Independent Practice States

Despite having just 3% of a physician's training when they graduate, nurse practitioners have the right to practice independently at all Veterans Administration facilities and half the states in the Union. 

Physician assistants have gained independent practice in North Dakota, and are seeking independent practice in other states.

If you are being treated by a non-physician practitioner in one of these states, there MAY NOT be a physician overseeing your care and ensuring your safety!

States with completely independent NP

practice immediately upon graduation

  1. Alaska

  2. Arizona

  3. Hawaii

  4. Idaho

  5. Iowa

  6. Montana

  7. New Hampshire

  8. New Mexico

  9. North Dakota

  10. Oregon

  11. Rhode Island

  12. Utah

  13. Washington

  14. Wyoming

The following states allow NPs to practice independently after practicing with physician oversight for a set number of hours 

* Remember that physicians are required to complete 15,000 hours before they are allowed to treat patients independently!

  1. Colorado — 1,000 hours for prescriptive authority 

  2. Connecticut — 3 years and 2,000 hours 

  3. Delaware — 2 years and 4,000 hours

  4. Illinois — 4,000 hours

  5. Kentucky — 4 years

  6. Maine — 2 years

  7. Maryland — 1.5 years 

  8. Minnesota — 2,080 hours

  9. Nebraska — 2,000 hours

  10. Nevada — 2 years or 2,000 hours  

  11. South Dakota — 1,040 hours

  12. Vermont — 2 years and 2,400 hours

  13. Virginia — 5 years and 9,000 hours

  14. West Virginia — 3 years 

  15. Florida - primary care after 3,000 hours