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Professional Title: Call Me A Nurse (Nr.), I am Not A Doctor (Dr.)

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Professional Title: Call Me A Nurse (Nr.), I am Not A Doctor (Dr.) by Peter(m): Fri Nov 2021 11:43pm
Call Me A Nurse (Nr.), I am Not A Doctor (Dr.)

"Tribute to Late Nr. Abba Mai Modu for this comprehensive write-up when I raised a concern and started the movement of professional title, I am a contributor here".

I am perturbed to realize that in this era of scientific and evidence-based nursing some of my colleagues in this country feel ashamed to be identified and called “Nurses (Nrs.)”. It looks to me like they tend to feel embarrassed and insecure when they are called nurses by the general public. This reaction tends to be a lot more common among male nurses here.

My question then is: What do you want to be called if not a nurse?
Every professional is proud to be identified and recognized by a particular name or professional title. A doctor wants to be called a doctor, so also a lab scientist, pharmacist, or lawyer, then why are we shying away from ours.

Some of our patients call us doctors because of the fear that they couldn’t get better attention if they call us a nurse. I am not exaggerating. I am talking out of the experience. Could this be a form of inferiority complex? If so this feeling of insecurity is within you. I will rather say your problem is self-esteem disturbance. You know what that means, of course, you do. You need to promote your self-esteem and become assertive in your behavior. By doing so you will feel at ease when you are addressed as a Nurse (Nr.), you will surely earn your deserved respect from others as well as feel secure to be called a Nurse (Nr.).

According to Warren [1991], self-esteem breaks down into two components;
The ability to say that “I am important, I matter,
the ability to say “I am competent, I have something to offer to others and the world. Self-esteem is very closely related to other components of self-concept.
Just as with body image and personal identity, the development of self-esteem is largely influenced by the perceptions of how one is viewed by significant others. It is only when you accept your profession then others will accord the required respect to you.


Some steps were designed to help you inculcate the concept of self-concept within you. These steps are;
Concept of moral self: The aspect of personal identity that evaluates who the individual says he or she is. Say you are a Nurse (Nr.) and people will see the nurse in you.

Concept of self-consistency: This is the component of personal identity that strives to maintain a stable self-image [Even if the self-image is negative].

Concept of self-ideal or self expectancy: This relates to an individual’s perception of what he or she wants to be, to do, or to become, i.e. the perception one has of the expectations of others.

Therefore considering the points illustrated above you will be able to have a feeling of control over your life situation and the ability to claim some measures of influence over the behaviors of others. With positive self-esteem, you will feel loved, respected by others within the health team as well as by your patients and the public.

As a Nurse (Nr.), your actions should reflect a set of personal, moral, and ethical values. Positive self-esteem develops out of one’s ability to perform successfully or achieve self-expectations and the expectations of others. Consistently set limits for your actions, Know your limitations as a nurse. Please be proud to be addressed as a Nurse (Nr.). No one deserves to be called a nurse except you. Nursing is not just a skill, it is an attitude, it is a faith, and it is a calling.


Written by: Late Nr. Abba Mai Modu [RN, RPN, BNSc]

Contributor: Nr. Reuben Zirahgi Markus [RN, RM BNSc]


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Call Me A Nurse, I am Not A Doctor By Nurse Abba Mai Modu RN, RPN / We need to start Calling Nurses by their professional title in Nigeria / Doctor Arrested for Killing a Nurse Who Stopped to Help Accident Victim / National Association of Nigeria Nurses And Midwives Call for Memo on Health Sector Reform / Association of Graduate Nurses In Uganda Wants Protection of the Registered Nurse Title / UK Parliament Reject Law Meant for the Protection of Nurse Title /

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