Yes – but only in states that allow a Nurse Practitioner (NP) to practice independent of direct supervision by a physician or other practice guidelines. Currently, there are 24 states plus the District of Columbia who allow full practice for nurse practitioners. Full practice is when the NP is exclusively governed by the state's board of nursing and not contingent on a collaborative agreement with a physician.

Reduced practice states, such as New York, allow experienced NPs (more than 3600 practice hours, which is about 2 years of full-time practice) to practice without direct supervision as long as the NP has an experienced physician in their specialty with whom they can collaborate. "Nurse practitioners make excellent owners and are frequently purchasing thriving physician practices across the U.S." according to David Owji with Doctors Broker. NPs who are considering a purchase should consult their individual state's licensing board for further clarification.

RELATED: What Is the Salary Difference Between a Nurse Practitioner and a Physician Assistant?

States who are considered having restricted practice, such as California, are overseen by the board of nursing along with physician supervision, delegation or team management. NPs working in restricted practice states would find it challenging to purchase or own a practice independent of physician direct supervision.

Amanda Bucceri Androus, RN, BSN
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