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A State-by-State Guide to Nurse Practitioners

A few allow these health care professionals to provide direct care, but many don't.

The regulations governing the care that can be provided by nurse practitioners on their own — without direct collaboration with or supervision by physicians — vary by location.

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Where nurse practitioners can provide care and prescriptions without physician collaboration or supervision:

Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Wyoming.

In Maine, collaboration is required only for a nurse's first two years in practice. In Utah, collaboration is required only for prescribing level 2 and 3 controlled substances.

Where doctors are required to approve any prescriptions ordered by nurse practitioners:

Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia.

Where collaboration of doctors is required for nurse practitioners to provide diagnoses, treatments and prescriptions:

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin.

Editor's note: This information is based on materials from The Pearson Report and the Center to Champion Nursing in America, which is an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.