Pro: State 1 in 16 that requires medical doctor oversight
Fifteen years ago Mike Martine was chief of family practice at Reynolds Army Community Hospital. He was an active-duty lieutenant colonel in the Army. He retired in 2006. He's been a nurse practitioner for 18 years and he's been working at Lawton Community Health Center for about the last five years. In many states, he said, nurse practitioners can practice on their own.
"In this state, we have to have a supervising physician. When you get your certification and you go to work for an organization you have to have a physician sign that they will be your supervisor, meaning that you have at least electronic access to them," Martine said.
"I've seen the supervising physician thing go from sitting down with them every two years and they sign a piece of paper. I've also seen it where a physician would actually grade an NP's notes with a red marker, which I thought was really interesting."
The Oklahoma Board of Nursing issues nurse practitioner licenses and governs what they can and cannot write prescriptions for. Martine said if a nurse practitioner in Oklahoma needs to write a prescription for something that is not on his or her list, a physician must sign for it.
"We can write a ton of prescriptions," Martine said. "Some pain medicines, the medicines for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), methamphetamines, the physician has to sign for that. It's funny and some of it is very, very interesting. I can write for Tylenol with codeine, but I can't write for codeine. Some of it is the opioid crisis."