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Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Laws Map

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are essential to the delivery of health care in the United States. In some states, NPs can practice to the full extent of their license, delivering services they have been trained to provide without mandatory involvement from a physician. Other states require NPs to enter into a practice agreement with a collaborating physician in order to provide patient care. A handful of states do not require a collaborative practice agreement, but have a transition to practice requirement instead. This allows NPs to transition to full practice by working under supervision of a physician for a limited period of time. Whether or not an NP has the authority to write prescriptions is a strong indication of their overall legal scope of practice in a particular state.

This page presents information about the prescribing authority for NPs in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and has been updated through October 31, 2015. You can explore the law in your state by clicking it on the map below. Design a search to identify national trends and learn more about practice agreement requirements in different states by clicking the blue "Start Here" button, below. 

NP Practice State-by-State Guide 2017


Related Resources - RWJF-funded research

"The Role Of Nurse Practitioners In Reinventing Primary Care" 

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health

Primary Care: Proposed Solutions to the Physician Shortage Without Training More Physicians

AANP Position Paper on NP Prescriptive Authority 



Sarah Hexem, JD

Director of Law and Policy

National Nursing Centers Consortium, a PHMC affiliate



Did you know?

In 22 states, nurse practitioners may prescribe without a practice agreement with a physician.

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