Alaska comes up as one of the most liberal states when it comes to permissions given to nursing practitioners. They enjoy “full practice” which uses the skills and competencies obtained through education and experience to the fullest capacity. Nurse practitioners are labeled as primary care providers and they can practice without physician supervision. They are also allowed to prescribe medications (legend drugs and/or controlled substances) once they have applied for such a permit from the board. It is also important to note that recent graduates are allowed to practice immediately after their program with a temporary license while they await certification and full licensing.
Some other things that may be considered limitations in the practice of a nurse practitioner include; the need to renew their prescription license every two years and their ineligibility to sign birth certificates. However, nursing practice in Alaska is certainly ahead of some other states as it ensures that the potential of nurse practitioners are used maximally (full practice). The “full practice” policy is the gold standard for nurse practitioners.
The “full practice” policy has only been implemented in certain states. Nurses should join in advocacy for the implementation of this policy in all states in the country. Learn more about advocacy on the AANP Advocacy Center.