Welcome to ScopeofPracticePolicy.org!
This website was designed by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). The purpose of this website is to educate state policymakers about scope of practice issues related to addiction counselors, dental hygienists, dental therapists, licensed professional counselors, nurse practitioners, peer support specialists and physician assistants.
The site provides nonpartisan, unbiased and objective policy information about the scope of practice laws in the 50 states, District of Columbia and territories.
Non-physician health care practitioners are increasingly being used to render services in rural and underserved areas to make up for provider shortages. A practitioner’s scope of practice refers to what a health professional can and cannot do to or for a patient, and is defined by state professional regulatory boards—typically with the guidance or instruction of the state’s legislature.
State legislators and other state health policymakers consider a broad range of issues related to scope of practice, including supervision requirements, prescriptive authority and other requirements for practice. These issues are highlighted on this website, with information from the states, D.C. and territories about current legislation affecting scope of practice.
On this website, you will find information regarding the scope of practice for behavioral health providers, nurse practitioners, oral health providers and physician assistants. The tabs above link to interactive state policy maps for each practitioner in each state, D.C. and territory. The site also includes a legislation database that enables you to track scope of practice bills in each state, links to resources for additional information and blog posts on current scope of practice activities around the nation.
The interactive map to the right will take you to a state overview page. For an overview of the practitioners described on this site, please click the tabs below.