retirement age coupled by the steady decline in birth rates, the numbers of those in need of healthcare services are far outweighed by the numbers of those able to provide care. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014 to add approximately 30 million new patients to an already overburdened healthcare system will continue to overwhelm healthcare systems with the lack of primary care providers. Bernard Sanders (2013) Chairmen of the subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging: U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pension noted the ever growing gap in primary health care. Chairmen Sanders reported over 70% of medical doctors currently specialize outside of primary healthcare and less than 7% of new medical graduates choose to work in this particular field of practice. The need for primary health care providers cannot be underestimated and among the detrimental effects from SB 612, if passed, would inhibit, discredit and isolate the nursing professional, in particular the advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP), who is educated trained, certified and licensed to provide direct care among this population. This overt attack on the advanced educated nursing professional who is prepared and available to work in collegial and collaborative practice along with other healthcare team members to fill the gap in healthcare, is counter productive and contributes further to the problems facing our nation in healthcare.
I ask that you please reconsider SB 612.

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