The Scope of Nurse Practitioners in New Jersey


The scope of nursing practice in different states determines alternatives for nurses in selecting workplaces and their responsibilities and roles. In some instances, collaboration with a doctor is not needed, hence, permitting nurses to shun many conflict circumstances. New Jersey does not fall among the worst-performing state for NP even though it does not appear among the best. This essay discusses the potential practice agreements in New Jersey based on the scope of practice.

NP Scope of Practice

Nurse practitioners in the state of New Jersey practice under reduced practice regulations. Therefore, the nurses’ position and place in healthcare are put somewhere in the middle (Chapman et al., 2019). Despite some NPs being identified as primary care providers, they cannot prescribe treatments or medications themselves.

Level of Independence

NPs practicing in the state of New Jersey are independent healthcare providers. Indeed, the legal documentation considers them as “Licensed independent practitioners.” The nurses can diagnose and treat their patients free of doctor’s supervision. A doctor must not sign medical documentation developed by NPs in the state. The board of Nursing in New Jersey regulates nurse practitioners. State regulations and laws hold NPs independently accountable legally and ethically for all healthcare services offered. However, responsibility cannot rest with collaborating or supervising medical doctors. NPs may work independently as doctors, commence clinics independently, and manage their clinics as adult-gerontology, neonatal practitioner, primary care pediatric, acute care pediatric, and women’s health (Frados, 2019). Nevertheless, if nurses desire to offer healthcare services beyond the area of specialty, they should undergo training for the program.

Prescribing Authority

In New Jersey, NPs practicing in the state should collaborate with a doctor to prescribe medications. The collaborating doctor does not have to practice on the site with the nurse practitioner; although may keep in communication via e-mail or phone. They need to have a joint protocol highlighting this collaborative correlation should be kept and signed annually by the medical doctor and NP. In this collaborative contract, NPs can prescribe Schedule II to V controlled substances. In addition, they may request, receive, and disperse pharmaceutical samples (Gonzalez & Gigli, 2021). The collaborating doctor should be licensed in the New Jersey state unless employed by a federal organization like the VA.

Limitation of Practice

In the state of New Jersey, the major issues associated with NPs’ community practice are correlated with prescribing authority. Despite NPs having a high level of independence, they cannot be fully separated from the oversight of a physician. Hence, the first conflict is disagreement on medication options, which can render the advice of nurses to be ignored. Another issue arises the aspect that doctors do not have to be there present during consultations and then later be carried out through e-mail or phone (Miller, 2019). Therefore, the failure to respond, mostly in circumstances that need quick reactions, can lead to tension in the professional correlation.

Process for Obtaining Licensure in New Jersey

In New Jersey, for a nurse to be eligible for licensure, one should successfully have completed a master’s level degree program to prepare and educate either clinical nurse specialists or nurse practitioners. The NPs need to show national certification proof from a recognized specialty board before being given licensure to practice (Gonzalez & Gigli, 2021). The process of certification needs evidence of meeting academic qualifications, clinical work, standardized examination, and application fee.

Certification and Education Requirements for Licensure

The candidate needs to be a registered nurse (RN) to be licensed as an NP. Those nurses who completed the Board of nursing approved programs like a master’s degree or higher can enter into the NP program. Typically, nurses enter the NP program upon completion of a Bachelor of Science after registration (Chapman et al., 2019). The state developed programs for nurses who have finished their MSc degrees.

Nurse Practitioner Barriers

The main problem with independent nursing practice is regulations and laws. The nurses lack prescribing authority, which restricts their autonomy. This is founded on the concept that nurses’ professional level is not equal to that of a doctor. Hence, nurses holding doctorate degrees are not referred to as doctors by their patients despite their having adequate knowledge and skills to practice independently. Hence, to resolve this barrier, nursing advocacy has to be upgraded in the state. It is critical to speak to state representatives to formulate a bill that could expand the scope of NP practice in New Jersey. NPs are available to fulfill the demand for the medication of the underserved citizens of New Jersey without added costs (Frados, 2019). NPs might save the state millions of money if permitted to practice to the full scope of certification and education.

How does Access to NPs Influence any Healthcare Disparities

Offering access to healthcare for all the citizens of America is the key priority in the nation, and many do not have insurance coverage or access to healthcare. With the implementation of NPs, they may provide care and educate citizens in the hospitals. This can lead to a decline in crowded emergency units (Chapman et al., 2019). Further, the cost of the consultation will reduce because it is lower with an NP than primary care doctor.


In the United States, the places of nurses in healthcare persistently change. In these modern days, NPs have elevated authority in some states; they can practice independently or alongside doctors. Nonetheless, in New Jersey, the cooperation still contributes to some limits and conflicts in the scope of nursing practice. The key issue lies in nurses’ lack of prescriptive authority, which has to be addressed with nursing advocacy for change in the policy.


Chapman, S. A., Toretsky, C., & Phoenix, B. J. (2019). Enhancing psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner practice: Impact of state scope of practice regulations. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 10(1), 35-43.

Frados, A. (2019). A nurse practitioner’s guide to airline medicine. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 15(7), 483-486.

Gonzalez, J., & Gigli, K. (2021). Navigating population foci and implications for nurse practitioner scope of practice. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 17(7), 846-850.

Miller, K. (2019). Setting or patient care needs: Which defines advanced practice registered nurse scope of practice? The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 15(7), 494-495.

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