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NP Scope of Practice Series: New York

Posted on: February 27, 2020

Chris Square

written by

Chris Keeley

Shutterstock 111189209

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

In simple terms, New York is “right down the middle” as far as restrictions go. There are some things the state is more strict on, such as prescriptive authority. Alternatively, there are things the state is nonrestrictive about such as NPs being able to join medical staffs.

In New York, NPs are considered to be primary care providers, which 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.

The opportunity to take an assignment in New York is considered a once in a lifetime opportunity to some, especially as a nurse practitioner locum tenens provider. With popular tourist attractions such as New York City, Niagara Falls, or the countless lakes and state parks, New York offers something for everyone. That being said, it is critical to be prepared for your potential assignment in New York. 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 New York is restricted 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: Full

NPs are able to join medical staffs.

  • Depending on the state, this law may fully allow, reduce, or restrict this ability, while some states have no law at all.
  • Currently, permission for NPs to join a medical staff is fully allowed in 13 states, reduced in 28 states plus D.C., and restricted in five states.

Autonomous Practice: Restricted

In New York, NPs must enter a collaborative agreement with physicians.

  • 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: Restricted

NPs in New York may prescribe certain drugs after completing an education requirement in pharmacotherapeutics and completing a specified number of practice hours with the collaborating physician.

  • More on this below**

Order Physical Therapy: Full

Nurse practitioners can make referrals for physical therapy.

  • Authorizing NPs to make referrals for physical therapy is beneficial to the patient because it eliminates the extra step of getting referred by a physician.

Sign Death Certificates: Full

Nurse practitioners can sign death certificates.

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 can't sign New York's MOLST form.

  • According to, “Medical Orders for Life–Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) is a program designed to improve the quality of care patients receive at the end of life by translating patient goals for care and preferences into medical orders.”

** Independently Prescribe Schedule II Drugs (continued):

In New York, NPs are required to go maintain specific pharmacotherapeutic requirements in order to prescribe medication. According to, these are the requirements:

  • At least three semester hours (or the equivalent) in pharmacotherapeutics, including drug management specific to your specialty area or patient population focus, as well as instruction in New York State and Federal laws and regulations as they relate to prescriptions and record maintenance
  • A program or a combination of courses equivalent to the content and scope of pharmacotherapeutics courses covering drug management specific to your specialty

Are you interested in practicing in New York? Speak to a Barton Associates agent today to learn 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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