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What Virgin River Gets Wrong About Being A Nurse

"Virgin River" is one of the most feel-good shows you can find on Netflix. It's all about finding love and knowing when you need a fresh start in life, as exemplified by Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge). She moves to the tiny town in the middle of Northern California after the death of her husband, and as a nurse practitioner, she's giving plenty of other people the same second chances she so desperately wants for herself. 

While in the new locale, she gets the chance to treat injuries and deliver newborn babies (some fans think she does the latter a bit too often). She got off to a bumpy start with her new boss, but she more than proved herself capable in a medical setting.

Of course, this is really a romance series, not a medical drama. As such, you can't expect everything to be medically accurate. Still, there's one oversight in her profession that some fans just can't seem to get over.

A nurse isn't the same as a nurse practitioner

As you watch "Virgin River" on Netflix, you may notice something peculiar. Sometimes Mel refers to herself as a "nurse practitioner," and other times, she merely says she's a "nurse." These two professions are not synonymous, and some fans have no qualms voicing their frustrations at the discrepancy on social media. 

One user starts a Reddit thread talking about how vocally clumsy it seems to refer to oneself as a nurse practitioner when "nurse" could suffice. Other fans, like u/rookscrooks, are quick to chime in, "Because NP's unlike nurses are allowed to see patients, diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications without doctoral supervision or sign off." Nurse practitioners require additional schooling, which is why u/heartsthefurryones adds, "For these reasons, I found my self more frustrated the times that she didn't specify NP."

Have you ever referred to a doctor by their first name, and they insisted you refer to them as "Doctor?" It's basically the same thing with Mel. She worked hard to become a nurse practitioner, so why would she be okay with people referring to her by a lower title?  There's nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments. Mel should never have an issue declaring herself a nurse practitioner because that's what she is.