Optometry Scope of Practice in the United States

What does your state allow?

As a new graduate optometrist, it is important to know the limitations of each state’s scope of practice.

You spend 4 years of your life dedicated to eye care, so why not practice to the fullest extent? Many new graduates will realize that their state does not allow them to practice full scope optometry. You must get involved with your state association and work hard to bring your state’s scope of practice to the next level.

To communicate this, Quy and Matt developed an infographic to easily compare the scope in each state and the progress optometry has made!

optometry scope of practice in the united states the infographic

 

1. Oral medication authority

No oral medication authority left in only 2 states

  • New York
  • Massachusetts

Some or all oral medication prescription authority: the other 48 states (except NY, MA)

2.  Glaucoma treatment

Treatment of glaucoma (topical or oral) not authorized

  • Massachusetts

Treatment of glaucoma only with topical drugs

  • Nevada
  • Wyoming
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • New Hampshire
  • Connecticut
  • Washington D.C.

3. Steroid Prescription Authority

No oral steroids prescription authority:

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Wyoming

Yes, can prescribe oral steroids:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

4. Injectibles Authority

Can provide injectibles

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

No injectibles of any kind (to counter anaphylaxis or any other):

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nevaa
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

5. Lasers Authority (LPI, SLT, YAG Capsulotomy)

  • Oklahoma - YAG Capsulotomy / ALT / SLT / LPI / PRK
  • Kentucky – YAG Capsulotomy / ALT / SLT / LPI
  • Louisiana

This list is a work in progress and we will obviously need to update this as new changes are made in our ever-so-dynamic profession. See a mistake? Let us know and we will update it.

We are always working with state associations to keep this as up to date as possible! Thank you!

About Quy Nguyen, O.D.

Quy grew up in the Bay Area in California and attended the University of California at Berkeley where he received a Bachelors in Integrative Biology. He obtained his Doctor of Optometry from the SUNY State College of Optometry in 2013. He currently works for an ophthalmology practice in Richmond Hill, NY and at Wyckoff Hospital in Brooklyn. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of the State University of New York, State College of Optometry. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, reading non-fiction books, traveling and volunteering.

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