Limitations of Practice as a Nurse Practitioner in Washington - 2022

Last Reviewed: March 26th, 2022

Limitations of practice exist for nurse practitioners depending on each state’s laws. The three levels of practice for nurse practitioners are known as:

  • Full Practice Authority (FPA)
  • Reduced Practice
  • Restricted Practice

Washington State grants full practice authority to nurse practitioners, meaning nurse practitioners are given full authority to practice independently without a collaborative agreement of a supervising physician. Other reduced practice states put some limit on the nurse practitioner’s ability to engage in her full scope of training and restricted practice states severely limit the scope of practice for the nurse practitioner. Not only does Washington State grant FPA to nurse practitioners, but they also grant them authority to provide telehealth services with proper training. 

Full practice authority allows nurse practitioners to utilize their full training to provide healthcare services to the Washington State population. This means NPs in the state can serve as primary care providers and order tests, diagnose, and prescribe treatments and medications. They can also admit patients to medical facilities as well as make referrals to other professionals. Full practice policy is beneficial to nurse practitioners and the populations they serve because it provides greater access to healthcare and allows the NP to spread the load required from the Evergreen State’s healthcare providers.

While Washington State and bordering land all condone FPA status for nurse practitioners, not all states agree to adopt the same policy. If you’d like to get involved with advocating for full practice authority in states with reduced or restricted practice, most states have a nurse practitioner association that advocates for FPA. The national association, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, is also a strong advocate for changing legislation across the United States.

Stay informed on changing legislation within Washington State by visiting the nursing commission website or keeping up with nursing associations such as:

The only limitation you’ll face as a nurse practitioner in Washington State is that your Washington ARNP license only allows you to practice inside the state lines. There are no plans for the state to join the Nurse Licensure Compact which allows multi-state practice with a single license. With full practice authority and lenient legislation for nurse practitioners, there is plenty of incentive to stay right here in Washington State.