Scope of Practice
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In Pennsylvania, nurse practitioners (NPs) may diagnose medical conditions, develop and implement treatment plans, order and perform diagnostic tests, and deliver other health care services, pursuant to a written collaborative agreement with a licensed physician. The collaborative agreement must address the availability of the physician to the NP through direct communication or telecommunication, a plan for emergency services, and the physician’s regular review of the charts and records of patients under the NP’s care. NPs are recognized as primary care providers in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, an NP may prescribe drugs, devices and Schedule II-V controlled substances as outlined in a written collaboration agreement with a physician. Pennsylvania NPs with proper training or appropriate experience can receive a federal waiver to dispense buprenorphine-containing products, as long as the supervising physician is certified, trained or permitted to treat and manage patients with opioid use disorder.

Practice Authority

Written collaboration agreement required, and the agreement must be signed by both the NP and the physician and agree to the details of their collaboration. Pa. Code §49.21.251

Prescriptive Authority

Drugs and therapeutic measures available for prescribing must be outlined in the written collaboration agreement and relevant to the NP’s specialty. The NP may prescribe Schedule II-V controlled substances. Pa. Code §49.21.284

Nurse Practitioner as a Primary Care Provider

NPs are recognized in state policy as primary care providers. There are six patient populations the State Board of Nursing designates for NPs to focus including neonatal, pediatrics, family/across the life span, adult/gerontology, women’s health/gender-related and psychiatric/mental health. Pa. Code §49.21.801



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