Nurse Practitioners: Scope of Practice by State

Where does your state stand on NP practice?

Scope of practice details the activities licensed medical professionals are legally permitted to perform in their practice area. Nurse practitioner scope of practice varies by state, outlining the ability to practice with or without physician oversight or prescribe medication. As a nurse practitioner, it’s essential to understand the state laws and regulations that govern and guide you as you practice.

The map below reflects the latest NP scope of practice by state, provided by the NCSL Scope of Practice Policy. Hover over your state to view policies in two primary areas: practice authority and prescriptive authority. For more detail, click your state or territory.

For more information regarding specific state policy laws not listed here, refer to your state’s Nurse Practice Act. 

Updated 8/7/2023.

  • Physician relationship required.
  • Full independent practice and prescriptive authority.
  • Transition to independent practice and prescribing period required.
  • Full independent practice authority but physician relationship required for prescriptive authority.
  • Full independent practice authority but transition to independent prescribing period.

Practice authority details a nurse practitioner’s ability to practice with or without physician oversight. Prescriptive authority refers to a nurse practitioner’s authority to prescribe medications. Some states require NPs to complete a transition to practice period before practicing or prescribing independently. 

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