20 states that have suspended or modified nurse practitioner restrictions

Many states have lifted restrictions on nurse practitioners to boost the healthcare workforce pool during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Kaiser Health News

Some states allow nurse practitioners to practice without formal physician oversight upon licensure, while others have transitional oversight requirements or always require physician oversight.

On March 24, HHS Secretary Alex Azar sent a letter to governors asking them to relax the scope of practice for some healthcare professions to "extend the capacity of the healthcare workforce to address the pandemic."

As of the afternoon of April 17, five states had fully suspended physician oversight requirements, and 15 had partially waived an element of these licensure agreements, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. The association said the 15 states that partially waived an element of regulation still require that nurse practitioners keep a regulated relationship with a physician as a precondition of the nurse practitioner providing care.  

The full suspension states are:

  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana 
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Wisconsin

The states that have waived or partially suspended an element of physician supervision are:

  • California
  • Texas 
  • Oklahoma 
  • Arkansas
  • Missouri
  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • West Virginia
  • Pennsylvania
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Massachusetts


More articles on workforce:
Virginia Mason Memorial cuts nonmedical employees' hours
California nurses get their N95 masks after suspensions spark protest
COVID-19 & healthcare professionals: What the latest CDC data shows 

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