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Using the Title of Doctor as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) who have doctoral education often contact the Board regarding the use of the title "doctor." The following information may be helpful. 

Minnesota Statute §147.082 provides title protection for "the title of "doctor of medicine," "medical doctor," "doctor of osteopathic medicine," "osteopathic physician," "physician," "surgeon," "M.D.," or "D.O." in the conduct of any occupation or profession pertaining to the diagnosis of human disease or conditions." It further states "Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a health care professional from using a title incorporating any of the words specified in paragraph (a), or from using a title or designation that is not specifically protected in paragraph (a), if the title or designation used is permitted under the health care professional's practice act."

Minnesota Statute §148.233 provides that APRNs use the title APRN with the appropriate role designation for personal identification and when documenting service provided (APRN, CNP; APRN, CNS; APRN, CNM; APRN, CRNA). Additional credentials, such as educational degrees and specialty certification may be added. 

If an APRN holds doctoral level education, the identified laws above do not prohibit the APRN from using the title "doctor"; however, it is suggested, if using the designation of doctor, that the nurse also identify one's self as a nurse. 

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