Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: Idaho

Growing up in Washington State, I have fond memories of visiting Idaho as a kid.  I would visit the state's largest theme park riding roller coasters until I was too sick to walk in a straight line.  What I didn't realize at the time is that Idaho would also have so much to offer my colleagues in my future profession.  Idaho ranks at the top when it comes to the freedoms it offers nurse practitioners.  What laws regulate NPs in the Gem State?

Nurse practitioners in Idaho have a rich history which led to the state's pioneering of favorable laws for NPs.  In 1971, Idaho was the first state to give legal recognition to expanding the role of nurses. In 1977, Idaho's Nurse Practice Act was formally revised to include the term nurse practitioner.  Further revisions to the Nurse Practice Act granted NPs the authority to prescribe in 1986.  

Idaho's Nurse Practitioner Supervision Laws

Nurse practitioners in Idaho are among those privileged to practice without physician supervision.  In 2004, Governor Dick Kempthorne signed a law eliminating the physician supervision requirement for NPs in Idaho.  No collaborative practice agreement or other formal supervision arrangement is required.  

Nurse practitioners in Idaho are required to submit a biennial peer review to the Idaho Board of Nursing.  The peer review process is loose and not strictly outlined in Idaho State law.  The NP may be reviewed by another nurse practitioner, a physician assistant or a physician.  The peer review process is not a supervision guideline but is designed to show that while practicing independently, NPs are not practicing in isolation and participate with other providers in patient care.

Idaho's Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Laws

Nurse practitioners practicing in Idaho are allowed to prescribe independently without physician supervision.  This includes the authority to prescribe controlled substances.  

Idaho does not have laws against nurse practitioners prescribing medications for themselves or family members, unless the medication is a controlled substance.  A proper assessment and evaluation must occur before medication is prescribed. 

Other Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice Laws

Nurse practitioners practicing in Idaho are permitted to sign death certificates as well as sign handicap parking permits.

Overall, nurse practitioners in Idaho enjoy working under some of the most favorable laws in the country.  The ability to diagnose, treat and prescribe independently gives NPs in Idaho freedom to practice to the full extent of their training.