Legislative Update on Scope of Practice Bills

State legislators have introduced at least 115 bills in 2017 legislative sessions relating to scope of practice for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dental hygienists and dental therapists. Eight bills have been signed into law.

Some examples include:

  • South Dakota now allows nurse practitioners to practice independently from a physician.
  • Washington has authorized dental therapists to practice on tribal lands.
  • Nebraska now allows dental hygienists to prescribe mouth rinses and fluoride products.

Pending legislation in California and Illinois would allow nurse practitioners to practice independently from a physician. Bills in Massachusetts and Ohio would authorize licensure or certification for dental therapists. Bills pending in Missouri and Texas propose to change the requirements for prescriptive authority for physician assistants.

To find out more about what’s happening in these states and read these bills as well as other scope of practice legislation, please use the search function in the legislative database page on this website. If you’re interested in learning more about the website and how it can help policymakers, tune in to our webinar on Friday, May 12.