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When the nurse wants to be called ’doctor’

The New York Times, October 3, 2011

Doctorates are popping up all over the health professions, and the result is a quiet battle over not only the title "doctor," but also the money, power and prestige that often comes with it. As more nurses, pharmacists and physical therapists claim this honorific, physicians are fighting back. For nurses, getting doctorates can help them land a top administrative job at a hospital, improve their standing at a university and win them more respect from colleagues and patients. But so far, the new degrees have not brought higher fees from insurers for seeing patients or greater authority from states to prescribe medicines. Nursing leaders say that their push to have more nurses earn doctorates has nothing to do with their fight of several decades in state legislatures to give nurses more autonomy, money and prescriptive power.