The Changing Roles of Nurse Practitioners
"What's in a name? I used the term "nurse practitioner" (NP). All nurses were supposed to be practitioners weren't they? How could that be a problem? It was a problem. Then there was the word "pediatrics." That got me into trouble with the pediatric faculty. It seemed there was nobody I left out. I wanted to use "public health nurse," but it got too complicated. So we came up with pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP). There were physician assistants (PAs), and NPs were being mixed up with PAs. Then there was the term "physician extender." That was a real no-no. Like hamburger helper—it didn't go. My advice—be careful what you name things because it just might come back to bite you in the butt."
Comments by Dr. Loretta C. Ford made at the 40th Annual Conference of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties in 2014.