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NP Scope of Practice Series: Kentucky

Posted on: March 17, 2020

Chris Square

written by

Chris Keeley

Shutterstock 592618139

NP scope of practice laws vary throughout the country. In this series, we will outline nurse practitioner scope of practice laws across all of the United States. Be sure to check back every month as we make our way through state-by-state, highlighting what you need to know about each state’s unique practice laws.

Key Takeaways

Generally, Kentucky is more restrictive for NPs than other states. The state dictates the majority of scope requirements. That being said, in Kentucky, NPs are considered to be primary care providers. Most states allow this, but regardless, this gives NPs the opportunity to practice independently. This works well for the facility because it takes the pressure off the physicians while providing NPs with more responsibility they might not get in other states. In turn, this enables more patients to be seen in a timely manner.

It is critical to be prepared for your potential assignment in Kentucky, to assist you, we have provided everything you need to know about the state-specific NP scope of practice laws.

Full, Reduced, or Restricted Practice: Reduced

Access to NP care in California is reduced by state law. Physicians and NPs must enter a collaborative agreement for one or more elements of NP practice.

  • This is often viewed as a good way to ensure NPs and physicians have a clear understanding of which situations NPs are authorized to practice.

Medical Staff Membership: Restricted

NPs may not join medical staffs in Kentucky.

Autonomous Practice: Restricted

In Kentucky, NPs must enter a collaborative agreement with physicians.

  • This means NPs are unauthorized to practice independently.
  • As discussed previously, this means NPs must enter a collaborative agreement for one or more elements of NP practice.

Primary Care Provider: Full

State statutes and/or Administrative Code recognizes nurse practitioners as primary care providers.

  • This allows the NP to see more consistent patients and takes the workload off of the physician(s).

Independently Prescribe Schedule II Drugs: Reduced

An NP's ability to prescribe certain drugs in Kentucky depends on their relationship with the collaborating physician. With a KASPER account, NPs may prescribe controlled drugs in 30-day amounts.

  • Although this is not exactly ideal for a NP looking to practice with maximum independence, this is certainly more encouraging than other state laws.

Order Physical Therapy: No Law

State law doesn't specify whether NPs can make referrals for physical therapy.

Sign Death Certificates: Full

NPs can sign death certificates in Kentucky.

Sign Disabled Person Placard Forms: Full

Nurse practitioners are authorized to sign disabled person placard forms.

  • According to the AANP, “NPs know the challenges and frustrations of bureaucratic paperwork delays. Recognizing NP signatures on forms reduces costs and promotes efficient, timely care, and patient choice.”


NPs are unauthorized to sign the MOST form in Kentucky.

Are you interested in practicing in Kentucky? Speak to a Barton agent today about our open positions!

Chris Keeley
About Chris Keeley

Chris Keeley is the content marketing copywriter and former recruiter at Barton Associates' Peabody, MA, headquarters. Native to the Boston area, Chris joined the Barton team in May 2019 after earning his degree is communications from Salem State University partnered with completing a sport-marketing program in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

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