• Yet some state regulations, called scope of practice laws, bar nurse practitioners from practicing without doctor supervision.
  • These are the 10 worst states to be a nurse practitioner, according to data from staffing firm Barton Associates.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .

Nurse practitioners are among the fastest-growing and most in-demand jobs in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Plus the job's lucrative: these medical professionals can expect to make $113,930 per year, BLS reported .

Yet some states bar nurse practitioners from practicing without the supervision of a doctor. Scope of practice laws dictate the type of care a nurse practitioner can provide.

In most states, nurse practitioners can evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients by prescribing medicine following the recommendations of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Many nurse practitioners are taught these skills in higher level nursing programs.

Still, some states reject these recommendations and restrict a nurse practitioner's ability to treat patients without a doctor present. This is most common in southern states, where rural areas already face a shortage of doctors , and nurse practitioners' ability to treat patients is restricted.

Nurse practitioners can help fill healthcare gaps in areas where there are few doctors, according to a 2018 study by the University of Michigan. While doctors tend to practice in affluent neighborhoods, nurse practitioners serve low-income communities, which could make up for the lack of doctors, the study found.

Here are 10 of the worst states to be a nurse practitioner due to scope of practice laws, according to data from staffing firm Barton Associates.

Are you a nurse practitioner? Email aakhtar@businessinsider.com.

Florida consistently ranks as among the worst state to be a nurse practitioner due to strict supervision laws.

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Full, reduced, or restricted practice: Restricted

Autonomous practice restriction: Nurse practitioners cannot independently diagnose and treat patients without physician involvement.

Primary care provider: State statute does not define whether nurse practitioners can be primary care providers.

Ability to prescribe medication: Nurse practitioners in Florida may only prescribe certain drugs as specified in a protocol.

Additional sources: MidlevelU

Georgias rural communities lack access to healthcare, and the state is currently experiencing a shortage of nurse practitioners.

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Full, reduced, or restricted practice: Restricted

Autonomous practice restriction: Nurse practitioners cannot independently diagnose and treat patients without physician involvement.

Primary care provider: State statute does not define whether nurse practitioners can be primary care providers.

Ability to prescribe medication: Nurse practitioners in Georgia may only prescribe based on the specialty of their collaborating physician and the Georgia Composite Medical Board's authority.

Additional sources: Valdosta Daily Times

Tennessee doctors have fought back against expanding scope of practice laws for nurse practitioners, even amid a statewide physician shortage.

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Full, reduced, or restricted practice: Restricted

Autonomous practice restriction: Nurse practitioners cannot independently diagnose and treat patients without physician involvement.

Primary care provider: State statute does recognize that nurses can act as primary care providers.

Ability to prescribe medication: Nurse practitioners may prescribe a limited amount of drugs with pre-authorization.

Additional sources: Tennessean

Nurse practitioners in Texas must work under the supervision of a physician within a 75-mile radius.

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Full, reduced, or restricted practice: Restricted

Autonomous practice restriction: Nurse practitioners cannot independently diagnose and treat patients without physician involvement.

Primary care provider: State statute does recognize that nurses can act as primary care providers.

Ability to prescribe medication: Nurse practitioners may prescribe certain drugs after completing an educational requirement in advanced pharmacotherapeutics.

Additional sources: Nurse.org

In February, North Carolina introduced a bill that would give nurse practitioners more autonomy.

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Full, reduced, or restricted practice: Restricted

Autonomous practice restriction: Nurse practitioners cannot independently diagnose and treat patients without physician involvement.

Primary care provider: State statute does not define whether nurse practitioners can be primary care providers.

Ability to prescribe medication: Depending on their education and certification, nurse practitioners may prescribe limited amounts of legend drugs and controlled substances.

Additional sources: North Carolina General Assembly

Michigan nurse practitioners are not explicitly recognized as primary care providers under state law.

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Full, reduced, or restricted practice: Restricted

Autonomous practice restriction: Nurse practitioners cannot independently diagnose and treat patients without physician involvement.

Primary care provider: State statute does not explicitly recognize nurse practitioners as primary care providers.

Ability to prescribe medication: Nurse practitioners can prescribe certain drugs under the authority of their collaborating physician and may only prescribe a limited amount of opioids in hospitals.

Additional sources: Scope of Practice Policy

Missouri now allows physicians to supervise nurse practitioners virtually.

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Full, reduced, or restricted practice: Restricted

Autonomous practice restriction: Nurse practitioners cannot independently diagnose and treat patients without physician involvement.

Primary care provider: State statute does not define whether nurse practitioners can be primary care providers.

Ability to prescribe medication: Nurse practitioners in Missouri are only authorized to prescribe hydrocodone combination products.

Additional sources: Missouri Senate

In April, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gave nurse practitioners with five years of full-time clinical experience the ability to get approval to practice without physician supervision.

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Full, reduced, or restricted practice: Restricted

Autonomous practice restriction: Nurse practitioners cannot independently diagnose and treat patients without physician involvement.

Primary care provider: State statute does not define whether nurse practitioners can be primary care providers.

Ability to prescribe medication: Nurse practitioners can't prescribe opiates and other drugs unless they complete an educational requirement in pharmacology or pharmacotherapeutics and tell the patient they're a nurse practitioner.

Additional sources: WHSV

South Carolina nurse practitioners slightly outnumber family practice physicians in the state.

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Full, reduced, or restricted practice: Restricted

Autonomous practice restriction: Nurse practitioners cannot independently diagnose and treat patients without physician involvement.

Primary care provider: State statute does not define whether nurse practitioners can be primary care providers.

Ability to prescribe medication: Nurse practitioners may prescribe certain drugs as long as they sign the prescription and provide their prescriptive authority number, the location of their practice, and the collaborating physician's information.

Additional sources: The Post and Courier

Louisiana law implies, but does not outright state, nurse practitioners can be officially listed as primary care providers.

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Full, reduced, or restricted practice: Reduced

Autonomous practice restriction: Nurse practitioners cannot independently diagnose and treat patients without physician involvement.

Primary care provider: State law implies, but does not explicitly state, that nurse practitioners can be listed as a primary care provider, according to MidlevelU .

Ability to prescribe medication: Nurse practitioners cannot prescribe opiates and other drugs used to treat chronic pain, intractable pain, or obesity.

Additional sources: MidlevelU.com

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Nurses reveal the 11 hardest parts of their job, from the death of patients to not having time to pee during a shift