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Nurse Practitioner Prescriptive Authority by State

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Published October 2, 2023 · 4 Min Read

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Nurse practitioners can prescribe medications in states with prescriptive authority. Find out NP prescriptive authority by state.
Nurse Practitioner Prescriptive Authority by State
Image Credit: sturti / E+ / Getty Images

Nurse practitioner (NP) prescriptive authority varies according to state laws. Many states allow NPs to administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure medications. However, some jurisdictions require a collaborative practice agreement between an NP and a physician. Other states limit the duration of the prescription (e.g., five-day or 30-day supplies only) or the types and purposes of the drugs prescribed.

Find out more about which states nurse practitioners can prescribe medication in this guide.

What is Nurse Practitioner Prescriptive Authority?

Nurse practitioner prescriptive authority allows NPs to prescribe medications. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners divides prescriptive authority into three categories:

  • Full practice permits NPs to prescribe independently.
  • Reduced practice may require a collaborative practice agreement with a physician or limits on the prescribed medications.
  • Restricted practice requires physician supervision or delegation when prescribing controlled substances.

Each state's board of nursing regulates NP prescriptive and practice authority. Federal law classifies controlled substances into schedule categories.

  • Schedule II includes substances with high abuse potential, such as amphetamine, codeine, and hydrocodone.
  • Schedule III substances have less abuse potential and include compounds that contain limited Schedule II drugs, such as Tylenol with codeine.
  • Schedule IV, with lower abuse potential than Schedule III drugs, includes barbital and Xanax.
  • Schedule V, with the lowest abuse potential, consists of preparations with limited quantities of narcotics and stimulants, such as analgesics.

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Nurse Practitioner Prescriptive Authority by State Map

The map and table below illustrate the different nurse practitioner prescriptive authority rules in each U.S. state. Because a state's prescriptive authority designation may change, be sure to check with your state's nursing board for the latest information.

States' prescriptive authority laws include full, reduced, and restricted categories. But, variations exist, including limits or restrictions on prescribing particular drugs, where and how certain substances are prescribed, and the duration of the prescription.

Source: U.S. DOJ and DEA Diverson Control Division, December 2, 2022

View status of all states

Nurse Practitioner Prescriptive Authority by State
State Prescriptive Authority Prescriptive Authority Notes
Alabama Schedule II-V Administer and prescribe schedule II-V. Special permit required for schedule II.
Alaska Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Arizona Schedule II-V Administer, order, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Arkansas Schedule II-V Administer, order, and prescribe for schedule III-V. Prescribe schedule II hydrocodone products with collaborative practice agreement or in accordance with Arkansas Act 593.
California Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, and prescribe schedule II-V. Continuing education required.
Colorado Schedule III-V Prescribe II-V. May dispense and administer samples.
Connecticut Schedule III-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Delaware Schedule III-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
District of Columbia Schedule III-V Prescribe schedule II-V.
Florida Schedule III-V Administer, dispense, prescribe schedule II-V in accordance with state law.
Georgia Schedule III-V Administer, dispense, prescribe schedule III-V.
Hawaii Schedule II-V Administer and prescribe schedule II-V.
Idaho Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Illinois Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, and prescribe for schedule II-V. Prescribe 30 day supply for schedule II.
Indiana Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Iowa Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Kansas Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V pursuant to collaborative agreement with prescriber.
Kentucky Schedule II-V Prescribe schedule II-V.
Louisiana Schedule II-V Dispense and prescribe schedule II-V for attention deficit disorder only.
Maine Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Maryland Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Massachusetts Schedule II-V Administer, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Michigan Schedule II-V Prescribe schedule II-V. No Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) certificate required. Schedule II limited to 90-day supply and requires physician's letter.
Minnesota Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Mississippi Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Missouri Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V with collaborative practice agreement. Five-day supply only for schedule II-III; hydrocodone products only for schedule II. Need controlled substance RX, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), and professional licenses.
Montana Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Nebraska Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Nevada Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
New Hampshire Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V pursuant to formulary.
New Jersey Schedule II-V Prescribe schedule II-V.
New Mexico Schedule II-V Dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V (testosterone).
New York Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
North Carolina Schedule II-V Dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V; schedule II-III limited to 30-day supply.
North Dakota Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Ohio Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Oklahoma Schedule III-V Prescribe schedule III-V.
Oregon Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Pennsylvania Schedule II-V Prescribe schedule II-V. Schedule II limited to 30-day supply; schedule III-V limited to 90-day supply.
Rhode Island Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
South Carolina Schedule II-V Prescribe schedule II-V. Schedule II limited to five-day supply; schedule 2N limited to 30-day supply.
South Dakota Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Tennessee Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Texas Schedule II-V Administer and prescribe schedule II-V. Order and prescribe schedule II for hospital/hospice only.
Utah Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V pursuant to formulary.
Vermont Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Virginia Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Washington Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
West Virginia Schedule III-V Prescribe schedule II. Administer, dispense, and prescribe schedule III-V
Wisconsin Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.
Wyoming Schedule II-V Administer, dispense, prescribe, and procure for schedule II-V.

Source: U.S. DOJ and DEA Diverson Control Division, December 2, 2022

As of December 2, 2022, NPs who meet state-specific requirements and limitations can prescribe schedule II-V drugs in all states except Georgia and Oklahoma, where NPs can only prescribe schedule III-V controlled substances.

Obtaining Prescriptive Authority as a Nurse Practitioner

Requirements for obtaining nurse practitioner prescriptive authority vary by jurisdiction, with some states granting prescriptive authority as part of the licensing process and others imposing additional requirements. The procedural differences can depend on whether the state allows NPs full practice, reduced, or restricted practice authority.

Generally, prescriptive authority requires an application to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and adherence to all state requirements, including current and active licensing, potential supervisory or collaborative practice agreements, and any applicable continuing education and training. NPs use Form 224 specific to mid-level practitioners.

When nurse practitioners apply to register with the DEA, it is crucial to carefully consider the address they provide on their application. NPs working in restricted practice states must use their practice address as the designated address for both the DEA application and license.

If an NP changes employer or takes a leave of absence, they will not be granted a DEA renewal unless they can provide evidence of a new position and a supervising agreement.

Physician Involvement and Collaborative Practice Agreements

Some reduced practice states require collaborative practice agreements that detail the working relationship between physicians and nurse practitioners. These agreements include the terms of NPs' prescriptive authority. States in which NP practice is more restrictive may require physician supervision for practice and prescribing medications.

Collaborative relationships between NPs and physicians can foster better communication and positive outcomes. As NPs become more specialized and independent, many states have allowed them to practice and prescribe more autonomously.

Today, NPs have full practice authority in more than 30 states. The remaining states are split between reduced and restricted practice/prescribing authority, requiring collaborative practice agreements, physician oversight, or other restrictions.


Information on prescriptive authority was retrieved on August 10, 2023. Check with your state board of nursing for the most current information regarding prescriptive authority.

Page last reviewed August 16, 2023

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