Nurse practitioner practice laws differ from state to state and include full, reduced and restricted scopes of practice. For your convenience, VISTA has put together a map showing what scope of practice each state allows.
Full Scope of Practice
In states with full scope of practice laws, nurse practitioners are allowed to:
- Evaluate and diagnose patients
- Order and interpret diagnostic tests
- Treat patients from start to finish, including prescribing medications
Nurse practitioners are given full scope of practice under the exclusive authority of the state board of nursing and without physician oversight. States with full scope of practice — marked green on the map.
Reduced Scope of Practice
Reduced scope of practice, under a regulated collaborative agreement, allows nurse practitioners to diagnose and treat patients but requires physician oversight to prescribe medications.
States with reduced scope of practice — marked yellow on the map.
Restricted Scope of Practice
In states with restricted scope of practice, nurse practitioners are required to have physician oversight to treat and diagnose patients and to prescribe medications.
States with restricted scope of practice — marked red on the map.
A collaborative agreement is a written statement between a physician and a nurse practitioner that defines the joint practice in the working relationship. It provides legal protection of the nurse practitioner and puts forth the rights and responsibilities of each party.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is currently working to modernize state licensure laws for nurse practitioners that would allow full scope of practice in all 50 states. The AANP states that “providing patients with full and direct access to nurse practitioners is one proven method with a track record for improving access to quality care and curbing escalating health care costs.”