Low physician density and low cost of living make Texas a desirable location for physicians, where there is no shortage of patients and your money goes further. Due to tort reform, the state also has a low number of malpractice claims, the fewest malpractice claims per capita, and the lowest average claim payout.
Those factors will also appeal to nurse practitioners; however, NPs are limited in their scope of practice within the Texas borders. NPs are required to practice under physician supervision and cannot prescribe without physician involvement. State law does recognize NPs as primary care providers; however other states in the region including Arizona and New Mexico allow NPs greater autonomy. On a related note, Texas also made our list of most requested destinations for locum tenens providers.
Just like Texas, Idaho offers affordable living, especially when compared to other states in the region, such as California and Oregon. The Gem State also has the lowest physician density in the country, with only 17 doctors per 10,000 residents. Combine that with a low number of malpractice claims, and you have a favorable practice location for physicians and nurse practitioners. Idaho also has very liberal NP scope of practice laws, allowing NPs to practice autonomously, act as primary care providers, and prescribe controlled substances.
Tennessee may be the Volunteer State, but clinicians who practice there certainly do not work for free. Clinicians in the state are well compensated, and they do not pay state income tax, which allows them to keep more of their earnings. The short winters, varied topography, and legendary music culture also keep quality of life high. Tennessee’s NP scope of practice laws are among the most liberal in the region. NPs can practice autonomously, and act as primary care providers, but they cannot prescribe medications without physician supervision.
Northeast: New Hampshire
It’s no surprise that The Granite State would be a solid choice for both physicians and nurse practitioners. New Hampshire is one of the most affordable states in the region and its tax burden is by far the lowest in the northeast. More than half of the population (61%) is covered under employee-sponsored insurance, and unemployment and poverty rates are below the national average. Nurse practitioners can practice to the top of their license, as New Hampshire allows for autonomous practice and independent prescribing.
Virginia offers a reasonable cost of living and the second-lowest tax burden in the region at 9.3%. Virginia also has the second-lowest number of malpractice claims in the region in 2011. Only North Carolina had fewer. With regards to NP Scope of Practice, Virginia is lacking in two major areas. Nurse practitioners cannot practice autonomously and they cannot prescribe without physician supervision. Its neighbor, Maryland, is much more favorable for NPs.
The American Medical Association named Indiana one of the most physician-friendly states in the country. That could be due to the fact that it has the lowest malpractice payout per claim, $134,574. The Hoosier state is also very affordable and physicians are well-compensated. Unfortunately for nurse practitioners, Indiana does not allow nurse practitioners to practice autonomously or prescribe medications without physician involvement. Iowa and North Dakota are the two most nurse practitioner friendly states in the region. Whichever state or city you choose to practice in, Barton Associates is prepared to help you find your next locum tenens assignment and make the process as easy as possible. Let our experienced recruiters and account managers, knowledgeable credentialing and licensing team, and our skilled travel team prove why we are the Locum Tenens Experts.