Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: Maryland

By ThriveAP Team Member Leonel Cabrera

Summer seems like the perfect time to feature costal state Maryland’s nurse practitioner scope of practice.  Famous for amazing seafood, specifically culinary delicacy crab cakes, and home to former baseball great Babe Ruth, Maryland oozes classic summertime fun.  In keeping with this lighthearted tone, Maryland boasts lenient rules and regulations towards NP practice.

Let’s delve into the laws that make this great state a smart choice for nurse practitioners looking for freedom in their careers.

Maryland Nurse Practitioner Supervision Laws

Fortunately for NP’s, as of 2010, Maryland is one state that allows nurse practitioners to practice independently.  A one page agreement verifying the NP has a physician lined up to consult if needed is all that is required.  Other than that, the nurse practitioner is able to independently assess, diagnose and treat patients free of supervision.  Physicians need not sign the NP’s charts or be on site for nurse practitioners to provide patient care in Maryland.

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NP’s in Maryland are recognized as primary care providers which is a plus as it allows them to share some of Maryland’s primary care burden.

Maryland’s Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Laws

Prescribing laws for NP’s in Maryland are equally as lax as supervision laws.  For a nurse practitioner to prescribe medications, he/she must simply have the right outlined in the one page consultation agreement with the physician.  Once this is complete, the NP can independently prescribe Schedule II-V substances without the presence or oversight of a physician.  Looks like NP’s have it made in Maryland!

Other Maryland NP Scope of Practice Laws

Nurse practitioners are able to refer patients to physical therapy and sign death certificates as well as handicap placard permits in Maryland.  Another lesser known NP right is the ability to sign worker’s compensation claims.

Maryland’s favorable NP laws were reformed in 2010 after the state lost between 10% and 15% of it’s nurse practitioners.  Given this reform, it would be a wise choice for a nurse practitioner to move to Maryland where the level of independence is high.  Maryland’s future for NP’s looks bright!

2 thoughts on “Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: Maryland”

  1. I agree that a nurse can do most basic healthcare needs. But some areas of medicine need a higher level of medical training to provide proper care. Especially mental health. Most general doctors don’t have the knowledge of antidepressant and antipsychotics drugs to prescribe them safely and properly. Even the average Psychologists lacks the medical knowledge to treat many mental health problems with prescription drugs. NP’s should only be allowed to prescribe medications under a medical doctors supervision.

  2. You definitely show that you ignorant of what NPs can do-when the medical doctors come out of school, its the nurses who teach them so many things-Most intelligent physicians rely on their nurses observation to make their final diagnosis-My preceptor , an NP who diagnosed a patient correctly after so many physicians were unable to catch what was going on. No NPs must work under any physicians, but we could collaborate together-medical knowledge is not solely in the minds of physicians but NPs too. I once worked at an ICU, and all the tine the acute NPs always had to cancel physicians orders to rewrite a better treatment-infact , I was once warned not take certain orders from certain physicians but from the cute NPs because some do better jobs than the physicians. Now that we have having NPs who hold similar doctorate degrees as the physicians, its better to refrer to them as physicians than doctors because we have medical doctors who are NPs.

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